Thursday, June 16, 2011

Running Once Again

Back in January 2011 I hurt my right knee during the WDW Marathon and it has never quite been the same since. I was told I tore my meniscus and it may or may not be a long recovery process. Not wanting to make things worse I really took it easy on my knee, so easy that today was my first real run since January. I did 3.08 miles in 40 minutes which is not extraordinarily fast but it is about 4 minutes less than my normal walking pace so I felt like I was flying this morning along the Manatee River. For the last five months I have been wearing knee straps to try and help with the stiffness in my knee cap and I noticed that more and more I did not feel I needed them when I would speed walk. So I ventured out this morning with no straps and while I was running (sprinkled with walk breaks) there was no pain at all in my right knee. This is HUGE because just last month every time I would try to break into a little jog I would feel pain shoot through my knee to the point where I felt I was limping after a short attempt. I am so elated that my knee seems to be recovering. I think it is a mixture of taking it really easy with the speed walking and the strength training I have added in (lots of squats!!!).

Also a large part of my knee recovery I attribute to my yoga practice. Each teacher I have had I told them ahead of time that I had knee problems and they all seem to have added into the lessons poses that would be beneficial to my knees. Just being more mindful of the way I bend and use my knees has helped. While Vinyasa can be a challenge with my injured knee the act of getting into a pose and holding it has given me much more strength in my knees. I am not sure my right knee will ever be back to “normal” but as long as I can get the occasional run in I am extremely happy.

To those runners who have had an injury I offer the following advice… take it easy. This is your only body. You want to treat it with respect and listen to it. It is not great to be injured and I know we all want to get back at it as soon as possible but the harder we push it when we are injured the longer we will stay injured. I may have taken it too easy on my knee the last five months but I do not regret it. All I want is healthy knees and honestly speed walking can be pretty darn fun, even at races.

Another note about today’s run… I ran in my Team MARATHON Bar shorts this morning. They are your typical running short with the slits on the sides to make sure you have plenty of movement in the shorts to accommodate your running legs and well…they were completely awesome! I have never had these kind of shorts before because I always thought some of them looked really short and the material is really thin compared to some other running shorts. Now I know what I was missing! I think there is no going back for me now.

Happy Running.

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