Last week my goal was to run 50 as pain-free miles as possible in coming back from my knee injury. Bottom line: I wound up with 58.5 miles, running all seven days. My knee felt pretty good all through the week, but then on Saturday and Sunday during my long runs I felt a few twinges. I don't think the twinges were anything really bad or serious--maybe just reminders that my knee still isn't 100% and that I need to come back slowly.
Also, I was really, really tired and kind of achy through Friday and I thought my fatigue was mostly due to the double-whammy of not getting enough sleep and a post-Mohican hang-over. I also struggled aerobically early in the week, which is unusual for me since my aerobic capacity is pretty strong. In actuality, I think I was fighting off some kind of bug. By Saturday, I was feeling much better and my strength had improved dramatically.
If I had to put it all into numbers, I'd say my knee is still at about 75% and my body post-Mohican is about 75% as well.
Here's how the week went:
PM: 6.2 miles easy
I struggled in the heat and humidity and was a little out of breath likely from losing conditioning during the injury. This was my first pain/discomfort-free run in over two weeks. I was very encouraged.
AM: 7.2 miles easy
My legs were very achy--maybe from post-Mohican soreness. My knee didn't hurt, but I could definitely "feel" it a bit. I didn't wear my knee brace for the first time--probably a mistake--and will wear it on my next run.
AM: 7.1 miles easy
I felt very tired and achy, but fortunately my knee was holding up well.
AM: 7.1 easy
Same as Wednesday.
AM: 8 miles easy
I felt awful--tired, achy and worn down. I thought it was post-Mohican fatigue but it was actually a bug of some kind. I remember thinking mid-way through my run: When will it get easier?
AM: 11 miles with the crew in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
I didn't know I'd be joining the CVNP crew until that morning, when Anne was able to take Noah with her to work. It was great running with the guys in the Valley. Even with really humid conditions, I felt much better and, despite feeling some minor discomfort in my knee, was able to climb the hills very well. I remember feeling surprisingly strong climbing the hill from the towpath near Boston Store en route to Pine Lane. I felt good when we finished and took Advil and iced my knee as a precaution.
AM: 12 miles with the Southeast Running Club in Solon
Rained cats and dogs. Ran mostly with Paul R., Jeff U. and Steve H. My knee ached a little and I questioned whether I should run 12 miles, but it held up and I achieved my goal for the day and exceeded my goal for the week. I maintained a conservative pace of about 7:40 miles.
Total miles for week: 58.5
For this week, my goal is 60-65 miles, including about 15 miles on Saturday as I run with Ted F. from either the Boston Store or Snowville aid stations to the finish of the Buckeye Trail 50K, his first-ever race of over 26.2 miles. Later in the week I'd also like to get on the track for some up-tempo repeats of 6:00 or better. I will let my knee be the decider of whether that happens or not.
I am really bummed about not being able to run the BT50K. This was to be my fourth BT50K and I think a 4:30 or better time would have been possible. I was aiming for a 4:15 but would have been happy with 4:30 or better. I guess there is always next year....
I still haven't ruled out the Burning River 100, though realistically it's pretty doubtful as my knee continues to heal. Right now, my focus has to be on returning to 100% for a strong fall Columbus Marathon, not completing another 100 so soon after Mohican. Still, I just can't get the BR100 out of my head....
Connie G. suggested that I consider running the Umstead 100 in April to build some experience in pacing myself for 100s. Umstead is eight laps of a 12.5-mile course. I used to live in Raleigh and still have a lot of friends there who I could stay with and hopefully tap as crew, making Umstead pretty appealing from those standpoints. But Umstead would require some serious training during the winter, which would suck with all the snow we get. I will consider Umstead, but I better consider it fast because it fills up quickly and registration opens around Labor Day. I'm on the Umstead e-mail list and will watch for the registration notice.