It would have been foolhardy to think that I would get through this whole training without any aches and pains. The running seems to have been a little rough on the old knees - as you can imagine, with long miles your legs take a bit of a beating. Last week it came to a head and my knee told me, in no uncertain terms: "Lady, you're crazy. Enough with the running." My coach gave me the go-ahead to rest up on Saturday - a much needed day off to relax. We've worked our way up in the miles - this weekend was supposed to be 18 - but there was truly no way I could have done it. I've been hobbling around like a little 'ol lady for days.
Yesterday (Sunday) I went out for ten easy miles* along the coast in Monterey. It was a beautiful day, and even though my knee was aching, it wasn't so bad that I had to stop. The morning rain had given way to a perfectly sunny and warm day, and after the run was finished I waded into the ocean and soaked for a few minutes. (ICY cold at first, but downright pleasant once your legs go numb.) Such a perfect day and I could help but think that (even with an achy knee), I'm so incredibly lucky to have the physical ability to do this.
Next Saturday I'm in totally uncharted territory. (Cue the foreboding music.) I'm going to be shooting for TWENTY MILES. I don't even like to drive twenty miles. My strategy for the long runs so far has been to just deal with it in small chunks... we typically have water stops every 3-4 miles on the coached runs, so I figure that if I can just make it from stop to stop, I'll get through it. So please send all your good thoughts my way this week... I'm absolutely terrified for Saturday. I need my knee to hold out for just a few more weeks.
*I couldn't help but laugh as I set out to casually run ten miles yesterday. I remember when ten miles was SOOOO FAAAARRR, and now it's just an easy jaunt. It's amazing how your mindset can change, and how heading out to run for an hour and a half atually sounds rather fun and relaxing. This is proof. Proof that every single one of you reading this can do it too. We started off with just three miles our first Saturday. Unbelievable what the human body and mind can adapt to.