13 weeks down – 5 to go and then the unthinkable happens.
Picture me, crushing an 18 mile run, 13 miles sandwiched between 4 mi warm up and 1 mi cool down. Taking on the open road of Central Park, I am on a victorious Mile 10 (or 15) of 13.1, and as I start my periodic “full body scan” major alarms go off once I hit my knee.
First I thought — it’s just hurting because you’re running up a hill and you’re tired AF. It’s fine.
Before I could even get through that thought my heart started sinking in my stomach because this wasn’t feeling like a false alarm.
Is this discomfort, or is it pain? Pain? Discomfort?
I kept repeating that to myself as my *literal* shaking hands went to my iMessage to text Bennett “omg I did something to my knee I’m in so much pain”.
I immediately involuntarily slowed to a walk. Before that I was letting out a combination of a groan/scream/shriek/cry with every step on my left leg.
Now began the pain in my knee, the panic in my brain and the anxiety in my stomach. I pulled over to the side of the course and started STRETCHING out of helplessness. I kept thinking why didn’t I foam roll? why didn’t I do more strength work? why is this happening?
S L O W L Y I started walking again, my heart beating so fast, palms sweaty, (definitely knees weak, arms heavy). After I could calm myself to a non-psychotic state, I established a plan to walk up hill (where I felt the most pain) and jog through downhill and flat terrain. If you know Central Park you know that the west side is basically a mild roller coaster.
My Garmin decided to voice its opinion as it beeped and buzzed welcoming me to Mile 12, declaring that Mile 11 was a hefty 13:34, a full 5 minutes slower than my first miles.
PAUSE. No, UNPAUSE. PAUSE. Save Run? No, UNPAUSE.
This was a very bad, no good, awful, horror story run, and I wasn’t going to cut it short IRL, so I wasn’t going to cut it short on my watch.
Somehow, I LITERALLY DON’T KNOW HOW, I appeared at the finish line in a slow trot (shout out Grete’s Great Gallop, more like Anna Awful Gallop) and without slowing down (there wasn’t much to slow down to, but ok, go ahead) put myself in the Medic tent.
After a few “ow! ow! ow!” and an ice pack, I was sent to receive my bagel and medal. “Probably runner’s knee – take it easy and ice it”
I spent the rest of the day in a combination of denial (I packed gym clothes for the next day) and also hysteria, wrapped in a ball crying about all my hopes and dreams being crushed and also feeling so sympathetic to Ben Simmons.
I’m happy that today I’m in a little bit more of a sane state of mind. I’m still scared sh*tless and in a pretty significant of pain.
I’ve Google’d and assessed every Runner’s Knee article have been in a religious rotation of ice, ibuprofen, 5 leg lifts.
What this means for training I wish I knew. I’m hopeful that each day will feel better.
There’s absolutely nothing like a sideline injury to make you long for the hot, awful, sticky runs, or seriously curse all the times I dreaded my evening runs. I also promise to end every single race like this and love absolutely every race picture no matter the drop crotch-ness.
So, I dunno – send me some positive vibes and I promise I won’t miss a single training run (unless I’m in a lot of pain).