I'm tentatively planning to run a marathon either May 3rd or May 4th. I've been eyeing the Wisconsin Marathon and the Lansing Marathon. Both have their pros and cons which I'm not going to get into right now. I haven't registered for either race yet because I've been wanting to make sure that my body felt up to the task. Its no secret that I had knee problems after the last marathon. I took time off from running and used other exercises to work on core strength and still get a little cardio in.
My return from injury has been absolutely fantastic so far. I've been able to ramp up without many issues. I still get occasional soreness, but it has been manageable. Case in point: There are still 3 days left in February and I've run 54 more miles this year for the month than last year. I've also had a 34 mile increase over January of this year. My pace has been slower, but steady. I've done absolutely no speed work and that is ok for now. I wanted to make sure I built up the endurance first. I think the lack of hard miles has helped me to run consistently. It's also allowed me to have a run streak that is currently at 38 days.
This past weekend I went to visit family. This meant a 4.5 hour drive each way. All that time spent sitting isn't very kind to the body. My knee aches after my hour commute to and from work. When I arrived I quickly realized that the outdoor conditions weren't ideal. Instead of 40 degree temps and rain melting snow, my parents got sleet and snow and streets covered in ice. I still made a go of my run on Saturday. I started on the sidewalk but realized the piled up snow on the lawns turned them into canyons full of ice. I moved to the street where I could dip and dodge and find bare pavement and fewer occurrences of ice, but it was still there. After jogging back and forth on the main street of the subdivision a few times I decided I gambled enough and wanted to quit while I as ahead. There was still too much ice plus traffic to deal with and that was a bad combo. My 7 mile run wound up being just 2 miles.
On Sunday I was supposed to do 15 miles according to my plan. I knew there was no way I was going to accomplish that outdoors. I instead tried to use my parents busted up treadmill that ran but didn't have a working display. It was also next to a litter box used by 3 cats in a dirty basement. To top things off the treadmill had so much bounce to it I felt like I was on a mini trampoline. Needless to say I wasn't happy about meaning on it and the bounce made my knee angry. I eked out 50 minutes which I estimated to be about 5 miles since I had no display. My weekend ended 15 miles short of the goal.
I thought maybe I could make up the 15 miles on Monday after work. Nope, that wasn't in the cards. I got home a little late for it plus I just didn't have the energy for it. I did a few workout programs on the Xbox and ran my mile instead. Today I woke up and my legs didn't have the same pep they usually do after a cross training day. I think I might have over did things and one of the workouts had a lot of lunges and squats. After work I got on the treadmill anyways with just 4 miles to put in and I threw in the towel at just over 2 miles. I couldn't coax anything more out of the knee and decided to roll and stretch instead.
It's still over 2 months until either potential marathon so I'm not in any sort of panic mode. It is just a little frustrating to be doing so well and then go through a rough stretch. I'll bounce back though. I've learned what works and what doesn't. Funny enough it's my right knee bothering me now and not the left that was so troublesome after the marathon. I think I wasn't very good about doing my rehab exercises on both sides so now I'm paying for it. There's another lesson learned.