If you haven’t noticed, and you probably haven’t since I rarely actually write in this blog, I get injured quite frequently. I guess I’m just a fragile-princess kind of girl. Or maybe it’s just because I do a lot of stuff that can cause injury. Since I seem to be lacking a tiara, I guess the answer must be the latter.
Two weekends ago I aggravated my knee during the Tuscarora Trails 50K. I don’t like super steep, rocky, leaf-covered, slightly slippery descents to start with, but since I had those knee problems last fall, I’ve tried to steer clear of those routes entirely. Until that day, I had succeeded. Unfortunately, there was no way around this route. I took it slow, but still could feel my knee crying out for me to stop from the get-go. In the week that followed, I ran more than I normally do during the weekdays since the munchkin I watch was on vacation. By Sunday, I had logged 50 miles – a bit of an increase over what I had been doing. Also by Sunday, my knee was bugging me.
When I woke up on Monday I had some swelling and a lot of stiffness. I decided not to run for several days, but really running wasn’t an option due to my husband’s business trip and the weather (since Little Dude would have had to ride in the stroller). As the week wore on, I grew more and more concerned about my knee. It was more painful on Thursday than on Monday. It was frustrating, but since I know what causes it, I wasn’t as worked up as I was last fall.
I decided to try 3 miles on the roads around my house yesterday morning to see how things felt. The first 2 minutes had me scared. I felt like my knee was going to give out. That quickly passed, thank God, and things began to feel better – not great, but better. Later in the day, though, it seemed to be quite pissed off. Knowing I had a 25 mile run planned for today got me pretty worried. I’m only 8 weeks out from the Laurel 70, so every long run is crucial. I had already changed the route from a challenging, rocky one with a couple of big climbs and descents to a relatively flat, smooth one.
At the start this morning I told Anne that we might run 5 or we might run 25. It was all up in the air. After a couple of miles I decided that 25 probably wasn’t a good idea, but that we’d still shoot for 20. The longer I ran, the better I felt. It was around 50 degrees but windy – OF COURSE! – so it was still a little chilly when we started. But it was clearly spring time. And I was so damned excited! I think I have a form of running-related ADHD or something. I’d be running along, chatting with Anne, and then I’d yell “GREEN GRASS!!” or “Oh my God purple flowers!!” or “Daffodils? Are those DAFFODILS popping up?” and, my favorite, “COWS! I love cows!! MOOOOOO!!!”
What am I? 5 years old?
We hit the 10-mile turnaround, and since Anne is the doctor and my “running mom”, she made the call that, for my knee’s sake, we were definitely keeping the route at 20 miles, not 25. (She made the right call but in hindsight I wish we would have continued on.) With about 8 miles to go Anne was hitting the ladies’ room and I walked on a bit to prevent my knee from getting stiff. I decided to stop to check out the cows. I had a big, dumb grin on my face as I watched them mooove around. (I couldn’t help that.) One was literally frolicking. She’s happy it’s springtime too! Anne then pointed out a cow and told me it was an “oreo cookie” cow.
She pointed out that one that’s just left of center . . . a brown front end and butt with a white middle. I thought surely she had made up that term for her kids when they were small. But no! I googled it and found out that it’s a Belted Galloway cow and that they are commonly known as “oreo cookie cows”. Is there anything that woman doesn’t know?
After saying goodbye to the cows, we continued on our way. The remaining miles were pain free, warm, sunny and just generally wonderful. I even ditched my long sleeves and ran the last 4 miles in a tank top. WOOHOO!!!!! We encountered a bunch of day hikers, a few section hikers, and several runners also out enjoying the beautiful weather. We reached the end of the run feeling great, and checked out some ducks by the creek. All in all, it was a great run.
As I write this, I’m feasting on a super-yummy post-run meal. I like to make lots of stuff in big batches once a week so I can just throw stuff in a bowl and squirt some sriracha on it when lunch time rolls around. It makes life easy with two hungry little ones. It also makes life easy when you’re tired and HUNGRY from a long run. Today I decided to warm everything up rather than just eating it cold on top of spinach. I melted some coconut oil in my cast iron skillet and added some cubed (previously sauteed) tofu, some roasted butternut squash, some roasted broccoli and a copious amount of turmeric. (My friend Ashleigh reminded me of it’s anti-inflammatory properties so I figured it could help my knee.) I’ve never used much turmeric, and threw a LOT in the pan. Everything turned yellow-orange. At the end I threw in a little spinach just to wilt it. I put that all on a plate and squirted some sriracha on top. It was absolutely delicious!!
I hope it’s finally spring time where you are and that you are getting out to enjoy the sunshine!