The plan

I’ve found that my knee does better on the treadmill. I’m pretty sure that’s because I never have to run downhill on the treadmill.

There isn’t a good time of year for an injury, but spring is a particularly unfortunate time for one.


The trails are calling!

In order to give my knee time to heal, my plan is to run just two days a week leading up to the Blue Ridge Marathon on April 18th.

I’m hoping to still run the HospiceCare 10K Chocolate Chase at the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival the weekend before.

Depending on how all of that goes, I will decide at packet pick-up the night before the marathon whether I need to drop down to the half (or even the 10K.)

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No Go

Well, I tried.

I showed up on the morning of the Charlottesville Ten Miler and hung out inside JPJ with nearly 2000 other runners. For some reason, I was more nervous than I ever remember being before a race.

The weather was close to perfect: high thirties and overcast.

IMG_20150321_071157469_HDRI lined up in the middle, which made the first mile incredibly slow. I had planned to run slowly, but this was slower than slow. I didn’t care, though. I was just hoping to make it to the finish line with no pain.

The first couple of miles were fine. I felt a few little twinges, but nothing too serious.

The long down hill stretch on Preston got me, though. Just before I hit the downtown mall, the pain returned. I had promised myself that if this happened, I would stop. I didn’t want to chance doing anything that might prolong my recovery.

So, about four and half miles into the race, I stopped. I made my way over to the sidewalk and quickly removed my bib.

I crossed the pedestrian mall to Main Street just in time to cheer for Kurt as he ran by.

It was a cold walk back to JPJ.

I couldn’t even look at the finish line.

Once I got home, it really hit me. I hated that I hadn’t finished. This race is a big deal in Charlottesville. It seemed like everybody I knew had run.

I’m trying very hard to be positive.

I looked back at my training log and realized that my knee pain had come back in October and a week off was all it took to cure it that time.

Maybe it won’t take months to go away, like it did the first time.

So far, it’s been three weeks with only one short test run per week.

In the meantime, I’m doing some cross-training and strength training.

I think I have some relative weakness in my quadriceps that exacerbates the problem. I’ve started doing exercises to help correct that. I’m also back to doing the exercises the physical therapist gave me to work on for my foot and ankle.

I’m planning to take the rest of the week off and then test it out again on a short run this weekend.

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I Changed My Mind

I went to Ragged Mountain Running Shop today and bought some KT tape for my knee.

IMG_20150320_133938235While I was there, I talked to Mark (the owner of Ragged Mountain and our local running guru) about my knee pain. I told him how upset I was because I didn’t think I should run the Ten Miler. He seemed to think that it would be okay for me to run as long as I was willing to stop at the first sign of pain.

That decided it.

Well, that and the fact that I’m already registered and my knee has been feeling better for a few days now. It’s been a full week since the last time I tried to run.

I’m nervous, but I can’t just stay home.

I’ve already taped my knee. I’ll run very easy and carry my phone in case I need to bail and call Kurt for a ride.

Now I just need to make it to the finish line.

KT tape has magical properties, right?

I’m pretty sure I read that on the box.

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Frustrated and Sad

My knee pain is back. It’s the same pain I had back in July.

This time, it started last Tuesday a little less than four miles into what was supposed to be an eight mile run. I had to cut the run short.

At first, it only hurt when I ran.

My friend Rebecca was visiting this weekend and we did quite a bit of hiking. The weather wasn’t great while she was here, but there was a long enough break from the rain to get a few miles in on the Appalachian Trail.


IMG_20150313_151000267_HDRMonday morning, I went back to 6:15 Cycle at Carver and was happy to see that the class was pretty full.

Unfortunately, I think I overdid it. Yesterday the knee was hurting on the bike and even just walking around.

I guess I will be in the pool for a while.

I don’t know what this means about the Blue Ridge Marathon, but I can’t even think about that right now. I’m having a hard enough time dealing with not being able to run the Charlottesville Ten Miler this weekend.

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Blue Ridge Marathon Training (Week 18)

Aaaaaand…More snow.


Rest day
Rest day

9 easy miles
6 easy miles on the treadmill at Smith

8 miles total with 4 X 1 mile @ 7:51 with 400 jogs
8 easy miles with a few stairs and hills thrown in for fun.

I went to the track at 5:30 and did my warm-up with the Speedsters, but I was still a little sore and felt like I needed more recovery before attempting another speed workout, so I just did my own thing.

Cross train
4 easy miles on the treadmill

Another snow day. I called the gym to make sure they were open (which they were), but they closed before I got there (at 6 a.m.!!) It was 38 degrees and raining, but the forecast was for sleet and snow, which did come, but not until about 11 a.m.

