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OK, so I’m 16 weeks post-injury.  I still have pain and effusion in my knee, and I’ve crossed off the spring races from my calendar but for the most part I’ve stopped whining and limping and feeling sorry for myself.  And today I had one of my mini-epiphanies..the kind where I suddenly have an exciting revelation about something that should have been obvious long ago…I think I’m going about this all wrong!  Basically, the problem is that I have no idea how to come back from this injury.  I did PT, I had a cortisone shot, I had ART/Graston therapy, and I saw a doctor about getting PRP injections (I haven’ t decided yet).  In other words, I’m trying things at random, hoping something will work, and expecting that eventually I’ll find the magic bullet and I’ll all of a sudden get better and be able to start running 30-35 miles a week again.  And I think this is wrong.  I need to be more methodical.  I need to train.  I need a plan.

So first I asked the Internet for a plan, but it was frustratingly silent.  The Internet has plenty of rehabilitation protocols for post meniscus surgery, and all sorts of PT protocols for knee injury that assume by 12 weeks you are all better and back to normal activities.  But nothing to tell me how to get from where I am now, able to run 5 miles, with pain but not too much, to running 14.5 miles, which was where I was before the injury.  So I’ve decided that I will use one of the half marathon training plans out there, and train myself back to running.

This will be a first for me, since I’ve never been one to train for a race, preferring instead to just run whatever I feel like and on race day just show up  and run the race. (Yes, I know, that could conceivably be contributing to my many injuries, but I can’t help it..training is annoying and takes the fun out of everything! )  So, anyway, I am leaning toward the 8-week Hal Higdon half marathon program, with an extra mile tacked on at the very end.  That will have me back to pre-injury long-run distance by the beginning of May if I have no major setbacks.  Knock wood.

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You can skip to the Summary at the bottom, or read my personal musings first.

August 21: This was my second time running the Radnor Red Steeplechase, but the first time running it officially.  Yes, last year I was a rogue..I arrived late after the race had started, but decided to run it anyway, since I was there and all, and had paid my fee..and had a pretty good time.  It seems that being really really late provided just the incentive I needed to run fast.

This year, I was nice and early..early enough to stop in and visit the horses in the barn, and the hounds, who were barking up a storm, and to gawk at the humongous fox statue.    It occurred to me that actual fox hunts might take place here.  It was hotter than I thought, and I made the mistake of running without a water bottle, thinking “Ah..it’s only a 5K”, but  the obstacles and the humidity took their toll. Speaking of obstacles..it seemed like there were an awful lot of them, and they were, of course, sized for horses instead of 5’3″ humans.  The most challenging ones for me were the things resembling the peaked roof of a submerged house, because I had to sort of balance on the peak before coming down the other side…I’m sure there’s a secret to getting over those things quickly but I haven’t figured it out yet.  But, it was fun, and really different from the usual 5K.

Anyway, I finished second in the age group, but at least a full 3 minutes behind the first place runner.  Oh well.

 

Summary:

Course: Medium-challenging for a 5K, no hills of consequence,  mostly grass, many obstacles

Basics: Started on time, plenty of PP, expect to wait for the kid’s run to finish if you want to stay for awards.

T-shirt: black tech shirt, no girly style, no extra small

Interesting Features: Horses all over the place, kids race after the main event

 

 

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