how to exercise with runner’s knee

I ran for the first time since Mercedes on Sunday. It was just 5K, but it was much needed. Some runners will tell you that they’ll start getting cranky if they can’t run after a few days. That hadn’t been an issue for me in the past, but this past Saturday I was just in a mood. I realized that runner’s knee or not, I was going to have to get out and run soon or things were going to get worse. 5K later, my knee didn’t seem any worse for wear, but I knew that I’d need to take it easy in the next few days. So I decided to try biking for my next cardio workout.

I determined that I would ride my stationary bike while watching a half-hour TV show. I found myself wanting that show to get over ASAP. But I managed to get through it. It’s interesting to me that I can run for almost two hours, but biking for 30 minutes is really hard. I know that you’re using different muscle groups, but come on, it’s still your legs, right?

I’m going to go back to running tomorrow. I’m running with my sister in a ten-miler on Saturday, and I need to log some more miles before then. I just hope that the by-now familiar numbness will stay away.

Three little letters

F. L. U. There may be no worse three-letter word in the English language; if there is, I admit to bias based on current circumstances.
Fortunately, this hasn’t been the worst case I’ve had. The fever, body aches, and coughing are there, but I’ve been able to work from home for some of the day. This is only day two, though, and I’ve heard that this strain gets worse as it goes along, so there’s that.

the dreaded runner’s knee

Now that my legs have stopped being sore, I’ve found that the runner’s knee that I first experienced a couple of years back has returned. Fortunately, my variant of runner’s knee isn’t painful.  The area around my kneecap just goes numb. It was strange enough the last time to cause me to go to a sports doctor, who diagnosed it and sent me to a physical therapist who helped me through it.

I haven’t run since Mercedes; I had intended to take a week off from running after the race all along.  Every now and then I find that i need to take a week off; it just lets my body recuperate from the accumulated wear and tear. My knee just seals the deal. I guess that it’s time to find the exercise diagrams the physical therapist gave me back then so that I can start doing them again while chiding myself about how I shouldn’t have stopped doing them in the first place. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll be getting more familiar with stationary bikes and elliptical machines in the near future.

The joy of telecommuting

I haven’t telecommuted often. It’s not really necessary when one lives so close to one’s workplace. But the threat of imminent snow/freezing rain/sleet/whatever necessitated it today, so this morning I threw on jeans and a sweatshirt and headed downstairs to work. “Highlights” of the workday included:

  • Getting to reconfigure my VPN connection because my computer forgot the one I had previously set up, which necessitated a call to my boss to get the security credentials again
  • Replacing a DLL file on my laptop that wasn’t working with a completely identical one from my laptop, which magically fixed the problem
  • Windows shutting down my computer mid-keystroke to restart after installing updates
  • My dog London doing his best Snoopy impression, demanding his dinner starting about four in the afternoon
  • There being absolutely no reason weather-wise why I couldn’t have gone in to work today, because all it did until 7:45 this evening was rain

I did actually get some work done, And it was nice to have the whole lunch hour here, with my trip back to work consisting of four steps. So it wasn’t all bad. And with the snow now serenely falling outside, it looks like I’ll get to try it again for at least part of tomorrow.

2015 Mercedes Half-Marathon Race Report

People who know about my running probably know that I consider the Mercedes Marathon something akin to my “Super Bowl” race. It’s my hometown marathon. It’s the site of my first completed half-marathon and marathon. It’s generally the race that I get most pumped about every year since I’ve started racing.

So it was a pretty daunting task in front of me on the morning of October 27, 2014. The race was four months away – and I had just come out of surgery.

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Tennessee’s not on my side

In honor of today’s “Third Saturday in October” game with the Vols, and (admittedly) one of my favorite current commercials starring their most famous football player, a set of jingles. Bet you he wouldn’t sing these!

  • Tennessee can’t play football
  • Throw-up-in-a-pumpkin orange
  • Neyland is a sardine can
  • Get another fight song, please
  • Smokey is an ugly hound
  • I hate Rocky Top so much
  • Bama’s beat ’em seven straight
  • Soon enough it will be eight

2013 Running Stats

With a five-miler this morning, my 2013 running calendar is done. This marked the first year since I’ve taken up running that I set some pretty ambitious goals for myself. You might have followed my Twitter feed as I chronicled my yearly mileage with the hashtag #RunResolution. However, that was not the only goal that I set for myself in 2013. Here’s a look at my 2013 running goals.

  1. I will run at least 1,000 miles this year. I did it! According to my log, I finished with 1,117.31 miles.
  2. I will set PRs in the 5K (22:03 as of 12/31/12), 10K (51:12.8), and half-marathon (1:51:26). I only tied my 5K time, with another 22:03 on September 21 at the Duck and Run 5K in Athens. I did, however, set new PRs in the 10K (46:57 at the A Christmas Story 10K in Cleveland on December 7), and half (1:43:46 at the Team 413 Half Marathon in Homewood on April 13).
  3. If I can successfully register, I will run the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27, 2013, in addition to at least two half-marathons, including Mercedes in February. I didn’t manage to get in due to website problems that could only be rivaled by the government healthcare site, so Marine Corps will have to wait for another year.
  4. If I cannot successfully register for the Marine Corps Marathon, I will run at least three half-marathons this year, including Mercedes in February and Talladega in September. Talladega didn’t fit into my schedule, but I did run three half-marathons as planned: Mercedes in February, Team 413 in April, and the Huntsville Half Marathon in November.

Other interesting (well, to me, anyway) facts about this year:

  • Breakdown of mileage by month:
    • January: 92.37
    • February: 76.87
    • March: 87.19
    • April: 86.60
    • May: 121.37
    • June: 71.07
    • July: 103.24
    • August: 66.76
    • September: 79.10
    • October: 83.92
    • November: 120.51
    • December: 128.31
  • Time spent running this year: 170 hours, 40 minutes, 50 seconds.
  • Average pace per mile: 9 minutes, 10 seconds.
  • Fastest single mile: 6:11 on May 29.
  • Most miles run in a day: 18, December 21.
  • Most miles run in a week: 36.01, week of 12/15-12/21.
  • Number of different states I ran in: four (Alabama, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio).
  • Approximate number of calories my log says I burned: 120,000

I don’t know what my 2014 goals are yet. I’ll have to give that a little thought. Once I figure them out, though, I’ll post them so that you can follow along again as I run through 2014!