I wasn’t sure whether today’s run could, or should, happen.
Yesterday I hurt my knee. Not a lot, but enough to make me worry.
Injury – the thing I have been avoiding at all cost.
We’ve invested in a cross trainer, and I had my first play on it yesterday afternoon. I warmed up first on the treadmill. I have very creaky knees at the best of times, and I wanted them fully warmed before stepping onto the new machine. Once primed and ready to go, I stepped on and set it for the easiest setting. It was hard work. I kept trying to turn the resistance down to make it easier, but as it was already at its lowest setting, this did no good. I kept going for about 15 minutes, and then decided to call it a day. To avoid injury, I told myself, it would be best to build up gradually.
All was well. Cooking dinner, I needed something out of the freezer. After squatting down to rampage through the freezer for some minutes, with frostbitten fingers and a bad temper, I straightened up. I turned. Awkwardly. The sensation in my knee was not pleasant. I had to sit down. All I could think was ‘what about my run tomorrow?’
I rested. My knee felt sensitive, but not bad. I stretched. And I went out this morning with an open mind. I needed a 7K run. But if I had to abandon it I would – I didn’t want to escalate a touchy knee into a full-blown injury.
As usual, I’d overdressed. The weather forecast was for 5 degrees Celsius, feels like 1, with sleet. So I wrapped up. Pretty quickly, the wrappings (jacket, hoodie) came off and were tied around my middle.
My knee felt fine, so I took my planned 7K route. I kept my pace super-slow, just to be safe. After about 20 minutes I was exploring roads I didn’t know. Then I came to a t-junction. Which way should I go? Right, and down, led to the sea (although I shouldn’t try to get that far today). Straight head and up – up quite a lot – led eventually to a village. But I couldn’t see anything that way, apart from the hill.
I chose the hill. If I went towards the sea, I would want to go too far (need to take care of that knee). And at the top of the hill would be views, even on a grey day like today. So I went up. I really enjoyed the hill. It was one of those hills that just keeps going. You think you can see the top, and then there’s more. Real value for money. At the top there were views. But sadly the Somerset hedgerows got in the way of photo opportunities. I ran down the other side just a little, checked Strava, realised I’d gone far enough for today, and headed back.
I was looking forward to running back down the hill that I’d just climbed. But as soon as I started the descent I found that my knee started to hurt. Clearly, the change in weight distribution from running downhill was putting more strain on it. I slowed right down, and took small steps until the ground began to level out.
For once, I was pleased that the return run is almost all uphill. I managed to keep going for the full 7K. When I reached the top of the village, where I usually end my runs with a euphoric downhill dash, I slowed down to a steady warm-down walk.
I’m happy that I completed my run. I’m happy that I didn’t injure myself doing it. But tomorrow I think I’ll have a yoga day.