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On Saturday I went for my first run in one week. I hadn’t run in a week because I was having a weird pain on the side of my knee which caused so much pain I could not run for one mile nonstop. I’m not one to go to doctors — no reason for it, it’s just the way I am — so I decided to give it a rest, take some Advil, yadda, yadda.

I have been walking to school since I didn’t get much running in and also because I prefer not to drive if possible (I like being ‘green’). The first day or so I could definitely feel the side pain while coming down the steep hills we have here on campus. And, to be completely honest, I couldn’t resist but to run a bit, but just a bit. 😉 So I knew the pain wasn’t entirely gone, therefore I continued to stay off the running. But Thursday or Friday I was feeling great. No pain in the knee going up or down hills or stairs! So I figured the pain is gone or has subsided enough that it will allow me to run my usual Saturday run. So I tried it out.

I was able to run the first mile, but then I started feeling the knee pain. It wasn’t as bad as it normally was, so I continued on. During the run I was chattin’ with Levi (L-squirrel) and Jim about this problem. Fortunately for me, they knew exactly what the problem was. IT-band syndrome. Oh hell. I remember Levi having this issue and the amount of pain he was in. There was even a time when he started the run with us and quit 100 feet into the run because of the same issue. Nick also happened to mention that this pain typically lasts for quite some time.

I would stop and rest the knee by walking for 20-30 feet and then continue the run. This helped for the first 7.5 to 8 miles of the run, but then I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Around mile 9, when we got back to Land’s End, Levi and Jim suggested I take the trail out to the road and walk it back. I wasn’t sure if I should do that since I feared it would feel better 2 minutes into my walk back and then I’d wish I would have chosen to run the trail. But I got lucky. This was the best decision I had made all day. There were times when the pain on the walk back would get progressively worse, so then I would imagine what it would’ve been like had I run the trail (the mud totally wasn’t helping the pain).

I made it back to the Corp of Engineers slightly before Jim and Levi, washed off, and chatted with Nick about the pains. I think I’m gonna need some time off running, but I hope it’s not too long. For this reason I’m glad I’m not signed up for any races, otherwise the pressure and the stress would be overwhelming.

To maintain a level of fitness (I’ll be damned if I worked this hard to get to where I’m at and then lose it), I decided to get a mountain bike and get busy on the roads (eh, not preferred, but I’ll take it) and trails. This way I’m cross-training and taking it easy on the knee (and, of course, maintaining my fitness). 20-25 miles per day is ideal, but good days maybe 30 miles. Summertime is much easier to work in 400-600 miles per month than, say, during the regular school year. Since I’m obviously not a mountain biker, I can’t do any technical trails like Clinton, but River Front is great and there’s another one on the other side of the river. So that combined with some (non high-traffic) roads will have to do for now. It’s actually pretty fun since I’m not used to going “so fast” if not in a car; it’s a totally different perspective for me. And we have some hills near campus that’ll make you work hard. I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to dominate those hills, but I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe my running had something to do with that. 😉 Ha!

Hope everyone is healthy and tearin’ it up on the trails. I’ll be back soon enough. Hopefully by Saturday.

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