Monday, November 15, 2010

DNF #2 & Deep Fried Funk

I rested the whole week after NYCM, to give the knees a break. They didn't hurt all week. Maybe that was because I didn't run all week? In any case, Saturday morning broke clear and crisp and COLD and I was so excited to go out to Lake Grapevine and finally get my run on and hit the trails for a little 15K at the Rockledge Rumble. I planned to take it nice & easy and just enjoy the day and enjoy my transition from road racing to trail running.

Katie & Kevin - Kevin ran his first ultra on Saturday! WOOT!
My knees had other ideas. After meeting (FINALLY) with Kate and Kevin (the most adorable couple ever) at the start and chatting briefly with Jeremy who was out there volunteering, we watched the 50K group take off, then it was our turn.The first part of the route was on pavement as we ran down the road from the pavilion to the trail head. The first few steps felt great - my body was saying, "Oh, yeah, running, I remember that. It's what we were doing until Mile 23 last week. Cool."  But after about a quarter-mile, my left knee twinged a little. I thought it just needed to warm up, so I didn't give it much thought.

Start of Rockledge Rumble 50K.

Then we turned onto a grassy area before the trailhead and the footing was slightly uneven. Not much, but more uneven than the pavement. And it twinged again. Not enough to slow me down, but enough that I knew it was there. Then we turned onto the path. And it felt so good to run again. And it was a glorious morning and the trail is amazing and I was so happy to be out there. And then, the first slight little descent. And by slight, I mean SLIGHT. And there it was again. Ouch. Twinge?  Tweak? Pain? Maybe not pain, but I had to stop and think whether I could seriously do this for another 8 miles. And even if I could, should I?

I had toyed with the idea of doing the Fort Worth marathon on Sunday, too, thinking that even if I ran slow and didn't think about my finish time that I would qualify for Maniacs once and for all. I didn't have any knee pain or popping or anything all week, so I was still holding to hope that I might be able to do it. But after about 800 yards on the trails, I knew that wasn't going to happen. I knew that the run on the trails wasn't going to happen. The knee was twinging on every step, more so if it was a descent. There are many more miles to run, and more goals to meet, so I had to stop and turn around.

It sucked. I know it was the right thing to do. But it was an absolutely gorgeous day. No, really. I cannot remember a more perfect day for running through the woods. And then there was the uncertainty that started to creep in about what is wrong with my knee. It was a long walk back to the car, let me tell you what. By the time I got there, I was nearly in tears. And then I called a friend I was supposed to meet after the race to let her know that I would be there early, and the tears started. And I cried the whole way to where I was meeting her. It was the start of a very emotional up & down weekend for me.

Train for a marathon as your singular focus for five months. Come up short on your time goal, despite it being an overall amazing experience. Hurt yourself in the process. Don't run for a week trying to make it better and find out, no, you're still broken. Throw all that in a pot and stir it up, and you're going to have some serious funk, I tell you what. I tried to lift myself out of it by cheering on some friends at the FW marathon the next day, and that did help some, but mostly, I just felt jealous of all the runners out there on another picture-perfect day. It was another up & down emotional roller coaster of a day.

yay! my buddies on course at Fort Worth marathon.
I staved off my jealousy long enough to cheer for them...
Luckily, I have some great friends and an amazing husband, all of whom have been very supportive and encouraging and reassuring. So much of my identity is tied into running and it's scary to think that I am going to be sidelined for any amount of time. What happens to a runner if they can't run? What am I then? What happens if I trained for so long and the rest of my body is ready and willing to run hard at White Rock and get Maniacs and fulfill my goals, but my stupid knees won't cooperate? Then what?  Yeah. I'm kind of a mess.

I have an appointment later today with a highly recommended sports therapy clinic in Fort Worth. I am hoping and praying for good news and a fast recovery. I don't just want to run again... I need to run again. I need to break out of this funk now and I can't do it if I can't Run It Out.  I have focused on running for so long that I am kind of a mess without it. I would have to re-invent myself if I can't run, and dammit, I can't do that right now. I don't want to do that right now. Sigh.

More to come, I'm sure...


hokgardner said...

I am so, so sorry. I've been there, and I know how sucky it is.

Hang in there and get better.

Anonymous said...

Corina, I am so sorry you are injured, and I am praying for a quick recovery! Don't forget you can aquajog, lol... Love you lots!

Lesley @ said...

So sorry the knee is still hurting. It hasn't been very long since NY, so maybe it'll recover with just a little more time.

It was so nice to "meet" you even if just for a second yesterday!!!

Jason said...

Got to your blog via Lesley. I am sorry to read about your knee and I am hoping that it gets better faster then you want it to.

Nicole said...

Have you tried Dr Brian at Active Spine and Sport on University?