Tuesday, 31 July 2012


I was really nervous before my run this morning. My knee has been acting up, feeling vaguely irritated and apparently kneeding (HA HA) rest. I've been following my physiotherapist's recommendations slavishly, increasing my running time slowly, my running calendar looking like a chessboard:

I couldn't decide what shoes to run in. Should I try my insoles again, to give my tendon some rest? Or should I keep running in my VFF, which were better for my runner's knee? Did it even make any difference or was it all in my head? I was becoming so paranoid at this point that I honestly started believing that my training had nothing to do with how my knee felt. No. It was the weather's fault. Thunder in the air? Discomfort in my knee. Sunshine? Knee's a go. It was just a symptom of old age rapidly approaching.

Of course that was a very convenient way to convince myself that I could still go running, and whatever happens, happens for some obscure reason that I have no control over. I mean, if there's thunder in the air, the knee will complain no matter if I run or not. This way, I can successfully shed any shred of responsibility I have over the state of my body. If only I could explain the existence of my love handles the same way.

Anyhow, I finally decided to run in my VFF, because runner's knee is in my brain a much more serious problem than a strained tendon (no, it never occurred to me to take an extra rest day – how would I keep my calendar looking like a chessboard?). I chose a route that would take me further away from home and to a different lake. I'm starting to run out of forest, you see. That's the kind of distances I'm covering now. Let's ignore the fact for a moment that I live close to a whole nature reserve I could spend a whole day running in. It's so much better for my self esteem to pretend I've outgrown my local paths.

The heavy rain had brought out a lot of stones. What used to be a gentle massage on my feet now felt more like acupuncture.

My knee was doing great. It was admiring the jungle-like scenery, waving at other runners, smiling dreamily. It didn't make a sound. My other knee...well, I'd read about people who had runner's knee on one side and when that side healed, they got it on the other side. My other knee sent me some warning signals a couple of times that I might join their leagues some time soon. Because running injury free is not challenge enough for me.

I kept my speed lower than I had the last few times and increased my run by another 3-minute interval instead, bringing the total up to 45 minutes. I am thankful I get to run at all, let alone 45 minutes, but I never for a moment let my guard down and think that I'm injury-free now. Because weather forecast says there might be thunder on Friday, and you bet my knee is going to whinge about it. But I didn't escape my run completely unscathed; the last few minutes were run in pain, thanks to a seam on the inside of my VFF rubbing against the side of my foot. I've had the same problem before, at the exact same spot. But pffft – real runners don't let a little wound scare them! So as I was taking my VFF off, I managed to jab my thumbnail in the sore. I'd like to say I did it on purpose -because I'm tough as nails, biotch! -but the sad truth is that I neither did it on purpose nor managed to stop myself from whimpering.