Saturday, April 14, 2012

Non-race weekend take two

There are several attractive races going on today:

• I'm a sucker for a race out of Huddart Park in Woodside (PCTR Woodside, which sold out its 10K distance!).

• I've never done a race out of Quicksilver Park, but will be later and would have liked this preview (NorCal Mercury Mine, which it turns out was cancelled due to poor trail conditions after all the rain in the last few days).

• Not quite local, so not quite likely, but it still would have been great to run some trails out in the Auburn area (ITR Knickerbocker Canyon).

• At the very least, a fun 5K benefiting a local high school (Sequoia Stampede).

In the end though, I chose to take a second weekend off to give my slightly less than perky left knee a chance to become a bit perkier. This is hard - I could have done shorter distances in these races and probably come out no worse than I am now, but I'm not looking for "shorter distances" or "no worse" - I'm looking for "back to normal."

A couple of years ago, my right knee hurt a LOT - way more than my left knee is now. One doctor wanted to operate, another said I could just take it easy and it wouldn't get worse. So I started walking. A lot. And the legs got stronger and there was no pain. I walked my first Marathon six months after the doctor visits, and kept on walking, not wanting to risk the pain coming back.

My knee felt a lot like this hat, that our main dog Kaya decided would taste good. Mrs Notthat thinks it's toast, but I'm not so sure.
Then I discovered trail races. And started to experiment with running short bits of downhill. The knee stayed pain-free. I gradually added more running and was stunned that it went fine.

Fast-forward to last month. While doing side-lunges in an exercise class, my left knee flared up. Two days later I did the Brazen Badger Cove Half and the knee was not happy afterwards - still not as bad as the right knee had been, but bad enough for me to be concerned. After taking the next weekend off, I did the Brazen Lagoon Valley Mud Run. There were a number of awkward falls in this race, plus one memorable luge run, all of which made me nervous about how I was going to come out of it. But things were OK - not much worse than before the race. But certainly not any better.

So I took last weekend off. My knee thanked me. It's still a bit less than perky though, so I'm taking this weekend off too.

The really hard thing is next weekend. My long-term goal has been to redeem myself at the Brazen Diablo Trails Challenge 50K. Last year, I was a DNF after 15.5 miles of the race under staggeringly bad conditions. My plan was to make up for it this year.

Well, no I won't. I'll be gently doing the 5K this year (what a difference a missing "0" can make!) and hanging around for all the friends that are doing the 50K and Half (which Mrs Notthat is doing) to finish.

From last year. Nerak and Alegna - not their real names and who I didn't know then - also made a game effort at last year's 50K.
It's going to take a bit to get back into running shape (well, what passes for running for me), but hopefully things will be good come May. There are SO MANY great trail races around here and it is painful to sit them out.

That's it - move along...


Brazen Rabbit said...

It's tough now for sure :( but listening to your body is best.

Erin Beck said...

Hang in there, Allen! You'll be logging the long miles soon. You're smart to be resting your knee now. See you next weekend!

mary ann said...

Yes, rest those knees and you'll be back in the mud again soon.

Beth said...

I hate injuries!!
I know you know you will be missed out there, but you are doing the wise thing. I am thinking the mud will be mostly dry this year, and that would make it way less fun for you than last year, even w/the dnf.
This lady just posted on staying sane while injured today, here's the link...although the title of this one most likely does not apply to you : )

Will Danni be running or at an aid station?

Hope to see you and Mrs. on Saturday!!

Mrs. Notthat said...

Yes Beth. She and I will both be doing the half. You will definitely see us at some point! We are going to be waiting for you!!!!!