Sunday, June 16, 2013

What Excruciating Knee Pain Taught Me

This Friday and Saturday I was in Guelph for work.  We were learning about and discussing on the topic of the Early Learning Framework that is being introduced to the school board and most likely daycares throughout the province in the next little while.  It was interesting work and I had great people at my table to discuss with, but it was long days to be sure.

To combat that I wanted to get some exercise in before our days got started at 8am.  Since I was in a hotel I knew I wouldn’t sleep very long anyways and so when I was up at about 6 in the morning both of the day I got my gear on and went out for a run. 


The first morning I just did a nice little 5k in the neighbourhoods in behind the hotel.  It was a nice enough route, but nothing I couldn’t see in any city.  During one of the breaks one of the ladies at the table and I got to talking about running and such and she suggested I go run at the university of Guelph and in their arboretum.  Unique and very pretty.

You may recall that during my run at The O Course I kind of hurt my knee a bit somehow, and so the run on Friday was my first attempt since last Saturday.  My knee was alright.

Running over to the University sounded like a fantastic plan Saturday morning since I briefly visited the hotel gym after dinner the night before and it sucked.  I did ride their stationary bike, but that’s it. 

It was a much further run to get to the arboretum than I expected really and I was about 3k in before I even got to the woods.  my knee was hurting a bit by then already, but I wasn’t about to run to the entrance of this place and then turn around without seeing it!  So I ran through the woods, it was very pretty and since I had forgotten to bring headphones I could hear all the birds and critters and other forest sounds, it really was nice.



By the time I got out on the other side and back up to the street I had gone 5k and I was really starting to feel the pull on my knee and up the outside of my thigh and down into my calf a bit.  I knew, however, that I was at least 3k from the hotel, and even running I would have less than an hour to shower, get dressed and get breakfast before our session started.  Slowing down or walking was out of the question if I was going to make it back in time!

At 7k completed I was dying!  I could feel the pain creeping outward from my knee, and I was thinking ‘Just get to that set of lights, then we’ll walk’ (That’s we, like the ‘royal we’ – “We are not amused…  We will walk when we get to those lights…  We think our knee might explode!”) And then I would get to those lights and realize I had at least another block to go and continue running.

My leg hurts pretty good right now, 24 hours later.  Last week the chiropractor said I have super tight IT bands and need to get a foam roller to help work them out a bit.  All I know is that my leg really flippin’ hurts.

What I learned in that 3k slog back to the hotel is this.  I am unstoppable if I choose to be.  I will admit I kind of applied this same thing before but that was about running after dinner and feeling like I was going to hurl just because of the full tummy, or it was about simply pushing for more time or distance or to be faster.  My half marathon and this run here have told me that even when one of the fundamental things I require to do an activity is malfunctioning I have the will and ability to make things happen!

The short term impact of that might not be all that great, and I should probably lay off a bit and be sure my knee and legs get the restorative attention they need.  But ultimately it is a very good thing.  You learn about yourself when you have to fight adversity.  Pain is a good thing.

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