pasta and a movie: Personal Best

Whoa, it's been awhile, huh? Quickly, as an update to the last post, as I'm sure you've been on the edge of your seats all this time wondering how that pre-run dinner of sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and rice went down. Let me just say I shan't be partaking of the brussel sprouts again anytime soon. Perhaps it was the apples and apple juice I added to the sweet potatoes in the hopes my toddler would eat some, or the brussel sprouts I could hardly get down - either way, that was the least GI-friendly pre-run dinner I've had yet. I guess it works for some, but not this runner.

The following day, however, I did have a pretty good run for the first ten of 14 total miles. I'd been nursing what I think was a strained muscle or ligament or something-or-other behind my left knee since early January (nope, not bursitis, thankfully), and stretching and icing has seemed to all but eliminate that aggravation. But during my 14-mile run three weeks ago my IT band along my right knee started speaking up. I should know from past experience to stop and rest as soon as the pain starts up (when I trained for Big Sur in 2001 I experienced the exact same injury at the exact same point in my training but along the other knee...I made it through training and the marathon but didn't run consistently for years after that). But I didn't. It was simply annoying from miles 2 to about 10 when all of a sudden the soreness turned into pain. I continued to run/walk for about two more miles, even using a wooden roller at the 12 mile water stop to try and roll it out a bit. I finally came to my senses and stopped running shortly after that point and walked the last nearly two miles of the course. I ran very little the next week, took the following weekend off completely (hence no pasta and a movie post), and then attempted to run again the following Tuesday morning. I made it about half-way around the lake when the stabbing pain started up again. I took the rest of that week off, successfully finished a 2-mile test run last Friday and ate this for dinner, but on Saturday morning my run only lasted about 8 minutes. I walked another half-mile or so before turning around to walk back to my car and take care of a little shopping while I waited for the rest of my teammates to finish what should have been my 16-mile run.

Talk about bummed. I've yet to run again. This past week, in addition to a lot of evening stretching, icing, and ibuprofen as often as I actually remember to take it, I did 35 minutes of strength training plus a short yoga routine on Monday, about 25 minutes of lap swimming on Tuesday, aerobics for my cardio on Wednesday, and about 40 minutes of brisk walking (while pushing my son up and down a hill in his trike, I might add) plus another short yoga routine yesterday. My knee feels totally fine, of course, during all of this but an attempt to run again tomorrow will be the true test (we're supposed to do 8-10 during a bit of a step-back week but I'll be happy to make it once around the lake). Swimming kicked my butt on Tuesday so I'm not worried about maintaining my cardio fitness and endurance level during this break from running but with the 18 and 20 mile runs looming over the next two weekends, I am worried about whether or not I'll be ready to run 26.2 miles on March 25th.

Even so, I'm prepared for as much running tomorrow morning as my knee will allow, having made this for dinner tonight and planning to watch this running-related movie in a bit. Wish me luck!