Yup - I was nearly there again... The slippery slope of being so busy I didn't blog. But no - I caught myself before I rolled all the way down that hill again. I'm trying to learn that even though I can't achieve all I set out to do, I could maybe achieve some of it. So this week I set aside doing, folding and putting away laundry (something that takes up so much of my time that I never want to find out what it adds up to over my lifetime) to e-mail a friend. And tonight I'm delaying packing for yet another trip to quickly post to my blog and comment on some of your blogs. Bits and pieces guys - that's how my Rome is going to be built.
So first - running. Well - up and down. After last week I've had a fairly good week. I ran odds and ends last week (4 here, 3 there) and then 8 on Sunday with Sally. All fine. Then went to see osteo who was happy and gave me some exercises and told me to come back in 2 weeks. Went out for a blissful 5 on Tuesday morning at 5:30 am - birds tweeting, sun shining, knees not-paining - life was good. Then went out for 3 on Wednesday and ah. Could feel those darned things. Took yesterday off and ran a cautious 2M today which went fine. For some reason some runs just seem to set something off and then it takes me days for the pain to fade. But fortune hasn't completely deserted me - before you wonder - because coming out of my office for lunch with a friend I ran into another friend who is a physio. She knows about my knees but I've never gone to her because I felt kind of funny about asking a friend - I thought it would be awkward if it didn't help. But she was so open and thoughtful and then said - as an aside - that she had been practising acupuncture for 10 years and found it very useful for knee pain when other treatments weren't completely succesful. I was amazed! I had found the first practitioner who didn't just practise one thing! I always think of physio as being quite related to standard medicine, whereas acupuncture - which I've never tried before - seems to belong to such a different tradition. Needless to say, dear readers, I've booked an appointment in 2 weeks. In the meantime, I'm carrying on seeing my osteopath - the weird things he does to my legs really help, they just don't seem to be able to prevent things from happening again.
As far as Chicago is concerned, I am still not sure yet. My osteopath seems confident - I'm going to wait until I see my other friend now and talk to her. If she too feels that, with a bit of treatment along the way, I can get into marathon-shape, I will go ahead and book a ticket.
So this, potentially, brings up the matter of training. Now I've been searching for a program that would suit someone in my particular situation. I'm (hopefully) in recovery from injury, I'm more focused on running the race than on winning it (ha! fooled ya! I mean running a PR) and I would just like to make it to the start and finish line in one piece. Enjoy the run! So.. In one of of the most recent Phedips Steve read out some race reports (I feel honoured to have heard Jen's directly from her, on a run) but he also mentioned another runner who said he had used a Furman's schedule as he was fighting injury. As soon as I got back from my run I googled this and after a few misspellings (don't you love it when Google knows what you mean before you do?) I found the website for the Furman FIRST program. The program is based around the idea that with 3 really targeted (and precisely and ambitiously paced) runs per week (speed, pace and long) and 2 cross training sessions you can run a good marathon. Their website and book is filled with stories of people who have done extremely well on the program. Now - as I've said I don't think it's realistic to treat whatever training program I'm aiming for as one to get a PR. But the 3 days of running a week does appeal to me - my knees just seem particularly prone to trouble when I run back to back days. I've been enjoying my cross training - particularly the swimming - and in the summer we even have a pool at home that I could use. I think that, possibly, this kind of program might enable me to get stronger and fitter without risking overdoing the mileage and getting injured again. So once again my friends, this is where you come in. What do you think? what would you do?
And once you've given that some thought, help me out further - if I do it should I do their beginner's program, their advanced program (which looks like some pretty scary mileage for a low-mileage program) or the runner's world in the middle program? For all you triathletes out there - do you find your running prowess decreases when you run less and do other sports?
So there you have it my friends - knees (still) and training programs. A degree of deja-vu, I appreciate that. I am about to head to Holland for a week (where my parents live and where I used to live) which has always been great running time for me - my parents live in the woods and it is just gorgeous out there. So here's hoping the good karma of the beautiful nature helps my running.
And finally - on a sadder note. I have just been to vist a friend of mine in hospital. She is very ill indeed - a woman my age, with 3 young children. She is on a very slow and fragile mend - I will probably be looking after her children for some time in the next few months. If ever I needed a reminder that my particular problems were of limited significance, this visit did it for me. I would love to be able to run Chicago, I am determined to go at this with whatever I have, but I will, ultimately, surrender to the universe on this one. We'll see what happens. If I can't make this race, there will be others..
Love to you all, and good health.