Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where have I been? What have I been doing? And how are those ^%$&%** knees?

What do you do when you haven't posted for over a month? What DO you do? Or what do YOU do? Maybe it never happens to you. It's happened to me. Do I give you a month's worth of details on my knees, my travels, various domestic issues? Do I give you a shedload of excuses? This is my third stab at this post and I've deleted the other two because they were .. frankly .. boring. I can't believe anyone wants to read something which I'm actually bored writing. So. Short pithy bullet points for your delectation on the month's pertinent topics:
  • Knees. Aah. Not so good at this point in time. After last month's post and all your wise advice I went to see my marathon running osteopath who brought fast relief and got me back on the road. For the past month I've been running shortish runs (3/4M) most days and this has been fine and injury free. However, this Sunday I ran 7M in 2 bursts - 3M at 6:30 in the morning with Sally and 4M at easy pace later in the day. In the evening I could feel my old familiar knee pain. Went to see osteopath immediately on Monday who was surprised at it and surmised it might have been because I didn't stretch after the first run - apparently my legs and kneecaps were very tight. Went out for 4M yesterday which was fine - painfree while running - and will carry on as long as I don't feel any more pain while running. I can still feel it a bit now though..
  • Running friends. Ah! You'll all have seen Maritza and Jen's posts on our lovely run in California last month - can I just tell you how wonderful it was for me? Amazing! After a somewhat white knuckle drive to the reservoir where we'd agreed to meet (I'd flown in from London the day before and was about an hour away from where we were to meet - that hour in the car in busy traffic on the wrong side of the road trying to find my route definitely raised my adrenalin levels) it was so lovely to see these two wonderful runners. Our run was glorious - the environment was beautiful and Jen had only just returned from another victorious marathon in Boston - and our big breakfast afterwards was so much fun. They are wonderful girls and I wish I could run with them more often. More than that - it was nothing like meeting people for the first time, we knew so much about each other and it was great just adding this extra dimension.
  • Everything else? Well everything else is pretty crazy which is why it's been so long. Work is challenging - I have a lot on my plate and I'm struggling to get things done on time. Home life is good but as all parents know, parenthood is rarely without its challenges. I had a fantastic week in California - lovely food (French Laundry, Chez Panisse, Zuni Cafe - need I say more) but being away from home for a week requires a lot of organisation beforehand and afterwards (and I called in a lot of favours from my favour bank). Me? I'm a bit so-so at the moment. I'm overloaded and make myself slightly nervous with the anticipation that I will drop balls. Which, unsurprisingly, I do. The recent knee pain is not helping my mood.. I feel guilty at all that is being left undone at the moment (which includes posting and commenting on all your blogs - apologies! and I will make up for it.)
  • Chicago. Aahh. Well... If I were going to do a 20 week programme, I would have to start in 10 days. I want to go - I spent some of my time in California with Jeff and Brian who were such great support last time and with whom I will be staying this time. I really really really want to run with all of you who are coming out there. I just don't know whether this most recent physical upset is a blip - a reminder to take stretching, warming up and cooling down seriously - or an indication that there is something more fundamental that I need to be working on. What I am doing is trying to get 20M in this week (not all in one go, I hasten to add, 5 x 4M runs), and to try and do a very gentle, properly warmed up longer run 8M at some point. I will see how I feel after that and continue to consult with my osteopath. If I do go ahead I think I will have to be sensible and choose a fairly low mileage plan - Hal Higdon's beginner, for example - and gain some fitness with weekly swimming sessions. The alternative is to NOT do a 20 week plan but to pick a shorter program - 16 or even 12 weeks - again with fairly low mileage and to use the "extra weeks" to see whether I can really get to the bottom of this knee pain. I guess either strategy is not that different .. I'm not quite at the start line yet. At some point in the next month I am going to have to jump and buy a ticket - I will let you know how things progress.
Till soon my friends - having given you this update I feel like I've ticked at least one thing off my to-do list and I can now get on with blogging again. Again - apologies for my absence - please do not mistake it for not caring. I'm not quite sure whether I'm waving or drowning at the moment...

13 comments:

Susan said...

I don't think you need 20 long weeks to train for Chicago. Just my opinion...

I think the swimming will help!

I'm glad you're back in blogland! I have missed you very much! :)

Road Warrior said...

