This morning, I started my run at 4,000 feet of elevation in a small town known for it’s apples. The goal was to run 20+ miles and I wanted to add miles at the top of the mountain at the cooler temperatures. So, I traded pace time for some big hills and added 6 miles at elevation before starting the descent. I felt great. No leg pains, no cloudiness in the head, great music, just me and the road. Really enjoyed in the mountains. Much prettier than down here in the city. Fantastic views of the valley.
Met a nice guy who has run 14 marathons. He said he was just running for the health of it and enjoying every minute. Hopeful that someday when he is old and barely moving he’d qualify for the Boston Marathon! I wished him luck as I passed him twice.
Mile 11, HEED, New Strawberry flavor, yummy. At this point, I was pumped up. Had felt great up to this point. My average for the descents was just 8 minutes a mile and that was all I needed. I FLEW down the last big downhill section. Got the first truly hot section of the run at mile 15 and then my performance went from great to bad in just a few miles. I really don’t understand what happened, except that my knee just blew up. Felt like the patella was coming away form the muscles. I could run uphill no problem, but descending just made it feel like FIRE. On all my previous runs, this knee has hurt in the last quarter mile downhill before my house- but it always went away on the flats. Today, I could NOT shake it. Then, I see my hubby hauling my two boys up this massive hill and that was a very cheerful moment. We chatted for a quick minute and I attempted to keep going. I only needed 4 more miles to get to twenty and that would be way before my house, so, I told him to just go and get the car, and I was hoping to finish the run.
Not going to happen. The more I ran, the more pain I had. Ran one tenth, followed by walking four tenths of a mile. Last mile was mostly walking. Finished with 18 miles at a 9:20 pace. Not quite the goal. Bummer. On an interesting note, in an article Runner’s World “Think Fast” by Matt Fitzgerald, he states that your brain focuses on the endpoint and calculates how hard you can push yourself and still complete your workout. “Your brain anticipates when you’re going to be done running and regulates your pace accordingly”. Not sure if this has an effect on my knee but it does make sense that my brain thought I was done. I had already run 15 miles and so it thought I should be winding down.
So, there you go. Nothing but Yoga and ice for a few days and see how it goes.