Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fighting the Good Fight?

So last Thursday I headed out for a tempo training run and I have to tell was freaking AWESOME! I normally have a small-ish window of time to get my run in during the morning since I have to get myself off to work, so when the miles are higher (and since I'm a slow-ish runner) I don't always have the time to get all the training miles in like I want. Last Thursday was a 5 mile run following a 10 minute warm-up and I actually got the whole thing completed and right on time! And I basically felt really good while running too. But then towards the end of the run I felt some achiness in my left knee...a completely new ache that hadn't been there before. The pain was noticeably worse during any kind of incline - I mean we're talking a sidewalk entrance ramp thingy; and then when I walked down the stairs after getting ready for work it was no longer an ache - it was bordering on actual pain. A runner's worst nightmare was beginning...but I was hopefully optimistic that it was just a passing ache. It continued to ache all day while doing absolutely nothing but sit. Uh-oh...seems like something that isn't going to just fade away after a day of rest?

Fast forward to Tuesday of this week, after taking Saturday's run off to rest the knee, and I head out and don't get very far as it is still twinging up like the dickens. :-( 

At that point, I needed to evaluate where to go from there. Keep resting or try it again? I made the hard decision that I needed to really rest it - for several days. So I cut the Tuesday run very short, cancelled Thursday, cancelled Saturday and will see again next Tuesday how it is doing.

As any runner knows - this is SUPER difficult to do! My mind is wrestling with the fact that it WANTS to be out running, while my body is wrestling with the fact that if I give into the brain, the body might be wrestling with a true blue injury instead of just an annoying twinge. 

But here's where the slippery slope really starts to get crazy because what I then want to do is...absolutely nothing. I don't want to eat right. I don't want to get up and stretch. I don't want to do some yoga. I don't want to foam roll. You get the idea...It's a seriously crazy slide I'm on here. 

And I've got to lift myself up by the bootstraps shoelaces and not let this go any further. If I want to be one of those crazy runners still going strong into my eighties (because, face it, that's the ONLY way I'll ever win my age group! hahaha) then I'm going to have to learn how to deal with being sidelined a little better.

Tomorrow I still wake up like normal and I take the puppy for a short, easy, slow walk and then I roll, roll, roll it out. Because even though it is my knee that is giving me the grief, I actually think it's more related to a super-duper tight calf muscle. I will do that every darn day through next week and if - BIG HUGE IF - I am ready to run again on Tuesday, I will better focus on stretching and rolling before/after/etc. I also need to make sure I'm getting up more often at work...I've been sitting on my bum way too much these days and it's not just tightening up the muscles, it also means I'm not drinking enough water. 

Enough is enough, right?

So question for you - how do you keep the mental focus going strong when the physical focus isn't there?

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