So I went home and ran on the treadmill.

Rest day
Rest day

We were snowed in. We ended up getting about 6 more inches of snow on top of a layer of freezing rain. We live on a private road that doesn’t get plowed.

16 easy miles
16 slippery miles on the Monticello Trail

I wanted to run somewhere else, but the snow and ice hadn’t had a chance to melt yet, so I knew running anywhere else would be extremely frustrating and probably dangerous as well. The Monticello Trail had at least been plowed, but there were still several icy patches to slow me down. I had pretty good energy, but I was having some issues with my right foot. The outside edge of my foot and the callus on my big toe were both hurting.

9 easy miles
cross train

I’m really trying to give my body more time to recover from my runs. Since I’d been forced to run on Thursday because the gym was closed, I decided to make Sunday my cross-training day.

I rode the stationary bike at the gym easy for 35 minutes, followed by 10 easy minutes on the AMT. I’m caught up on the Invisibilia podcasts, so I started listening to Serial.

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Blue Ridge Marathon Training (week 17)

It was another frigid and snowy week.

IMG_20150217_073212160I didn’t actually stick to the schedule, but realistically, I’m too far behind to even attempt to get back on track.

Anyhow, this is what my training looked like last week:

Rest or cross train

11 easy miles
9.25 easy miles on the treadmill at the gym.
The treadmills at Carver Rec Center shut off after an hour. There might be a way to keep that from happening, but I haven’t tried to figure it out yet. I planned to take a water break after an hour, anyway.

9 miles with 5 mile tempo run @ 8:30 pace
7.85 mile speed workout with Charlottesville Speedsters at the UVA track:

2 mile warm-up followed by:
1 mile @ 8:03
4 minutes easy
2 miles in 8:05, 7:49
5 minutes easy
1 mile @ 7:46
cool down

I was pretty proud of myself for getting out there at 5:30 in the morning when it was only 11 degrees out. Oh, and I got a flat tire on the way there, but decided not to deal with it until after the workout. I was very happy that I had renewed my AAA membership.

Cross train
I had every intention of going to the gym and riding a bike or getting on the AMT for about an hour, but it snowed overnight. Because of the weather, the gym was only open from 10-5. I was at work that entire time. There was absolutely NO reason for the gym to close at 5pm. I was pretty upset about that.


20 easy miles
20.06 NOT easy miles with Andi at the Monticello trail.
Well, the first 14 miles were fairly easy. Those last 6 miles would have been absolutely miserable if I didn’t have somebody with me. I was very grateful that Andi had suggested we meet up and run part of our long run together.

10 easy miles
3 easy (but not!!) miles on the treadmill at home with some walk breaks. Yikes! I was VERY sore, and my energy was LOW. I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt that bad the day after a long run.

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Running for a Reason (other than a new PR)

Be More Charitable

Ragged Mountain Running Shop and C-VILLE Weekly are sponsoring a new program this year that is designed to get people to register for more races that benefit local charities. They’re calling it the C-ville-athon.

cvilleathonIf you register, and then run a total of at least 26.2 miles worth of local, non-profit races before the end of the year, you get a technical C-ville-athon t-shirt.

I don’t need the shirt, but I think it’s a great concept.

I feel like a hypocrite saying that about the shirt, though, since I just registered for my first qualifying race (the Charlottesville Ten Miler) and there was an option on the registration form to skip the t-shirt, and have the extra money go to the race charity instead, and I went for the shirt.

I wish this was an option at more races. In most cases, it’s something I would do, but I want my Charlottesville Ten Miler shirt. They’re promising a technical, gender-specific shirt for what is arguably the iconic local race. It may be selfish, but I want that t-shirt.

To my credit, though, I did make an additional donation to MACAA (the Monticello Area Community Action Agency) the official race charity beneficiary, to make up the difference for choosing the shirt.

In the past (I’m embarrassed to admit) I have often left the “additional donation” field blank when registering for races meant to benefit a charity.

I guess I figured I was doing something just by paying the registration fee, but the truth is, non-profit races are actually very inefficient when it comes to raising money through registration fees alone. Races are expensive to put on. The charities rely on people making additional donations.

So, being more charitable will be my first step in my quest to live a more meaningful life.

Running more non-profit races and actually donating to the charities is something I can do that will make all the training I’m going to do anyway a little more worthwhile.

Just for the record, I’m not completely uncharitable. Kurt and I make yearly donations to a few organizations that we both care about.

We could certainly do more, though, and I’d like to.

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