Running: The Inevitable Injury

Track runnerWith about a month to go before the Flying Pig Marathon, I had that exact same knee injury that plagued me last fall before my first half marathon. It’s a knee strain that’s had me wearing a brace ever since. The injury happened two and a half weeks ago during a scheduled 22 mile run. I finished the run despite a twinge in my knee. Back pain actually forced me to slow to a power walk, but I power walked the last three miles. I still finished the run and felt otherwise pretty good.

Well, as good as one can feel running 22 miles having never run that far before.

But the next morning, I found myself limping into work. Yes, I’d reinjured my knee. Without a medical diagnosis, I’ve traced to a torn meniscus I had about 15 years ago. With the knee brace, it’s healed quite nicely, but the 22-mile run probably reaggravated it.

Last fall, it hit me three weeks before the half marathon. I had to stop running for a few days, but with not much time before the race day, it resulted in shin problems the first few miles, forcing me to walk until about mile 4. So a predicted time of about two hours and fifty minutes became three hours and 19 minutes. (Of course, I lost five minutes to my bladder, most of which was finding a discreet place to do the deed away from the road.)

I hated stopping this time, even though I had six weeks to go. I looked forward to the evening runs now that warm weather has returned. But I ended up walking that week and cutting back my long runs. I’m typing this on Sunday. I had a six-mile run that was supposed to be 10. So instead of a planned run along the Flying Pig route, I’ll have one 20-mile workout before the taper. The knee feels weak, but not constantly painful. A couple of weeks rest after the race should take care of this.

That’s the theory anyway.

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