Sunday, June 12, 2011

End of an Era

The Saturday morning plod along the Cotton Row course did not go very well.
My breathing was more-or-less okay (better than last go-round... but that is not saying much), and my strength was somewhat better.
But I had to stop and walk in both mile five and six.
Not good.
And not according to plan.
At least, not per Plan A.

As if to punctuate the situation, my left knee developed a nice jabbing pain in the ligament just below the kneecap early in mile five.
This was just after my second walk.
It was not the sharp ice pick kind of pain, it was more like someone whacking me with a tire iron just below the kneecap.
It got my attention.
And it forced Runner, Coach and Running Central to have a meeting to decide what to do and when.

The decision was quickly arrived at as left knee continued to squeak loudly – keep going and see if the problem fixes itself.
So I did.
And it did.
But it took a while.

I tried modifying my gait this way and that to take some of the pressure off the complaining ligament, but nothing seemed to help.
But as I kept going, I noticed that the pain seemed to diminish.
After a couple of minutes or three, the pain was down to a nuisance level and I knew I was going to be able to finish.
Or, at least, my left knee was not going to be the reason that I did not finish.
My overall strength was another matter, as I was forced to stop and walk again near Courthouse Square.
But I knew what this meant.

After my poor performance last week I made a promise to myself that if this session did not go well, I would stop running the six-mile distance.
“Well” means, run the whole distance without stopping.
As much as I love it, I have to face reality (I hate that....).
I cannot run this distance any more.
So, life is what it is.

Thus, next week I will return to my 3.5 mile course on the back side of the CR course.

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