Thursday, February 17, 2005

Another day, another few miles

A few random thoughts from a run around my neighborhood yesterday

* The Life-Altering Orthotics (of doom)™ have arrived! They are in my shoes. They are altering my life, orthotically. They have not led to my doom. Yay.

* Damn, there are a lot of hills in my neighborhood. This sucks (but look how fit I am! I am running. Up. Faster than that old lady with the shopping cart!)

* I think these street lamps make my shadow’s ass look fat.

* Okay, so maybe my knee hurts a little from before. Because today they shouldn’t hurt at all. My life has been altered. By orthodics! Of NotDoom!

* It’s a good thing my knee still hurts, because if I didn’t have that to think about, I’d be bored. Now I can think about all the ways that technology sucks. Quacks. All the doctors and running experts are quacks. Anyone else want to sell me an expensive solution to my knee pain? That’s what my credit card is good for!

* Are you kidding me with this downhill crap? I just went up a hill. Figure out what you want, DC. Up or down? UP OR DOWN?

* According to my pedometer, I’ve already run over three miles. Right. If I believe that, there’s a bridge in London I’d like to sell me. (Hmm, that doesn’t work so well in the first person.) Stupid technology.

* That’s it. I’m moving. Anybody have a job for me in Kansas?

* I love contemporary indie rock, but I LOVE, for real, y’all, TRUE LOVE, 80s hard rock.


Okay, that was yesterday. Today, my knee doesn’t seem worse for the wear, after two days in a row of running, one enhanced by many hills. So maybe it’s the orthotics, or maybe it’s that I iced it when I got home, or maybe I’m just getting stronger and more invincible (never fear, Underdog is here!). Whatever. I’m going to talk to my coach about running stride on Saturday, and see where that leaves me.

For the record, I want to point out again that my knee doesn’t hurt in a searing pain, now I will die, kind of way. But it does hurt, in a consistent, every time I run, it hurts right THERE, no THERE, kind of way. And it wouldn’t bother me, except that I’m afraid that if I ignore it, it’ll become searing and awful and that was fun, that walking thing, but who loves wheelchairs, I do! Still, I feel like a wimp complaining, since, you know, it’s not really that bad.


Also, for all of you who yelled at me about running in Rock Creek Park, alone, after dark, I know. I get it. It was dumb. I basically figured that out by myself, not so smart as I am. It just sucks that one of the few nice places to run is actually scary and dangerous.

I was going to say, in my defense, that I’ve never seen anybody scary in Rock Creek Park, but, aside from the complete lack of logic in that argument (it only takes one murderer to ruin a party), it’s not even true. Last summer, in full daylight, on a sunny Sunday, surrounded by couples and families and dogs (nobody evil has a dog) this truly strange guy tried to pick me up.

Okay, so picture it. It’s sunny, it’s warm, I’m lying on a bench, reading my book, and this guy sits down nearby. I see him out of the corner of my eye, and he seems like your typical urban Phish fan. He’s got his sporty backpack, his bandanna, hemp necklace, his grungy sandals. Not really my type, but nothing to get excited about.

His opening line? “So, do you believe in aliens?” I know, awesome, right? To be fair, I was reading a sci-fi book, but still. Science fiction, so… No. Not so much.

So I look up, about to respond, and across his forehead? Is a GIANT, colorful, tattoo. Of a cross. It was weird, y’all. And not just because I’m Jewish.

I didn’t want to be rude, so I sort of mumble a reply while keeping my eyes on my book, all, “I don’t really want to talk, sir, I’m reading.” That’s what Miss Manners says to do. Honest, I read it in her book.

And before I know it, he’s telling me all about how aliens are totally real, and he’s even been to other planets, by somehow concentrating and then disappearing. Well, he used to be able to do it when he was a little kid, but he can’t really do it anymore. But he’s got a friend who can. And it was all very The Little Prince, but somehow not as cool.

Anyway, he babbled on for a while, I tried to read my book, and he finally got the hint and started reading his book about Hindi spiritualism. And then I left.

So I promise. No more running alone at night. Especially not in Rock Creek Park.

The good news is that I have running dates for the next three weekday runs. Look at me, with such sporty friends.


Blogger David said...

Rx: Ask one of those sporty friends if they can show you a stretch or something to make that knee get better before and after a run. Sore knees don't go away quickly so be careful.
Ice is good. If it feels swollen, throw down some ibuprofin for 5-6 days.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Some pain like that can just be overuse, so watch your rate of mileage increase. Good for you for finding running partners! It's really nice to run with other people, and not just for safety. Pretty soon, especially after daylight savings, you should be able to hit the park after work and still have some daylight left. Never fear, such is the nature of running in DC in the winter! Keep up the good work. PS - You are getting stronger, guaranteed!

6:48 AM  
Anonymous bd said...

You are smart to address your knee issue now. It takes time to recover from even one incident that causes injury or inflammation. And it is important to find the root cause but there are so many variables to consider. David and Pat provide good suggestions for avoiding injury.

By the way, I think it is normal to feel creaky or experience some pain after longer runs. In my limited experience and conversations with others, basic aches or pains are not uncommon, even in joints. But you do have to pay attention to them. I hurt in the knees each time I increased my mileage so I would use ice and ibuprofen to keep inflammation down. The pain was most noticeable after my 16+ mile runs in the hills so I would take an ice bath (whoo), ice the knees, take ibuprofen, and do lots of stretching after the run. For an extended period of time I ran with knee braces on my long runs to keep my ITB from hurting.

Sometimes it's hard to know when a slight pain is a normal type of thing versus something that will lead to damage. I once wrote in my blog that there is a fine line between persistence and stupidity. I think that's still true. The problem is that the line isn't well defined so you just have to stay on top of things. And it seems that you are!

That dude in Rock Creek Park? That was me. *kidding*

2:00 PM  

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