This is my life. Sometimes shown through the eye of my camera phone, and sometimes not. I'll talk running, gadgets, music, and whatever else I stumble on to

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Down for the count

North Ave beach pedestrian bridge, Chicago
Fighting through a foot of snow on my running route, Chicago, 1/17/09

Some of you may have noticed me hootin' and hollerin' about not being able to run for a few days now...

Here's why:

I'm afraid that I may have suffered the first major setback in my running endeavors. I'd consider 'major' as something that will keep me from serious running for a number of days, or (gasp) weeks.

I started off on my long run last Saturday (1/17) of 13 miles along Chicago's lakefront. The air temperature at 8 a.m. was +13F and rising, but with a stiff windchill of -2F and gusty at 15mph.

I started at North Ave. beach after running into a foot and a half of snow right off the bat. I initially ran south towards the wind, to have the wind at my back on my return trip. But as I neared 1.5 miles, the path was blocked due to ice jams, so I had to turn around for the next 12 miles.

I thought about my recent knee troubles as I passed my starting point, and I thought for a few seconds to stay near it in case something happened. But my confidence got the best of me and I continued back north for another 3.5 miles. Not soon after, it started. The Knee began to hurt. And then it got worse- much worse. I was wincing in pain and I knew that I had gone too far to just walk back.

You see, if I walked back now, I would loose too much heat in my body and risk hypothermia since I was so far from my end point. Even though I was dressed warmly, I had worked off enough sweat that the clothing near my skin was damp. If I didn't keep moving, I knew I'd run into serious trouble if I got too cold.

I knew at this point I should have had cab fare on me. I often do when I run in Chicago, but not this time. Plus, I was mostly on the east side of rushing Lake Shore Drive with little opportunity to get on a busy road safely to flag a cab.

So I jogged, and then walked for a few minutes until the pain in my knee subsided. Then I would jog again while keeping my hands and feet warm. It took me over 30 minutes to get back to the running store where I started, even after walking through that one foot of snow again.

But alas, I made it back safely, if a bit cold and in quite a bit of pain. I couldn't believe what had happened. I was devastated.

And now the healing begins. I've iced it, rested, and have kept from running on it for over five days now. I've been through this before, and am keeping my spirits high that I'll get through it. I just have to stay healthy.

I'm going to take it easy until Florida. I don't have high expectations of doing well in the half marathon anymore, and I'm going to run in it no matter what, unless I just can't do it.

But for me now, after what I went through, "can't" isn't an option.

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