Today’s scheduled run was a 15 mile run at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area again. Last time we did this I managed to kick butt big time, tackling the huge hills with ease and then managing to run the Nike+ Human Race 10K the next day just fine.
But, you’ve gotta respect the course and respect the distance. Just because it was easy one time doesn’t mean it will always be that way. So today I went into the run with a certain amount of trepidation, I wanted to make sure that I did my best to run well while being safe. And the run started off really well, I managed to leave everybody behind on all the hills. I paused my Nike+ and waited at the overlook for them to catch up, enjoying the breezes and the scenery.
Once the group was all back together we started on the downhill side. And we were flying… I knew I should have been more careful, I just got caught up in the speed and the fun and the excitement. I let myself go and ran down the hills too fast.
After a little more than 12 miles, my left knee decided it was through. No more running. The sharp, severe pains radiating from behind my kneecap made me yell out expletives and stop my forward motion. My teammates stopped with me to give me moral support. And medical support!
(If you don’t have a sports chiropractor/athletic trainer in your training program, I highly recommend one. Especially if that person is your friend and they run with you. It really helps out when you end up in pain.)
My pal Donna (the aforementioned doctor) didn’t hesitate as she pulled my knee strap off and started massaging my knee. We had just passed one of the Team sponsored water stops, so she sent Melinda back to get ice. The ice was massaged into my knee, hitting certain trigger points that caused pain while still feeling really good. She had me sit down on the ground and did a quick adjustment, after a popping in my knee I was back on my feet with the knee strap on and we were moving again, albeit much slower this time.
We did a little bit of walking mixed with running and I managed to cover 13 miles. But when one of our course/water stop volunteers passed us, I caught a ride to the end. I was done for the day. The Team support crew at the end of the course sprayed me down with BioFreeze, wrapped my leg up with ice/saran wrap and gave me a cookie. It was really nice to have a whole bunch of people who care about you, a lot easier than training completely on your own.
I was angry with myself, I didn’t want to quit early. It was frustrating to think that I couldn’t finish this run when I had done so well with it before. Especially since it was my own fault for being stupid and thinking I could cruise along down the hill at top speeds. But as I was getting in the car to quit for the day, Melinda said something along the lines of, “You’re doing the best thing for yourself that you can right now.”
And she’s right. While I’m still a little frustrated, I am also pleased with myself for knowing when to call “Uncle” and take a break before I really hurt myself. I have done an ice bath, I have eaten… and now I’m going to put some more ice on my knee, prop it up and hopefully catch a short nap.
I’ll be alright, the knee is already feeling a lot better, just a little stiff. I just need to get past feeling like I failed in some way today.