The Old Man and the Knee

After 96 pain-free races and over 3,000 miles of no injuries in a little less than two years of running, this old man finally had a reality check this week. Race #97 was supposed to have been the Bele Chere 5k in Asheville. Instead, I hobbled around Martha Rivers Park Saturday morning as I’ve been doing all week. This time I managed to do the Grandpappy Amos for 2.3 miles before giving up.
There is a rule of thumb that almost every runner knows and most runners adhere to: Never increase your mileage by more than 10% in a week. It’s one of the first rules of running most of us learn, and until recently I followed it religiously. For some reason though, about three weeks ago I decided that maybe it didn’t apply to me. Uh… probably not a great idea. I had been running 40 miles a week for a while and decided that adding another 10 miles wouldn’t be any big deal.  It worked fine for the first two weeks, but by the third week things started to unravel on me. I had to cut the 18-mile run to 11 miles and all of a sudden I developed an intermittent pain in my right knee. Part of the time it would feel fine, but all of a sudden I would land a certain way and get a painful dose of reality. In the beginning, if I kept running for a few minutes it would go away, but it was becoming more frequent as I kept running.
I’m slowly jogging a couple miles now each day and I have an appointment at the Gaston Rehab Running Performance Center this coming Tuesday so I can get an accurate diagnosis and hopefully get back on track. Only time will tell, but I think it’s just a temporary setback and a minor problem that needs some rest and common sense, neither of which is one of my strong points.
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