Almost eight weeks ago, I ran a benefit 5K near my hometown. The weeks prior to the run had been hit or miss with training because I had developed an ITB issue in my right leg. After strength training I was in a better place but had not put more than a couple of miles every other day in the week leading up to the 5K. That morning, however, I felt well physically and the right leg did not bother me. The race was later in the afternoon so I tried running short intervals during the day and did not have any trouble. During the race, I set out at a pretty good clip on a flat course. Realizing that I was running too fast for my training, I stopped about at the mile mark to walk for .25 miles and then started running at a 10:30/mile, which for me is a good pace. Almost 2.5 miles in I was feeling great and decided not to push it much farther so I decided to walk another .25 miles, but just before my chosen stop point I felt a significant pop in my left knee. Immediately I stopped running and checked my knee and decided it was stable enough to walk in the final half mile. Considering the knee pain, I completed the course in under 36 minutes walking slowly the final half mile (so I was on a really good pace for me). Considering my athletic training background, I’m pretty good at detecting serious injuries and this one felt serious so I headed to an urgent care place first thing the following Monday. I had torn the meniscus in the knee, which an MRI confirmed. I’m scheduled for surgery/scope in two weeks.
It has been a rough setback for running and writing. While I started the running thing not to run but to get in shape for hiking, I had come to enjoy the accomplishment of covering miles and had even got to a place where the runs themselves were enjoyable. As I noted in an earlier post, the running worked well with my writing, so noticed late in the eight weeks is that writing had become harder as well. The first excuse for not writing was the end of the semester rhythm creates grading pressure, but I realized there might be another factor. My routine had been to run in the morning and then write 500 words. By not running I had altered how I engaged writing. The end of any semester is still a good reason to fall off the writing wagon, but in six months I had trained myself to run and write. With one missing, the other appeared to suffer. That changed last week when I took some steps to work on my core body strength while waiting for surgery and rehab on the knee. As the blog posts from the last two days indicate, I am writing again. It is interesting that a side benefit of running besides health is the way it helps me think and write. Running may not be the key factor as the exercise at the end of last week and early this week appears to help, but I look forward to running again. As for now, however, I’ll put one foot in front of the other so that I can walk regularly and rebuild my health and knee in a different and better way. Writing appears to find its way back when I am am active.