Almost exactly one year ago to the day, I was training for the Segahunda Marathon at Letchworth State Park. My training schedule was not as refined as it is now. I worked, I came home, and no matter what time it was I headed over to the local track to get my miles in. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to predict complications that come with running in the same direction around a track over and over.
Left hand turn after left hand turn, running at an eight minute mile, my my left lateral knee just felt off one night. I only had 1.25 miles to go and just as I finished the outside of my knee felt tight, painful even. Fittingly, it only ever hurt when I ran outside. No other activity bothered it; lifting, walking, working, elliptical, nothing. I spent the winter months on the elliptical with resistance (still no pain) to get the miles in, up to 14 miles…on an elliptical, fun (insert heavy sarcasm).
As soon as I hit the trail after the thaw, about a mile or two into my runs, the same pain returned. I stopped. I tried all manner of stretching, rest, ice, foam roller; everything except for PT (Ultrasound therapy, e-stim, etc). Finally, I just said, let’s hang it up for a while. Needless to say, I became so dissatisfied with my inactivity, being injury prone, and getting out of shape that I decided to start Body-for-LIFE.
Sadly, during my second outdoor run last week, after six months off the pain is back. I’ve contacted my PT Jacqui and I hope she has an answer.
I’m not quitting. As long as I don’t have pain while lifting and getting my cardio in on a rowing machine, elliptical or otherwise I will persist with The Program. However, it would be a massive lie if I said I didn’t just lose one of my main motivations for getting back in shape; running pain free. We will wait and see if PT can find an answer. If the answer is surgery…(I can’t bring myself to entertain that idea). I can hike at least on my weekends off. I’ll get all the nature fix I need and be able to bring Stormy, my intrepid Labrador and younger brother with me too.
Holy schnikes did I have a week of lower body work. I continue to set personal bests every time I hit the gym. This past week due to sick kids and the fatigue of working seven days straight my workouts got pushed to the evening. These are sub-optimal conditions for lifting. I now know I just need to suck it up and lift in the morning. While doing some squats with two 45 pound dumbbells I reached peak intensity. Maybe my first 10 out of 10 experience.
Very few people at my gym lift with the free weights, I’m sure I stick out like a sore thumb. And I’m tiny, a pocket Hercules if you will; 155lbs, 5’7”, hobbit-like. Here I am with two weights almost 2/3’s of my total weight and I’m squatting like a champ. Then came the sweating, the burning, and the feeling like the floor is about to give out from underneath me or the ceiling of weights is about to crush me. Then, I did a Peter Griffin.
Saturday and Sunday were not pleasant days at work. I normally don’t sandbag it at work, but I could hardly bend my knees. I could not move quickly in any direction. I had that, “stick in butt” walk going on. If that is what maxing out on intensity is all about, I am happy to stay at a nine out of 10 intensity level. Yup, that’ll do just fine. If 10 out of 10 means the inability to wipe my own butt, I’ll stick with my modest gains.