Monday, November 21, 2011

Running in Pajamas

I must say, this week and past weekend shaped up pretty nicely, despite some minor (well I hope it's minor) problems.

I went out to meet up with my running group last Tuesday. My knee had been feeling better and I was hoping that intervals wouldn't tweek it too much. I thought wrong. I did great in the intervals. Mainly because I tend to pick someone to "race" but they don't really know I'm racing them. We normally do a 1 mile warm-up, intervals or tempo for 2-3 miles and then a 1 mile cool down back to our starting point. The warm up was fine, absolutely no pain. The first half mile interval went pretty well also, no pain as of yet. The second half mile, I noticed it a little bit. By the third it was definitely there and when the 4th half mile came around, my knee was screaming at me to stop. I took it easy on the jog back deciding not to stay for 2 more half mile repeats. I came home and tried to ice it and look up some more info on this mysterious knee pain. I'm almost 100% sure that I have text book ITBS. My pain is exactly as described and localized to the spot on the outside of my right knee, exactly where the IT band insertion point is located. Bummer. As I kept reading, I found that it's not really an easy thing to get rid of. Takes a lot of stretching and icing and just when you think it's gone, it could come back.

Either way, I still had a 5k to run on Saturday so I decided to just not work out and rest my knee until Saturday hoping I would be able to make it through. I also purchased a foam roller to see if that would help work out some soreness. Man, that thing is awesome. Anyway, back to the run. A while back, I won a free entry to a local 5k called the "The Pajama Run" to support awareness of cancers below the waist. The idea is to run in your pajamas but some people wore Halloween costumes, so it was a mixture of everything. It turned out to be a really fun event. I've run the race course before for a different 5k but it's still one of my favorites. It starts at the Joe Riley Baseball stadium, goes through the Citadel and loops around Hampton Park then back to the stadium. The weather was perfect, my friends were with me and I had my favorite PJ slip on over my running clothes. Also, the race was small which was a real bonus for this course, didn't have to worry about dodging others and could just really enjoy the run.

My friend Pat wore the most awesome baby costume, which got tons of laughs. Jen, Pat and I started near the front of the start line. At the sound of the horn, Pat took off in light speed and that was the last I saw of him until the finish. I pretty much lost Jen instantly too but it was a small race so nothing to worry about. Everything was going great until about mile 2.5. I rounded the corner and BAM, the knee pain started to kick in. It started out just the nagging side pain at first but by 2.9, I had sharp stabbing pains that kept locking up my knee. I was at the point where I could see the finish and I was determined to keep going. I made it across with a grimace on my face and somehow managed to PR with 28:25. I knew I would be faster since running the half marathon but I was hoping for closer to 27. Hey, I'll still take the time that I got! I was happy with that but boy, I knew I had done something to my poor knee. Today is Monday and I'm still walking kind of funny.

Pat and his baby costume

Pat, Jen and me before the start of the race

I've decided to hang up the running shoes for a few weeks which might work with finals coming up, but I'm hoping to dive into swimming (get it, get it?) for a few weeks to cross train. I know the best thing I can do right now is rest, stretch and ice. I am itching to run though. I got bit with the bug real hard after my half marathon, unfortunately my knee begs to differ. I do know I need new shoes and I'm pretty sure this is probably related to over doing it and pushing myself during the half but I don't regret it for right now. My goal is to maintain a steady work out plan while still rehabbing my knee. I want to be ready for my next half in March!

One last thing, I was really hoping to get in another 5k before the end of the year but that's not looking possible. So, instead of running I am going to volunteer at the Charleston Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day morning. They are expecting a ton of people and they are short handed for the race. So, since I can't get out there and join them I might as well give them my support. I know it has sure helped me in the last few races so the least I can do is give back and how fitting on Thanksgiving Day!

Look at me, taking lemons and making lemonade. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Total weekly mile: 7 (sigh)

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