Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Hopping Good Time

You observant folks may have noticed that the mileage on my mileage calculator has been stuck at zero for a week. Yep, it's the truth. After my not-so-great run last Saturday, I took it easy last week in hopes of calming my aching knee. I also inadvertently missed our TEAM run on Saturday due to a dear friend's mid-morning baby shower.

I traded my run this past Monday for an hour of Pilates. The deep stretch felt wonderful, and three days later my abs are still sore. Tuesday night I finally laced up my running shoes for our optional TEAM run. We met in our usual spot and did about a mile warm up to the base of a nearby hill. Our Coach placed a glove on the sidewalk about 40 feet out. Our mission? Bound or hop to the glove, jog back, then run up the hill and back, then repeat ... and repeat ... and repeat ... and repeat ...

It didn't take long before my legs began to feel like mashed potatoes. Bounds turned to bunny hops as my right knee creaked and popped. Under the soft glow of the street lamps, I silently cursed my legs for not being stronger, my lungs for not filling faster. I was at the back of the pack when a fellow TEAM member shouted a sympathetic "Good job!" as she ran past me smiling, ponytail bobbing with each graceful step.

I tasted the tears before I felt them on my cheeks. Oh my God, seriously? I didn't feel like I was crying, yet there they were. I guess it was my body's way of pushing through the frustration. Luckily, it was dark outside. Come on, in twenty minutes you can drink away your pain ... just go! And I made it. Somehow, my knee held up long enough to make it to Delaney's. Sadly, I was in no mood for anything except water, though I did try to consume an order of cheese fries the size of my face.


I made it home before the pain in my knee really kicked in, along with a side cramp that had me curled up on the couch. I stopped whining, though, after watching The Biggest Loser. It's not that I'm not having a great time or that I feel like I completely suck. In fact, I'm putting in better runs and more miles than I have ever done. I just wish I was better. Wish I was faster. Wish I could keep up with the seasoned runners. I think I'm the only "rookie" on our team doing the full marathon, and I'm definitely the only tortoise. What's that saying? Slow and steady ... is the last to finish? Something like that.

I did do a quick sprint around the neighborhood yesterday when I got home from work, and was glad to not feel any pain in my knee. Perhaps it's finally coming around to this whole running thing.

9 comments:

Running Around Acres said...

You'll get there. But i know the slow feeling. I wish I could put together 3 miles without walking, but have yet to do that. Your marathon is sooner than mine (April) but we both will finish and I guarantee neither of us will be last. :)

PS where did you get the TNT button? Can I still it?

Marlene said...

I don't think anyone's knees like hills... way to hang in there and not give up.

D10 said...

There is a lot more to running, than just running. Keep at it and things will get better.

Racn4acure said...

Keep with it Katie. There are many who would love to be able to run so fast and so well. You are doing a wonderful thing, and your running will improve. Be proud of your accomplishments. There are people who can't run or walk, and there are those that can that don't. So I will add my own "Good job, Katie!" Art

Adam said...

No worries. No one has ALL good runs - even the best. As long as you are out there that is all that matters.

I'm a real big fan of the phrase "if it was easy, everyone would do it".... Half of the fun is taking two days off after a shitty run and then rocking it the next time!

Katie said...

You guys are soo right -- thanks for the encouragement! I shall stop my whining now :-)

Racn4acure said...

Katie - just had to add, in a couple of months you can add the title of Marathoner to your accomplishments. Very few can say that at any speed. And you will have that title the rest of your life, even if you never run another step (which I am sure you will). Every marathon I have done - 3 so far - I am pretty sure I finish in the bottom 10% of men in my age group. I get down on myself for that at times, but then I think "hey, I still did it." So I need to remember my own advice! :) Art

BeachRunner said...

You are doing great, working hard, AND feeling no pain in the knee. Great job. Training is slow, steady, tedious work that results in incremental gains. To build confidence, it is a good idea to track your runs but dont compare them day to day. Compare week to week, or even better month to month, to see the progress of the hard work.

lindsay said...

we all have bad run days! i think this one is still great because you went out there and did it. it sure sounds like a tough run to me, and i'm glad the knee held up. it's also great that you are a tnt rookie and doing a full marathon - obviously you are the only one on your team who can say that! running can be frustrating because you want to be better and faster now, but it can take weeks, months, and even years to fully reach your potential. hang in there, a marathon is daunting enough. you'll have plenty of time to become a speed demon! :)

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