As the 26 day mark approaches (post-NYCM) I finally felt ready to take things up a notch and fully participate in Tuesday speedwork in Inwood Hill Park with the Inwood Hill Runners crew. The past few weeks I've been holding back to let myself fully recover from the stresses and microtears that occur during a 26.2 mile journey, but this week I felt ready to MOVE. Monday night I was plagued with an obnoxious achey, twingey, restless, uncomfortable feeling in my legs when I was supposed to be sleeping. It was so bad that I actually considered taking a few laps up and down the stairs in our building in my pj's to try to work it out, but in the end it was too cold to get up. I stretched my legs as well as I could, squirmed around a bit, then tossed and turned for a while longer. Obviously my legs were trying to tell me that I needed to get out and run! They were begging to be beat up and exhausted.
Tuesday night speedwork was a lot of fun, we have picked up a handful of new people in the last month and as runners tend to do, they fit right in. Last week and the week before we did some intervals around our 561 m track with about a 200 m recovery, but this week we switched it up and did a "ladder". Essentially it was running speedy intervals with "100 m" recovery. For the sake of sanity, we'll say the cones along the track were 100m apart, but really they were about 90m. We did 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 all with 100 m recovery jog between. From the second 600 on we ran in the opposite direction (we can do that, no one else was out there) which was a totally different experience because what was a tough uphill in the first half became a sweet downhill. I felt awesome, I was cranking out the intervals with solid effort and no knee pain whatsoever. A friend and I added on an extra 3.4 miles or so by running to and from the group including a nice haul up the stairs at 187th St to top it off. Whew, it was a great workout and good news- no creepy leg sensation last night! I slept like a log.
Despite feeling awesome last night, I still have to take a trip to the UES to see my knee doc tomorrow because my PT feels like we're at a standstill with my knee. Initially PT took my pain level down quite a bit, but then we hit a plateau and it won't fully heal. It is still sore to poke (I know, I know, don't poke it) and it still hurts going down stairs and getting up from the floor at work. Sigh. I suspect the doc will send me for an MRI as my PT recommended so that we can see exactly what is going on underneath my patella. I've been really lucky that it doesn't hurt when I run (most of the time) but I am concerned that running might be contributing to the damage. While I'm willing to take some time off if necessary, I'm dreading the possibility of the doc telling me to stop running, even for a short period of time.
So tomorrow I'm off to the doc to see what he has to say, and if he tells me to back off running I will be disappointed, but at least I'll have gone out with a strong run! I know I have other options too..swimming, biking, etc. which I enjoy, so I'll survive.