The knights who say “knee”

I used to be a knight like you, but then I took an arrow to the ni knee. Well not an arrow as much as an old injury that cracked the cartilage. I had surgery on it in 2000 and it’s not given me many problems since, but occasionally it likes to remind me it’s not 100% stable.

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Which it did at about mile 1.5 of Sunday’s Cap 10K. We walked the remaining 4.75 miles, and it bothered me periodically but not consistently. It didn’t feel like a serious injury though, so I took it easy the rest of Sunday and during the day Monday. In arguably the second-greatest case of injury denial ever, before I went to core class Monday evening, I drove out to the trail to test its recovery.

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The first quarter-mile, on a completely flat surface, it felt fine. But on the downhill sections for the next half-mile, I had to stop and walk multiple times. But it seemed okay as I headed up the little switchback and along the flat section to finish one mile. The next little downhill felt better so I kept going until the 1.5 marker. On the way back, nothing hurt but I could tell I had changed the way my left foot hit the ground, I guess out of concern that the next step might hurt.

Tuesday at work, it felt significantly improved, but a couple of times going down the stairs I noticed a twinge or two. I decided I’d go out and meet my training group, but I’d back off or walk if it hurt at all.

My sports doctor does injury evaluations at Rogue on Tuesday evenings, so when I got there I had him look at it. Based on the fact that I ran hard for ten miles the week before, and my quads felt fatigued pretty much all week afterwards (and the left one was still really tight), he thinks I just didn’t rest it enough before attempting another race a week later. Even though we weren’t racing, per se, the steady elevation increase the first 1.25 miles put extra strain on what has always been a slightly unstable joint. He said I could run with the group (actually he recommended I rest it until Saturday, but since I was already there he knew I would reject the idea of NOT running) but if it hurt at all, I’d have to bail.

In the end, I ran the 1.25-mile warmup, the two-mile run, and  the 1.25-mile cooldown with no pain at all. The route’s varied elevation didn’t make a difference–it felt fine the whole way.

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The next couple of days, I will do some kind of cross-training instead of running, and I’ll only run five miles on Saturday. Then hopefully I can be back at full-strength next week. Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptang Zoo Boing! indeed.

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