Monday, May 24, 2010

2 Days 0 Pain = The Right Decision

Sorry for being mysterious and disappearing toward the end of the week. I ended up taking an unscheduled rest day on Thursday. I’ve had a pretty mean case of tendonitis in my right knee. I had been icing and taking ibuprofen (at least when I remembered to take it), but by Thursday, the pain had progressed from a dull ache to a sharp burning pain.

I had a three mile easy run scheduled for Thursday. My knee was screaming as I put my shoes on and  laced up. It was about then that I had a stroke of genius  (I took special note because it doesn’t happen all that often). What if I just take a night off? After all, it’s just 3 miles. Then, with the scheduled Friday off, I would stack up two rest days. Maybe it would actually do my knee some good?

Well – it must have. Saturday I finished a six mile pace run, followed by seven miles on the trails in Peters Canyon on Sunday. All done without pain. Sometimes I just amaze myself…..

The other thing that was pretty amazing is I ran both days without the muscle fatigue that I had been feeling ever since the L.A. Marathon. I had talked to a friend  about it a few weeks back and he assured me not to worry. As he put it, “One day you will go out for a run, and voila! Everything will feel normal again.” I’m not quite normal, but I feel like I’m getting there. A word of advice for anyone anyone else running their first marathon – in the following weeks if you feel physically and/or mentally exhausted for a while – don’t worry - one day you will go out for a run, and voila! Everything will feel normal again.

Of course, all this rest left me a little short on miles this week, with only 27.5 in instead of the planned 32, but if it means my knee is on it’s way to recovery, I’ll take the fewer miles.

On the plan this week:

  • Monday: Row 4 miles.
  • Tuesday: This week we’re changing from intervals on the track to hills in Shady Canyon. About 5 miles with the club.
  • Wednesday: 3 miles. I’m swapping Wednesdays and Thursdays so I follow Tuesday’s hard workouts with an easy one. I’ll follow this with a resistance workout: One set each: Single leg squat, oblique bridge, lying draw-in w/ hip flexion, quadruped. Two sets each: Lying Hip Abduction, Cook Hip Lift, Kneeling Overhead Draw In, Knee Fall Out, Single Leg Squat Jump
  • Thursday: 6 mile easy run.
  • Friday: Rest day.
  • Saturday: 13 mile long run.
  • Sunday: 6 mile pace run, followed by a resistance workout: One set each: Single leg squat, oblique bridge, lying draw-in w/ hip flexion, quadruped. Two sets each: Lying Hip Abduction, Cook Hip Lift, Kneeling Overhead Draw In, Knee Fall Out, Wall Jump
  • Total mileage: 37

This week’s proprioceptive cue: Pulling the road. I will imagine the road is a giant treadmill with the road moving away from me. This should force me to plant my foot and then pull the road backwards. This forces a couple of things: (1) stiffen in anticipation of impact, and (2) pull. The result is minimizing ground impact time and pulling into the next stride, which is supposed to make me more efficient. Of course, I’m supposed to do this in concert with the previous three cues as well – falling forward, navel to spine, running on water. This for a guy who has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time….


  1. yeah for no knee pain!!!! Awesome! rest does a body good!!! I missed the So cal trail headz this weekend-I am a bone head!

  2. Smart move taking the extra day of rest. It seems like you're really getting back into training, great work.

  3. Yay!!! Glad the knee is happier and that overall, you're feeling better with the running thing. It's so cool when that "viola" hits and you're back on solid ground again. I'm hoping mine comes back soon,'re a great inspiration :).

  4. Love the post and thanks for the advise on the post marathon thingy. I just took a whole week off from running and when I went out on a virtual 5k, I blasted it. Hope your knee is doing better and thanks for sharing Glenn. Happy Healthy Running!

  5. I'm so glad you allowed your body to get a little rest in. ::hugs:: Take good care of that knee, Glenn!

  6. Happy to hear your knee is better! Your plan looks good for the week. Keep on resting whenever you need to, despite what your plan might say and you'll get more of those energized runs that always feel so good! Cheers.

  7. Rest is a good thing. Running better. Yet, running will not be better without rest.

    I like your virtual treadmill idea while actually running in the real world. Why not? We do the reverse while running on treadmills. Whatever helps.

  8. Glad you had no knee pain and the two days off helped! Sometimes you just need that extra rest!! Hope you have a good week of training!

  9. 13 miles Saturday, just look for a half marathon with a nice route! You don't have to try to PR, just enjoy the different scenery.

  10. I know, all of those cues are so much to remember! Rest up and watch the knee, it's just not worth it!

  11. Just out of curiosity, does weather have any bearing on how your knees feel? Personally, I can predict rain. ;)

    I'm glad the knee pain went away! You played it smart by resting when you needed to.

  12. I had the same experience with morning morning I woke up and it was gone!

    Is that the same thing?

    Glad you took the day off...Smart. Very Smart!

  13. I'm glad that the extra day of rest helped. It's funny that the body can feel so different from one day to the next. It's a great thing to keep in mind, especially when recovering. Thanks for the reminder!

  14. glad your knee is doing better after it's mini-tantrum! whew.

    it's so true - after a marathon (or a lot of running in general) one day it all just 'clicks' again. unfortunately that day seems to take forever to get here sometimes :)

    ok. i could try 1 of those running-form 'thoughts', but certainly not more than that...

  15. NICE. You totally made the right decision to take some time off. Sometimes that is what does a body good.

    that is a LOT of things to think about while running. I'm still on left right left right left right.

  16. Interesting about your propreceptive comment, they say trampolining is very good for that too...yes I am full of trivia!

    And yay for no knee pain

  17. I meant to add that rest is just passive training!

  18. smart guy taking that rest day. I'm hoping for "voila" tonight on my run. :)

  19. Your advice about viola one day you feel great running again is right on. It doesn't just happen after the first marathon either. And what's odd is that it may take a couple weeks before that feeling of I can't/don't wanna run kicks in.