Sunday, October 4, 2015

Long Run, Darkness, Cool Trails, Bad Knee: Two week log

Awesome trails in Tabernash, CO
This two week period has been marked by the extremes. Consistent running, an good twenty mile run, some awesome trails and an injury.

First, a week ago I logged 83 miles. It was my fifteenth 70+ mile week in a row. Unfortunately, I didn't know how abruptly the streak would end. Spending most of the week in Idaho, the challenge was the morning run. With Idaho on the western edge of the mountain timezone, sunrise happened late; like 7:30 late. So, half of all the Idaho runs were in the dark. Problem? Nope. With my bright Black Diamond headlamp, it was clear sailing each and every morning.

Idaho Falls running was confined to the Snake River greenway, but all in all, I can't complain. Three days, five runs. All good. Then came Pocatello. The City Creek trail was the highlight of my two runs there as it was one of those out/up to back/down runs. Arriving home for runs on Friday and Saturday set up the Sunday twenty miler.

My knee was a bit stiff on Saturday, but felt okay for most of the Sunday long run. I ran easy, at a decent pace, and enjoyed a new loop. The heat got to me a bit the last two miles but all in all, it was a nice effort. Then came Monday.

Pain behind the right knee which I hadn't experienced since the speedy days of college created the need for injury evasion tactics: sticking to the trails, slowing down, and ice. My run went okay on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday, I ran some gorgeous trails at the Devil's Thumb Ranch in the mountains and while tight was still okay. Then, at home on Thursday's run, one small misstep changed everything. I was cruising along and didn't notice a depression in the path. Boom. Right leg snapped down excessively hard and the back of my knee immediately gave in. I gimped my way home (luckily not that far). Knew instantly it was time for help.

Friday I saw my miracle worker, Dr. Carly May who upon careful examination, poking and prodding, proclaimed "Popliteus Tendinitis." She gave me a therapy routine, some exercises, and I was good to go. Unfortunately, what followed was not good at all. That afternoon, while traversing the course at my Grandson Mason's cross country meet, I found my knee VERY tight, quite painful and massively unstable. After the meet, we sat through the awards ceremony and when I tried to stand up, my knee would not hold and down I went, like a ton of bricks (although I did manage to save our camera from harm). Very embarrassing. The one hour + ride home was extremely painful. It was clear I was done running for a while.

So yesterday (Saturday) I gimped around the house (barely) with a crutch and the therapy was intensified. It was NOT a good day. Today, I was something I never am, an all day football watcher. Progress, however, was noted today. Very little pain, still lots of stiffness, BUT it doesn't feel nearly as unstable. In fact, I walked about a half a mile this morning, of course with my trusty crutch. Could be worse.

My expectation is being able to run again by the end of the week. While I am not happy about this development, better now than later as I am hoping my 50K debut in December is still safe. We'll see.

All in all, it's been a wild couple of weeks.

Run on.