Today was a bit of an “off” day for me. I wouldn’t exactly consider my run today a failure, but I also wouldn’t exactly call it a success. For whatever reason, I was in pain (rather intense pain) for about 80% of the run. Yeah, my feet ached a little as usual from fatigue and having already been on them all day at work, but ’twas my knees that were killing me. For those of you that don’t know, I don’t exactly have the healthiest knees, but they’re also not “bad” enough to require medical attention (or so the doctor said). I used to have to wear a J-brace on my left knee anytime I was very active. Whether it actually helped or not I’m not really sure because I was a kid when I had to wear it and, therefore, did what kids do and still always managed to hurt myself somehow. I’ve since managed to survive without the brace for years. There’s still the occasional swelling and stiffness that requires a bit of ice and rest after significant amounts of activity (such as my run today), but never anything unbearable. Even when I ran my first half marathon, my knee(s) did fine with only a little soreness and occasional weakness/fatigue.
Today was a whole ‘nother story. Perhaps I was “stomping” my feet a bit from fatigue and caused a much harsher impact, but around mile 7, I was concerned that I would have to walk the rest of the way back…something I was NOT happy with. I did allow myself to briefly walk twice and stop to stretch for several minutes, and perhaps I should’ve allowed for more considering the sharp pain shooting through the center of my kneecap, but I kept convincing myself that this was still a mental struggle as well that I needed to work through. By the time I reached mile 8, it was all that I could do to simply put one foot in front of the other and try to keep moving.
When I was finished, I limped my way back to my car. My knee felt extremely weak, almost to the point of barely being able to stand on it. I was beyond frustrated and started thinking ahead to my second half marathon at the end of March. What if this continues to happen?? Could this be my last half marathon…ever? Will I have to stick to short distances only from now on? I realize I’m probably overthinking things a bit, but now that I’ve come this far, I REALLY don’t want to have to give it up. I’m still happy I got the mileage in, but hopefully I won’t have quite as much trouble next time.