Posts from the ‘Runner’s Knee’ Category

We now rejoin this blog, already in progress…

75 Degrees and endless Sun in sight.  I am loving this weather.

Weather is a weird subject these days. Things seem very volatile with earthquakes and tornadoes causing massive amounts of destruction and death in seemingly safe environments. Snow piled high enough in the Tri-State area to cause concern this winter, and the two weeks of endless rain we recently had were just plain awful. I am hoping we’re past the worst of the transitional weather and can welcome in a period of calm weather patterns for some time.

WTF? Whose blog was that?!?!

So, I just moved into a lovely new apartment in Kingston, NY. I threw out and gave away all my old junk, and am easily falling more and more in love with my new apartment every day. That’s my measure of knowing that I am on a good path, if every minute that I breathe I am happier in a situation. Last night was the first night that I decided not to be unpacking or cleaning or socializing and simply sat down on the couch and ate pizza and watched TV. It was a nice change of pace, to be comfortable doing nothing.

Of course, I did wake up at an ungodly hour to go for a morning 5 mile run, so…I guess it’s a good balance.

It’s probably a good time to put this blog back on track, and go back to talking about un-running. This summer’s running season will be spent training for my Half Marathon in September.  The week of June 27th starts the 12 week training program by my favorite anal retentive running trainer, Hal Higdon.  For now, I am maintaining 15-25 (depends on my schedule) mile weeks, as I have done through the winter, and have added in short biking sessions (3-7 miles), which seems to be helping my knees. I am also taking swimming lessons for cross training (read: Next year’s blogs will be about Triathlon training). But for now, the biking and swimming are just for fun and for weight loss. Oh, right. I will be training again, which means paying attention to optimum weights (which I NEVER achieve, but I am over it) etc.

I do, however, get to eat more carbs ; ) It’s a trade off.

She will be mine...

I’ve decided that my goal for the half will be three-fold. 1) Not to die. 2) To try desperately to have fun. 3) 2 hours, 50 mins. I used Runner’s World’s training calculators to pick a speed that I felt was both challenging and attainable. This will mark the first time that I run a race with a time goal in mind. We’ll see how it goes before I determine if it will be my last!

On a side note, Molly  is ending her long seasons of training and hitting the pavement for her first HIM (Half-Iron Man) on Sunday. This girl has untiring amounts of dedication and drive, though I am not sure that the word untiring should be used at all  when speaking of a Half IM. I get tired just thinking about it. I’m proud of you, Lady! And anxiously await pics of your smile as you cross the finish line ; )

From Sake Bombs to Matzoh Balls, and Everything in Between…

So much to blog and so little time.  Okay, top 5 memories from the last three weeks:

1) Sake bomb introduction.  “Hello there pitcher of beer and sake wine decanter.”  The best invention (and the host of the evening ) might be the all you can eat Sushi restaurant in Tribeca called Ashiya Sushi. I won’t lie, the sushi is good, but not wonderful, but don’t go there for the Sushi.  The secret is, this is one of the few all-you-can-eat sushi joints that BEER AND SAKE is INCLUDED. Take my lead and go with 20 of your closest friends and chase each piece of Sushi with a Sake Bomb!  For those who don’t know the recipe for a sake bomb, it is FANTASTIC.  You take a sake glass and fill’er up. Then, you fill a pint glass to 3/4 full.  Then, you carefully arrange the sake glass on a “bridge” of your chopsticks, which you lay on top of the glass.  Then, you smack the table, the sake cup falls into the Pint Glass, and you drink the whole thing.  Obviously, you need to be with the right group of people for this place AND you need to plan to be drunk, ’cause if you aren’t drunk, you’ll be the only one.  THAT is never fun. And, for another reco, follow up this experience by booking a private karaoke room at Duet 35  for you and your friends.  Both of these plans made for a very fun Asian-themed drunk-fest!

2) Went for 3 really good, longer training runs.  They were the first 5+ mile runs I had done since my knee started acting up, and they went quite well.  There’s nothing like a spring day long run with beautiful scenery to back it up. This makes me smile.

3) My bike came!  And she’s super pretty.  I cannot wait to hit the roads with Molly!  The man-friend put her together (with a little help from Kingston Cyclery) and now I am ready to hit the road!  While awaiting her arrival, I have been doing brick workouts at my gym using the treadmill and the exercise bike.  I gotta say, if you have never done that, it’s a fabulous experience in balance and determination the first few times you give that a go.  (A brick workout is a bike-ride following a run.) You have to balance your desire to step off the bike and go shower with your desire to NEVER MOVE YOUR LEGS AGAIN! They will feel like bricks, and you’ll contemplate spending the rest of your life standing still.  The first time I experienced this, I FORGOT that what I had just done was a brick workout. I was just biking following a run on the treadmill to help my knee issues.  I hoped off the bike following a three mile run and an 8 mile ride and…fell.  And laughed.  There’s always laughter.  I then remembered what this was (from hearing stories from others) and stretched.  Eventually I was able to walk again. It’s a good kind of pain though, and I am happy that I am now ready to take the act of biking out of the gym.  Open road, here I come!!  And I mean that quite likely literally too, so I bought a first aid kit and tools.

