After a six-day layoff, I finally got out again for a run today. My knee has been bothering me since the race, and I managed to run last Thursday and Friday but it seemed to be feeling worse, so I took some time off. I'm in a position now where I have a hard time differentiating between pain that is okay to run through, and pain that is not okay to run through. Also, after last year's barrage of injuries and extended running layoffs, I tend to get a little bit overly nervous about every little thing that goes beyond typical race soreness, etc. For the knee, I've been doing some exercises, taking a ridiculous amount of supplements to promote healthy joints and cartilage and such, and foam rolling. Have you ever foam rolled? The first time I ever tried it at a race expo, I actually started laughing because it hurt so much, but I was in public so I couldn't cry. It is no wonder that I walked away without spending a bunch of money so I could inflict that kind of pain on myself on a regular basis. However, now that there is an issue, I am determined to roll three times a day. Ouch.
I had taken a few running steps and such, and I knew it still kind of hurt, but I wasn't sure if it would get worse. I was supposed to do another run today after my bike ride, and although I've kind of enjoyed finishing my bike rides and not having to run, I'd also much rather be a good runner again, so I decided that I would go out and try it for at least 30 minutes of the 65 I had scheduled, barring any serious pain. So after a successful ride, I found some brand new running shoes in the closet, which I figured also might help, and I headed out for a run. Well, it definitely hurt some, but not a ton. It hurt every step to start, and occasionally I'd take a bad step that would hurt a whole lot more, although it was not as bad as it was last week, so that's a good thing. But then, after maybe two miles or so, things started to loosen up, and without even realizing it, I was running without feeling anything at all. I'd still take a bad step every once in a while, but I didn't seem to be making it worse, which is the most important thing. I'm going to see someone about it tomorrow, so hopefully after that I will get it completely healed so that the rest of the season can go well!
So aside from the supplements and exercises, in just three short days I have become a yoga junkie. Bikram yoga, to be precise. I've gone each of the past three days, and although adding another 90-minute workout to each day is never that appealing when I think about it before, I have always been glad that I've gone. And I do think it's helping. I thought it would get boring because it is the same poses each time, but I actually like that I know exactly what I'm in for now. There are a couple I can't do because of my crappy knees. And yesterday I was talking to my mother and my sister and apparently the knee thing is some sort of genetic curse, because nobody in my family can kneel and sit on their heels. But for the most part, I can do the whole thing. Early in the class today I suddenly felt a little queasy and got nervous that three days in a row might have been pushing it, but a sip of water later and I was good to go the rest of the time.
It's not something I'm planning on doing every single day forever, but given that I paid for 10 days unlimited to start, and I read that the more you do it in the beginning the quicker you get the hang of it, I might as well go as much as I can to start. Also, I think I will always make it the last workout of the day, because first it's a good way to sort of wind down (not that it's all easy, but it tends to be easier than a run) and because I'm not sure I could adequately rehydrate for another workout that might take place soon after. Plus, so far I've been treating myself to a nice, fruit smoothie when I get home after (and after a much-needed shower) I mix them nice and thick with frozen fruit so that it's almost like ice cream. Mmmmmmm....