The after effects of my weekend exploits are not as bad as I expected. Although there was some pain in my left knee the next day, it was nothing more than expected and subsided over the course of the day without the aid of painkillers. As promised, I have to shut down all running activities for the next few weeks to (hopefully) allow my knee to recover. Obviously, I would prefer not to stop but if it’s a choice between taking a break for a few weeks or having to stop forever – well, that’s not really a choice now is it.
I am planning to travel to Poland in June for the European Championships, meeting up with some friends from Ireland and heading to a couple of games. I return on the 16th, which gives me four weeks of recovery time. During these next few weeks I will focus on the stretching and strength building routines I developed with my physical therapist and do some bike work to maintain fitness, but absolutely no impact activities that will put stress on the knee.
As you can imagine, things will be a little quiet around here for a few weeks, but should start back up again around the middle of June. There’s a 5M race in Central Park at the end of June and training for the Philadelphia Marathon starts in early July, so there’s not a lot of time to sit back and relax.
Entering the third to last week of the training plan, my body has recovered from the pains of a ten mile run and the skiing trip. This week I plan to get back on track with my program as I look to the half-marathon in three weeks. Monday will revert to a rest day, with 5 mile paced runs on Tuesday and Wednesday. I have swimming and weights on Thursday, followed by two runs over the weekend. One 4 mile route and a an 11 mile run to continue building my stamina and familiarity with the half-marathon distance.
Evidently I was not born to travel down a mountain at 60 miles per hour on two fiberglass blades. The weekend itself was a great getaway – lots of relaxation time and a good chance to spend quality time with Jess. We got there late Friday night and settled into our room, with thoughts of the next mornings breakfast.
The following day we rented our gear just down the street from the B&B and took to the slopes. Starting with a relatively easy run, it was immediately clear that I had overestimated my abilities. I spend equal amounts of time on the skis and on my butt, having extreme difficulty in mastering two essential maneuvers; turning and stopping. Jess, on the other hand, had no problems and gracefully made her way down the mountain, stopping occasionally to peer back at me as I came crashing down to the snow and ice yet again. We moved to the beginner slope where the gradient was pretty easy and I managed to stay upright for a few runs. After lunch, we ventured to another easy run only to be ambushed by a blizzard as we were traveling up on the ski lift. At the top the snow and clouds were thick, but I gutted it out and managed to get in a few runs before the old habits returned. At one point the ski patrol had to shoe me like a horse to clear the ice from my boot and the gentleman, although patient, was clearly annoyed that I was on such a large slope with little or no skills. All would be solved a few minutes later, as my increasingly violent falls took their toll and tore the binding from my ski.
Later that evening we enjoyed a very good Italian dinner in town and returned home the next day. Although I took my share of bumps and bruises, the weekend was thoroughly enjoyable and a welcome break from the rigors of my training program.
Today’s run was supposed to be 8 miles, but given that my legs were feeling like lead and my knees were a bit sore, I decided to ease off a little and stop after only 7 miles. Towards the end of the run I actually felt alright, but didn’t want to push it too much and risk injury now that I’m only six weeks away from the half-marathon.
I had also introduced swimming as a new element to my training plan, and it’s possible my body was going through some adjustments at the time. Better to play it safe and get back on track the following week.