Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two days without pain

I've been having problems with my left knee for over a month now. I lowered my volume, iced, ibuprofened, stretched, rested and massaged. It doesn't always happen. I've been able to PR twice during that time but I don't want to make it worse. The problem was that it didn't seem to get any better.

According to the people at the shoe store, I'm a pronator and my two pairs of running shoes take that into account. Usually, I would start running and fairly soon I would get this feeling that my knee is not tracking quite right. Then a light burning sensation under the knee cap, while the leg is swinging back forward, which quickly escalates. Most times, if I stop, walk a bit and then start running slowly again, things fall into place and the pain goes away. That's what I did before my 10k race and I had no pain during the race.

Last weekend I decided that it was my stride. They say not to mess with it without a good reason, but I think this qualifies. I pulled my "Brain Training for Runners" off the shelf, started the daily exercises and when I went out for my long run, I applied some of the tricks that are in the book. Wouldn't you know it, I felt pretty good for the whole 18k. Not 100%, but better than in other runs.

Yesterday I decided to drink the Koolaid. I went for a 10k run in my Nike Free 7, with almost no support. It was a fantastic run. Today I went out in them again and had another good run although as soon as I fell back into my old form, I could feel a twinge in my knee. It's too early to be certain that I've got this licked. I will definitely continue with the exercises and the gait retraining. I can actually feel how this will allow me to have a more powerful and effective stride.

Triathlon training

As you may or may not know, I've gone to the dark side and am now also swimming and biking. My weekly training includes 4 runs, 3 swims and 3 bike sessions. Plus one rest day. This means that most days, I train twice. My family thinks I'm nuts. Sure beats watching TV. I'm just dying to buy a road bike. My big problem is that I have nowhere to store it. Hmmmm... I'm going to do at least one triathlon and then I decide if it's worth it.

I joined the Toronto Triathlon Club. They have a group run/pub night tomorrow. I'll probably go and meet the group. I don't know anyone there.


Assuming my knee holds, I'm still on for the Sulphur Spring 25k trail race. I'm going to have to decide soon. I've also pretty much decided to run the Toronto marathon. I was supposed to do the half, but what's another 21k between friends? So taking into account my extensive tri cross training, I will follow the level 1 program in "Brain Training..." which has a program with 4 run sessions a week. Jack Daniel's book doesn't have a program like that so I'm going to stick with Matt for this one.

Long run this weekend is 22k. If the next 7 days work out well, I'm signing up for Sulphur Spring!

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