4) High-Fay-ave!  Have you seen the movie Borat?  I can’t lie, I am more than a little bit of a prankster.  On a whim one night, while laying in bed, I decided to tell the man-friend that Linus (my overly anxious chihuahua)  gives high fives. “But only if you request it of him using the accent from Borat.”  I demonstrated a few times, and then forgot.  It’s a little ridiculous to think that my dog responds to any word at all, let alone throwing in a language barrier. The truth is, Linus does give high fives, but only when he lies on his back, paws in the air, and you put your hand up for him, already kinda near his paw, and he has to only stretch a few inches.  I think it’s more of a protection mechanism.  It’s certainly nothing I have taught him, but I think it’s cute, so I’ve encouraged.  But you don’t have to say a word, and you certainly don’t need to use a Kazakstan-ian accent.  What language do they speak there anyway?!?  Regardless, I had forgotten about it until a few days later I hear the man-friend in the other room say to the doglet, “HIGH-Fayve” with an outstretched hand.  Tears fell.  Belly laughter.  Days worth of smiles for me.  It was great.

5) The Passover Sedar.  I went to two of them this year (which beats the previous years zero) and found that sometimes religion can be enjoyable.  I have nothing funny to say about this.  Just truth.

My apologies for the lack of recent blogging.  I’ve been traveling for work, and just downright exhausted.  But don’t worry, the bike is bound to cause ridiculousness (have I mentioned I’ve never ridden a bike with varying speeds??) , and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

A Runner with Runner’s Knee.

Next Saturday I am running a 5K race in NYC.

With a knee injury.

I hope.

Icing kneeI don’t hope that I have a knee injury, unfortunately, I took care of that quotient this week. I am hoping that I will be able to run it.  I’ll know later today, when I hit the pavement for the first time since my painful experience with Runner’s Knee.

As a person who lives in fear of knee or foot injuries, I was very freaked out when I finished my run last Tuesday and had a small knee ache which didn’t subside by the time I hopped out of my shower and into my car. A few hours later, after sharing dinner with friends, I stood up from the table and realized my knee ache had turned into a full-on painful experience.  Driving home was a bit of agony, and walking up my stairs was almost impossible. I went to bed hoping to wake up free of pain, and didn’t.  So I started an Advil and icing regimen, and began to do research online.  It didn’t take much effort at all to realize it was Runner’s Knee.

Runner’s World had a great article on Runner’s Knee, as did many other sources, and I feel adequately prepared to “run through” the issue, as long as today’s run goes as planned (I’m keeping it really small, just 3 miles, which is about 40% of my typical weekend runs these days).

D'oh!

Things I did wrong which lead me to this point:

Increased my mileage too far and too fast:  10% a week is apparently a good increase, for someone with Runner’s Knee issues. I went from 5 mile runs to 7 mile runs very abruptly a few weeks ago. Great for my self-esteem, apparently not-so-great for my new(ish) runner’s knees.

Speed work. I’ve always hated speed-work.  In this case, I was running as fast as I could for a short period of time, before returning to a slower speed for a bit until I recovered.  I am terrible at recovery, and therefore hate doing speed-work.  Because 5K is such a short distance, I wanted to do some speed-work before my race.  It wouldn’t have been so bad, ‘cept I also did,

Hills. The bane of my running existence.  I need to start running them more regularly. Unfortunately, my neighborhood is fairly hilly, so because I didn’t want to drive anywhere that day for a run, I did my speed-work on Hills. I get the Brainiac of the year award.

To be honest, none of the above were that bad. It was just too much, to fast of all three that compounded into, well, THIS.

The biggest mistake that I have done overall is that I have only been running, and have not widened my exercise repertoire to include any other activity.  One of the most likely causes of my issues is an extreme imbalance of my Quadriceps muscles to my Hamstring Muscles.

Trek Madone Women's Bicycle

NOT in my price range : (

Armed withthis information (from numerous sources on the internet) I loaded up on anti-inflammatory pills, iced the knee for a few days and took it a little bit easy until the pain was mostly gone.  Since then, I began a Quadracepts muscle routine, and have spent time at the gym using (brace yourself) a standing exercise bike. I am now on the market for a fairly inexpensive road bike, but will continue using the one at the gym until I manage to find a decent one in my price range.This was a seriously important lesson for me.

I was really devastated for a few moments when I felt as though there was a possibility that I would no longer be able to run to the extent that I have been.  Thoughts of weight gain, and anxiety flooded into my head and I was panicked that I wasn’t going to be able to use running to control either of these any longer.  I clearly need to expand my exercise horizons as it is no secret that running is one of the harder ones on your body—made worse by the fact that I am both a new runner and a woman.  There are more muscles in my body than running works, and I need to ensure that I am exercising all of them.

Now, I just have to figure out something to do with my arms. Would knitting count?