You made the post sound so-so, but I found it to be very positive. I'm so happy that you're able to run some miles during the week to keep your sanity. I was really excited to see that.

You're going to get there and your progress is a very good indication.

I bagged on Chicago because you had to sign up so early and I wasn't sure my knee could handle it. Either way, rest up and happy to see you back on the road!

Marathon Maritza said...

Welcome back! As I'm sure you've already read in my post, it was WONDERFUL to meet you! I had such a great day and wish that we could run together more often too. Thanks for making the white-knuckled drive over to us...at least you had a fabulous orange car to do it in!

jen said...

Petra! I thought maybe you loved California so much you decided to stay... but then again, you would have called. :P Welcome home! I'm glad you had a fun trip.

Sorry your knees are acting up, just keep taking it easy and keep listening to the doc's advice. I certainly don't think you need 20 weeks to train for Chicago, I'd spend a few weeks doing some real easy base building and work on really solving the knee problem.

I find that doing a nice long walk (5-10 minutes) before AND after each run keeps injuries at bay. Also, stretching thouroughly after every run. It takes extra time, so plan it out so you don't end up skipping it. That's my only advice, wish I could offer more!

As for your busy schedule and stress, I know it's hard and not running makes it worse. Maybe you can carve out a little extra time for long brisk walks when you can't run? Or just take time to breathe, count your blessings, and relax. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, your family loves you and you seem to have great friends, and and that is all that matters. :)

ShirleyPerly said...

Yes, I'm with the others on you not needing a 20-week training program for Chicago. Continue your shorter runs and do some cross-training too, if you can, then see how you feel in a month. It's more important that your knees get healthy again.

Great to hear you had a good trip to CA. I'm envious you got to meet up with Jen & Maritza. I grew up in the SF Bay Area and still have some family not far from there.

Welcome back!!

MarathonChris said...

Welcome back to the blogs! We missed you but I totally understand the busy life thing!!! Just take care of the important stuff.

Your summary was great to read - not boring at all.

Ditto on all the knee advice. Take it easy and cross train to work the cardio (you swimmer you!).

Don't be too hard on yourself! I had once thought that I was missing the boat by not achieving balance amongst all life's activities. What I have learned is that perfect balance is not achievable! You balance the best you can and be sure to give yourself a break every now and then. You are doing great!

lizzie lee said...

Petra. I've missed you. I was concern about your absence, and thought it was knee related, and serious...

When did you go to California? You should've told me. Remember that I come here once a month... I, for sure, would not have been able to run with a Boston marathoner, but certainly could've eaten with you, guys... And better than that, could've known you!!!

If you come back to the US and go to DC, California or Seattle, just let me know.... I may be there!

I am glad that you are able to run again painless and take it easy. Remember that Emperor Hadrian rebuilt Rome brick by brick...

keep running

sincere-lee
lizzie lee

Jade Lady said...

You've been a busy bee! Glad to hear you're running again. I hope your knee will be good to you, as you increase mileage. Did you cancel the chi-running thing? Maybe I missed it in your prior post?

And, sounds like you had some wonderful food in CA based on your restaurant list! Glad u enjoyed your trip!

IrishBlue said...

Petra,
Welcome back girl. We've all missed you!

I'm sorry about your knee and I agree with the other posts. You probably don't need 20 weeks and definitely listen to your body. We want you there of course, but we don't want you there injuried and stressed. So, do what is best for you.

Your trip to CA sounds wonderful! Getting to meet with the girls and run, what a bonus that was!

Hugs,
Melisa

CewTwo said...

You know, even though you may have found it somewhat boring and pedantic, I didn't. Know why? It is always good to hear from a friend!

Your advice rings in my ears as I train and compete. I may be a turtle, but I improve with the help and support of people like you.

My training for Chicago starts the week of June 8th. With at least a 4 mile and another 1/2 marathon as part of the training. I did decide to go with a modified Hal Higdon plan.

It was great hearing from you so many times on my humble blog, but it is nothing like your sharing here! Thanks, friend Petra!

PLANET3RRY said...

And the beauty of the RSS feed is that you can be gone for an extended period of time, but when you post again, we are notified!

I am glad to hear that you are back. I was very happy to see your new Facebook pic with the caption that you were Back on Track with a running photo to boot! Here's to a great Chicago Training

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