Running on the Challenging Road to Recovery

This past fall my knees decided it was time for a break. After two intense races in a row I could hardly walk. I think it was the extreme downhill from Reach the Beach – so I went to my Doc. After some x-rays my Doc said my knees are in better shape than when he worked on them several years ago. “You are fine, quit whining”.  I promptly dressed for a run, gingerly jogged about a mile down the road and had to turn and hobble home. Over the winter I have been keeping my knee rested.

This was going to be the year I break through the 4-hour mark, it’s not looking like it’s going to happen at Boston. I closed out the fall with a PB in the half marathon distance; my time (1:55) was good enough to make me ambitious. Oh well.

In the past two years I have run this race for my family, the marathon team and Mass General. I have trained hard to give back to them and say thank you what they have done for me.  This year is a little different. I want to complete this year’s marathon for the same reasons, but also for me. I won’t be running a PB or  under 4 hours, I just hope to finish with some dignity….and of course, raise a little money for a great organization.

Since the new year, I have been trying to balance healing with training. I am going for two or three runs a week. One longish and the others gentle brief excursions to stay tuned, plus a little bit of weight lifting to build strength. My engine seems to be running fine, in fact I am probably running faster than I should and am certain I can go much farther than my knee wants to. Although this routine doesn’t seem to be working. I don’t feel like I am getting better, in fact it sometimes seems worse.

My goal at this point to somehow get my mileage up near the 20 mile mark pre-race (in the past two Boston races, I trained past race distance just to be certain). I think it’s time to get back to the doctor. If I can manage to keep the knee working I am confident, I can drag myself along the 26+ miles, albeit slowly.

On the bright side, spring is definitely springing. There is nothing wrong with 32 degree sunny morning for a nice run!

-Mark

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