ORN: 2.5 miles
One of the fun things about running locally is our running club’s annual “Run in The New Year” or RITNY, race. RITNY got started in the early 80s as a midnight run on New Year’s Eve. It has continued, uninterrupted for over 25 years now, kind of an amazing feat for a small running club in a small city.
Somewhere along the line, sane thinkers shifted the run to New Years Day morning, with a breakfast afterwards. It’s a nice format and over 70 people came out today in snow, 25mph winds and a minus 4 wind chill to run. We have a two mile course that folks can run as much or as little as they’d like…it is billed as “less than a race, more than a training run.” The folks at the local hotel where we gathered and then ate looked at us like we were crazy. Then again, they decided we were all sober-crazy, much better than the drunk-crazy people they had seen last night! I enjoyed seeing lots of folks I know and making some new friends.
Looking ahead to the running year, 2008 starts, in many ways, like 2007 started. I’m injured and fuzzy as to goals.
I came to the reluctant diagnosis of “injury” last Saturday. My plan called for an easy 17 mile run. 5.5 miles into it, my right knee, the one giving me fits since Rocket City, packed up again. I walked home and decided to own up to the problem, after all 4 of the long-ish runs since the marathon have triggered the same pain. Reviewing my running log and the relevant literature, it seemed clear to me that this is a case of Chondromalacia a.k.a. “Runner’s Knee.” It is a general pain below the kneecap, exacerbated by use. Reading several sources suggested I probably injured it as part of the difficulty of finishing the Rocket City marathon. The pain is markedly different from the ITB pain I had a year ago.
Treatment is not complicated. Rest for a couple of weeks, then low mileage for another couple of weeks, followed by a gentle easing back to longer runs. Prevention centers on strengthening the quad muscle to provide better alignment of the kneecap. So, that’s the plan. I was happy two easy miles this morning went smoothly.
The immediate implication of the injury is no spring marathons. I had been planning on running in St Louis on April 6 and Traverse City, Michigan on May 24, but there is no way I can or should ramp up by then. Interestingly, my new global goal to “run the best race conditions allow” proved very helpful. Conditioning won’t be there; I can deal with it. I need to find a way to get healthy and stay that way. Two consecutive winters with injuries triggered by fall marathons has me thinking a lot.
As I erased five months of running plans from my calendar Saturday night, feeling a little blue, I came to a wonderful and encouraging realization. There are four, count ‘em, four half-marathons here in Indiana between late March and the end of May. I’ve run three of them before, the fourth is in its first year. It became evident running these four halves is quite a suitable and doable goal for the spring. You can see the race links and dates on the sidebar. There is also a 15km trail race in early March which has some appeal. So, for now, these become the targets.
I’m also paying attention to core strength. Sounds grand but just consists of 25 push ups and sit ups every morning. Astounding what that does for the abdomen, when you do it every day. I’ve also just added leg extensions on the weight bench for quad strength. And, to add something else new for fun, I’m trying out an on-line training log, RunningAHEAD. I’ve never done an on-line log before and this was free, simple, with some tools which may help me. Thanks to new blogging buddy Nick for the tip.
Have a great year, as we all persevere.