Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NYCM 2013 Training: Weeks 12 and 13 Recap

I've been quiet on here lately because of two reasons. The first, and main reason is that I simply have not had a chance to come on here due to my teaching and coaching schedule. The second reason is because my running has decreased due to a nose dive I took on September 17th, which left my knee in some pain. I followed RICE for a few days then ran on it successfully. However, after a speed workout last Tuesday (stupid, stupid choice...) the pain was back on Wednesday and only got worse.

This seems to be the year of injuries for me.

And for doctor appointments.

After two hours in urgent care on Saturday I was able to rule out a fractured patella. It is suspected that I have a small tear in my meniscus. Yes, that is bad news. But there is good news: since I was able to run on it and there is no swelling while running, that may eliminate the need for any surgery. The X-ray also showed no fluids, which would normally be a sign of a large tear.

A normal knee - but a knee in pain

I'll continue to RICE and will follow up with an orthopedic as directed. I know that a 3:10 marathon at NYC is out the window. My new goal is just to be able to run it. I still have hope that I can get back into running soon, but must remind myself that it is better to be able to run it out of shape than it is to keep training and winding up with a DNS or DNF.

So now that the news is out of the way, I'll continue on with the normal weekly recap.

9/16 to 9/22 Total Weekly Mileage: 38 Miles

Monday: 6.3 miles at 8:02 pace
My legs were finally feeling energized again after my half (recap still to come). I was feeling strong and ready for the speed/strength workout on Tuesday.

Tuesday: 2.6 miles at 8:17 pace
Nose dive day. Coach and I ran during practice and were searching for kids when I fell. I'm pretty sure I would have landed better and put more pressure on my hands if I hadn't been carrying my keys and cell phone. My body twisted and landed on the sides of my knees, rather than my knee caps. As soon as I got up I knew something was seriously wrong. And my first thought was "is this the end to NYC?"

Normally I can run after a fall. This time I limped. I walked a block before I started to hobble back to the school. And when I got home the pain was bad. I iced all night, went to bed with a pillow under my leg, and prayed that some miracle would happen and I'd wake up healthy again (but knew I wouldn't).

Wednesday: Day off - Running was out of the question

Thursday: 7 miles at 8:20 pace
After a 5 minute, and painful test run to the store and back, I did another 9 minute test run to the store and back because I forgot lemons for a dinner recipe. The knee knee pain seemed to lessen a bit so I decided to try 4 miles. But when my knee felt better after a mile, I decided to make it 5 miles. Yes. I pushed it. When I got home and iced my knee felt so much better. I was cautiously optimistic.

Friday: Day off 

Saturday: 2.2 miles at XC meet (7:57 pace)
Ran around the course during our course walk and for a coaches chat. Very little pain in the knee.

Second run: 10 miles at 7:47 pace
It was raining by the time I got home and making myself run in the rain was THE LAST thing I wanted to do. Tom was also baking chocolate chip cookies, making it even harder to want to go out there....

I felt good once I got out there. But I almost got killed when two cars slammed into each other, spinning around, going on sidewalk, and swiping a third car - just 20 meters in front of me. Thankfully ALL were OK and the DC police and rescue were there within 3 minutes. No joke. Police was there in 1 minute, and rescue in three. I definitely approached the next few intersections with care.

Sunday: 10 miles at 8:02 pace 
Runs usually put me in a good mood, especially on a gorgeous morning. But I had so much on my mind when I woke up that by the time I finished this run I was in a horrible moon. Now that I can;t run, I wish I had enjoyed it a little more. :(

9/16 to 9/22 Total Weekly Mileage: 29 Miles

Monday: 4.3 miles at 8:21 pace at XC Practice
Ran with the kiddos and kept the pace slower. The weather was cooler and it finally felt like fall was making its way down to DC.

Second run: 4 miles at 7:29 pace and arm workout
Felt comfortable the entire run.

Tuesday: 1.3 miles at 10:00 pace
Ran between kids at school during practice.

Second Run: 8 miles at 6:57 pace
Strength workout: 3 x 2 mile intervals at 5k pace with 800 meter jog recovery.
I felt good. I flew. I wanted to go fast and my legs carried me there. My knee hurt a little on impacts, but not horribly. Were there times when I thought, "Dani, perhaps you should slow down and not kill yourself?" Of course. I was stupid. And I wish I could have listened to that little voice.....

Wednesday: 2 miles at 8:13 pace and Squats and Lunges
Every time I landed I felt pain. The squats and lunges I did in the woods while I waited for kids to pass me at mile 2 also did not help my knee. This was another day I wish I could take back to prevent the damage I may have caused to my knee.

Thursday: 2.1 miles at 8:16 pace
Ran with a few kids around the school during practice and felt pain upon each landing. I knew my knee was getting bad. And I knew it was about time to see a doctor.

Friday: 7 miles at 8:14 pace
How to break your body and never heal: Go running after you've had knee pain all day. And continue to run on it when you feel like you're having the worst pain of your life. And keep running when you've stopped a few times and started walking back home but decided to turn around and try it again. And when you cut your run back early (trying to be somewhat smart) just run right past your apartment building and add two miles on.

As much as the first 5 miles of this run were painful, the last two were actually pain free. The knee seemed fine the rest of the night. But the next day.... that was a different story.

Saturday: A few minutes of running around at an XC meet
I knew I was done. Hobbling (while walking) from the start to mile two at the XC meet only confirmed that I actually could not run. As soon as I got home I searched for the nearest Urgent Care that accepted my insurance and that could do x-rays.

Injuries happen in this sport and it sucks when they do. I know my problem is my ambition and my belief that I can push through it and it'll get better. Unfortunately, with an injury like this, I have to take time off and rest or it will get worse. It was probably getting better that first week. But I should have never have pushed it with two 10 milers and the speed workout.

Will NYC happen? I hope so. I don't care it I have to walk during it. I signed up last year and couldn't do it. This year I am was in the best shape of my life and was looking for a fast PR. That PR won't come, and I know I have to think long-term, but gosh-dang, I want to run this race once and for all.

For now, I'm left with my weights. I get to experience running by watching the XC kids. I wish they could have known how much I would have given to trade spots this afternoon while they did their track work. My body wants to run. My mind wants to run. I can't sit still and its killing me.


  1. UGH. Sorry to hear about your fall. Glad that you didn't fracture your patella or have a potentially large tear. Hopefully you won't need surgery at all. Knee surgery hurts- I can attest to that!

    I fell the other day when running too and it really freaked me out. Still don't know how it even happened, I literally just fell flat on my face. Luckily my knees and hands caught me so I didn't land on my stomach. I was worried I could have hurt the baby, but since I didn't land on my stomach, I figured trip to UC wasn't worth the $. I had an OB appointment the following week and everything was fine. I will just have to be a lot more careful from now on!

    1. Yikes Tasha! That must have been so scary. I'm glad you caught yourself and you both were OK

  2. Keep your head up! I'm glad you are being smart about it and resting... that's a hard thing for runners to do!

  3. So sorry about the knee-- meniscus are tricky little suckers, although I am glad it's only a small tear.. (My fiance has had 2 knee surgeries for big tears in meniscus already this year and 3rd is on the schedule).

    I know there really isn't anything I can say to make you feel better- My fingers are crossed for NYC, it may not be the race you planned on, but you'll get there and you will be able to enjoy the city. 3:10 (and faster) is definitely in the cards for you, maybe not this time around but certainly in the future. You are a great runner- and person... and I don't doubt your ability to work through this!