Thursday, February 10, 2011
On Monday, I broke down. I got less than half a mile before I could go no further and in hindsight, even though the knee felt good that morning, I was clearly pushing myself too much to run two days in a row.
Yesterday, my PT suggested that I wait till today (rather than yesterday or resting until Saturday) to run again, so that became my plan.
I was terrified. I've been quite nervous before some of my races...ok, before most of them for various reasons. But now my fear today was about how my knee would react and how much pain I would be in, not just whether I could finish a distance or how hot it would be. The knee in question felt good this morning after I did my stretching and foam rolling...and I was afraid to mess that up.
But, I also know that I'm approaching the point where I probably will be able to tell in the next two weeks or so whether this is something I can manage through stretching, foam rolling, and PT (and maybe some ibuprofen, too) and thus it may be realistic to continue training for the marathon, or whether I should defer my entry and rest completely for a couple of weeks. If I keep on my current course "barely being able to walk after every run and needing 2-3 full days to recover"; then I'm probably toast, but I need to find out.
I took the first couple steps and the knee felt good. There was some stiffness, as well as fatigue in both legs, but I got through the first half mile and felt pretty good. As I continued, the knee mostly felt good, but there were a few spots where it felt like I was really starting to limp and the knee wouldn't hold my weight. Each time, I would slow down for a bit and it would loosen up and I could continue. I decided not to run my usual seven-mile course in case it started to feel worse, but I went five miles in 47 minutes without major discomfort during or after the run...except at one point while foam rolling afterward, where I guess I hit a bad spot along the IT band and briefly later when my leg went numb because a giant cat was flopped against my IT band.
I felt like it was a good run. If I can do the leg exercises I learned in PT tonight and tomorrow, I'll probably try to add a little distance on Saturday. If I can barely walk tonight or tomorrow, as was the case after my runs last Thursday and Sunday, then I need to re-evaluate. I was cautiously optimistic after those runs, too.
It's five hours later and the knee still feels pretty good, which was not the case after my last few attempts. That, at least, is a good sign, but again how I feel later tonight, tomorrow, and two days from now will be the real test.