|I'm getting a little more flexible.|
Essentially I've been waiting to see how my knee feels each day before deciding what to do. If it is tight, creaky, popping & locking(ish) then no running. If it feels loose, especially after mucho stretching, then I can run. Every other day or 1x every three days seems to be the order of the day. Based on some shorter runs (4-5 miles?) and a little bit longerish (8+ miles, long for me now), I've realized that four miles is absolutely my limit before discomfort sets in, no matter what. I was really curious if it was also related to up and down/terrain or if it was solely due to time on feet and the distance itself. Time for some investigating.
On Christmas eve morning, I met up with Jonny, Gazelle, Chris G, Mike B, Nate, and Sean at Grills Sanctuary in Ashaway for an hour or so of varied trail running. On a slightly related side note, that is way too many legitimate first names to be using--my goal is to come up with descriptive nicknames for at least some of them. The only requirement is that I run with them more to be able to fairly develop accurate monikers. A reasonable goal for 2014....Anyway, it came as no surprise when, approximately 4-5 miles into the run I began feeling the sliding, clicking, annoyingness in my knee. This further reiterated that the distance/time is indeed a factor. Overall, it was still fun.
Yesterday, I decided to see what would happen if I ran on completely flat ground. I opted for CHS track and cross country trail. In addition, I hoped to see what would happen if I pushed it a little bit for a few shorties. After a warm up I was able to timidly run 2 x 200, 2 x 400, 2 x 200. I was happy to see that I felt good, at least my knee did anyway, for the first set of 200s and the 400s. Unfortunately, at mile 4 mark, for the second 200s, my knee started to get all sketchy. Splits: 38, 37, 75, 75, 35, 36. Times were not that bad but I forgot what it was like to work for it--it's been almost two months since track action! My wife informed me I'm "a f*$#ing idiot" for trying to run hard(ish) on the track. Whatever.....More importantly, I was able to conclude that it is indeed the distance/time vs terrain for the most part. Important findings.
I was also able to go yesterday afternoon for a follow up visit with the doc and some dexamethasone sodium phosphate ultrasonic phonophoresis. Sounds fancy but it is really just anti-inflammatory steroid administered via ultrasonic medium vs injected. To me, the name makes it sound like an opiate drug but fortunately, it's not.
The guy was able to state with surety that:
- stretching is helping--my flexibility is indeed improving
- I need more hip stretching and mobility
- the 4 mile thing is due to friction and inflammation: fine at first but keep rubbing and stuff gets irritated
- I should still stay away from a great deal of downhill/descents for the immediate future until everything is totally better
So, things are looking up. When I rise each morning I'll continue playing the tentative "what does it feel like today" game. I shall keep running every other day, stretching, doing boring strengthening drills, and trying not to get too gross and blubbery.
And pondering names for some of my WTAC brethren.......