Taper plan & knee pain

Ice me!

I know I’ve pushed a little harder than normal over the past week, including two 8+ mile training runs, but I was surprised to wake up with a sore knee this morning. I’m not even sure if it’s my knee or the muscles surrounding it, but it’s clear that after ten days of runs and workouts I need to take a day to recover.

As predicted, the rain is coming down hard this morning. I’m actually happy about that. Nothing to tempt me to step out for a few miles. Rest is both prescribed and necessary. I’m using the Active Wrap cold packs to ice my knee and the areas directly above and below it. I’m not sure whether to run tomorrow (if the weather gets better) or if I should give my legs another day of rest.

I’m being more conservative about this taper than usual. Right now I’m thinking that I’ll hold off this weekend and do easy runs on Monday and Wednesday, with a tempo run on Tuesday. I’ll then rest on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and limit my activities on those days to walking or core work. I’m hoping that additional rest days will pay off. Eight days to go and counting…

Finally, I’m excited that my running buddy Brian will be joining me at the LI Half Marathon. He ran it last year and carried a video camera, documenting what turned out to be a difficult race. I’m thinking he’ll have a better time of it this year. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep up with Brian and another friend, TC, who just ran the Hook Half Marathon in under two hours.

2011 Running Goals

Here it is, January 17th, and though I’ve already identified my business goals I still haven’t published this year’s running goals.  The following items represent my hopes for this year:

1. Run a half marathon

This challenge would have seemed completely out of reach when I restarted running in 2008 but now it feels like a logical and viable step. I don’t have a half marathon identified but I’m likely to run the one during the RXR LI Festival of Races because the timing works and it’s conveniently located.

2. Score settling

Run my best times ever on the Dirty Sock and Cow Harbor 10K’s. Beat my time in the New Hyde Park 8K (44:42 two years in a row!).

3. Running tourism

Run outside of Long Island at least six times. Bonus for competing in a race outside of LI. 

4. Hit those trails

Add Caleb Smith, Sunken Meadow and one more state park to my trail running experience.

5. Performance

Run 1 mile under 7:50/mile or 2 miles under 8:00/mile.

                                                                                         

Today’s run (street): 5.3 miles

Today is Martin Luther King Day that caps off a very nice long weekend of running. I was again constrained to my neighborhood so I tried to minimize the boredom by changing my route a little. My plan was to run an out-and-back course where I’d go for 25 minutes and then turn around and follow the route back home. Once again I had good energy and was cruising along when I felt a slight pain in my knee at almost the same moment that I was thinking how I never get knee pain. The pain increased and I worried something happened. I was starting to hobble and realized that I was at least two miles from home.

Since I’d done nothing to cause this sudden problem (except to think about knee pain!) I decided that it was likely that it would disappear just as quickly as it came. Every once in while I’ll feel a sharp pain in my ankle when I walk and I just work it out with a few steps. This knee pain seemed to be the same sort of thing and after slowing down a little, the pain passed and didn’t return.

Once the phantom injury was over I re-focused on my route but had gone a little off my planned course that made the out-and-back distances asymmetrical. I ended up adding some extra loops to ensure I surpassed 5 miles and I ended up with another third of a mile as a bonus. I’m hoping to get a chance to run while I’m traveling this week but my schedule is tight. I did cover almost 15 miles over the long weekend and I like the way I’m running right now. Maybe I’ll have a chance to return to the trails next weekend. Hope so.