I wish I could just leave it at that and call it a night, but I guess I have to provide an explanation.
After my absolute steller week last week, I was really looking some good running this week, especially with 3 weeks to go. However, I guess the only direction to go after a really good week is down.
Tuesday and Thursday I had pretty good runs. Tuesday I did my normal 5 mile tempo, between 7 and 8 mph. It wasn’t as good as last weeks and I was quite tired during it (I seriously felt like I was going to fall asleep at one point), but it was fine nonetheless. However, that evening, after I left the gym I noticed my left knee was bothering me a bit. Nothing significant (or at least so I thought) and it was gone the next day. Thursday, however, my left knee was bothering me when I started running. The run, however, besides the bit of pain, was really really good and strong. But, once again, by the next day there was nothing. I was prepared to feel a little pain during my Saturday long run, but wasn’t sure how it was going to be.
When Saturday morning rolled around, the sun was shining, it was fairly warm and my knee wasn’t bothering me. I ran up and down the “hallway” a few times, and nothing. I thought I was good to go. I threw on my t-shirt and shorts (!!!! I haven’t run in shorts, besides at the gym, for about 8 months), filled up my fuel belt, stuck on my hat and headed out. I decided to do the same route I did last week because I enjoyed it so much, and the Pope was up by Central Park and I DID NOT want to get caught in that mess up there. Lots of people, lots of baricades, lots of police and security=no very conducive to good running. It was perfect (PERFECT!!) weather outside. About 65 degrees and sunny with a nice breeze. And I was out pretty early, around 8:15, so the path was nice and empty.
I felt pretty good right off the bat. My knee wasn’t bothering me at all, so I though that it might have been some odd fluke that I wouldn’t have to worry about. Little did I know…
Most of the routes around Manhattan, besides Central Park, are really flat, and I was running on a path as flat as a pancake for the entire, except for the Brooklyn Bridge, which goes uphill to flat to downhill (and repeat because I turn around at the end and go back). Well, the downhill on the bridge was when it happened. My knee started hurting soooo badly. For those of you who are curious, the pain was in the lower-front part of the knee and hurt when I pushed off my left food. Anyway, the downhill was so painful that I was running with a limp. When I turned around, going back up the bridge, it stopped hurting as I went uphill and during the flat part. But, once I hit that downhill again, I was in major pain. When I got to the bottom of the bridge, I was basically freaking out. I’ve never had to deal with such pain while I was running. I’ve run with shin splints before but those always stopped bothering me after the first 5 or so minutes. I could tell that this wasn’t going to go away.
So, I had to make a decision. I was in a good location where I could go home easily, or I could continue (on flat terrain) for the rest, which was about 7 miles. I decided to try to keep going, and if after about 2 minutes, if it kept bothering me, I would turn around. If not, continue. And, I felt good again. And I kept on going. This part of the run was fun though. I started running behind a girl when I got back along the path after the bridge and noticed that she was running at my pace. She knew I was behind her, and I continued behind her, about 10 feet behind, or a bit. We passed each other several times and had a lot of fun with it. It was fun being competitive with some random person, and I knew she was having fun too. She made me push myself, and I think i made her push herself too. She passed me for good when I ran into a friend along the West Side Highway. A girl I went to college with who I ALWAYS forget lives in the city was running and I had a nice chat with her and we made plans to get a drink. Hopefully we will! However, this is where it went waaay downhill.
When I started running again after I left Deena (my friend), my knee was hurting. Bad. Like, almost couldn’t run at all bad. And I wasn’t running it off. I thought of one of my best friends who, this past fall, ran through the Marine Corps Marathon with a knee injury and that took me about a mile further, but it really did get to the point where I couldn’t run any further. I was limping as I was running and knew I had no choice. So, I stopped. I have never ever stopped a run early. I knew I had to, but it still, mentally, was really hard to do. I got to the nearest place I could cross off the highway, at 14th street and really almost started crying because I was so disappointed. Ugh!! The walk from 10th ave to 7th ave along 14th st. was one of the worst. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, but I was really quite upset. I did run into Gossip Girl being shot around 9th ave (nope-didn’t see the uber-hot actor that plays Dan) which was fun, but not enough fun.
I really didn’t want to walk all the way home, so I stretched pretty intensely at 7th ave., and started running again. I almost didn’t care how much it hurt, I just wanted to get home. It hurt ALOT at first, but pretty much went way, and I jogged pretty easily all the way home (the run ended up being a little over 11 miles). When I got there, my younger sister was there (she was staying with me) and I’m glad. I think that if I was one my own, I probably would have completely broken down. The frustration of getting an injury, whether temorary or something more serious (of which I’m not sure which this is yet) was overwhelming, especially because I only have 2 weeks till the half marathon. She talked me through it and made me feel a little better. One of the worst parts, however, was that besides the knee problems, my run was wonderful and I felt great. When I stopped, I could have gone on for much longer, I had alot of gas left in me.
The rest of the day, however, my knee was quite stiff and I was walking quite slowly and man-was I grouchy (sorry Maggie!!!!). Today, it felt a tad bit better, but every once in a while, I would step on a weird angle and the knee would kill. Also, it hurts to go down stairs. And all I could think of was how this is going to effect my race and whether this is serious and something that a little rest and ice can’t fix. But, the only was I can know that is through time.
So, for the next week, no running at all. I know I’m going to really want to, but I know it will make it worse and that is the last thing I want to do. But, I’m bummed and pissed and upset. I think grrrr really sums it up. Grrrrr.