Friday, October 3, 2014


Two months before the half marathon, I went to Portland to attend the wedding of my niece.  I turned a planned four miler into a wonderful seven mile run through the heart of that wonderful town by getting lost, but that was also where I fell for the second time in two weeks by tripping over an unexpected little curb in the middle of a cross street.  My first fall was ten days earlier when I tripped over a protruding piece of grout between two steel sections of a bridge I was traversing in DC but I only wound up with scrapes on my elbow and hand.  Before that I hadn't fallen in several years.  (My two friends who were going to run the half-marathon with me.)
I thought I escaped injury from the fall in Portland beyond more road rash, but I think I did something to my leg which struck the curb, forcing me down.  The next weekend I ran an eight-miler on the W&OD Trail in Virginia but my knee swelled up with a lump the size of a golf ball afterwards.  That was a setback that caused me to miss a week of running, just when I was starting to go "up the scale" in mileage in my half marathon training plan.  (One of the half-dozen runner-friendly bridges that cross the river in Portland.)
A week after I returned to running I developed enduring pain in my knee on a five-mile weekday run which caused me to take another week off before I went to the doctor due to it and was diagnosed with bursitis in the knee which robbed me of yet more time away from training.  Now my training plan was a shambles and I wondered if I would run the race at all.  Aside from a few six-milers, I had run a seven-miler and an eight-miler once, the race was less than two months away and my knee was hurting during and after every run.  (In Portland, I posed with my nephew before Patience's wedding.)
What to do?  Go back to basics.  I stretched before runs, slowed my pace, wore a knee brace, listened to my body and suspended runs when noticeable pain came on, iced my knee afterwards and made extravagant use of all the expired Advil I had lying around.  Now although I didn't feel combat ready as race day approached I didn't feel like I was going to embarrass myself.  (It was a great sky in Portland both mornings that I was there.)

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