Cleared to Run

For years I had been ignoring a substantial pain in my right knee, thinking it was something that required surgery. Finally, in September, I stopped procrastinating and made a doctor’s appointment. The doctor was quite confident I was dealing with patellar tendonitis. He signed me up for physical therapy, prescribed nitroglycerin patches, and sent me on my way.

Six PT sessions, including two dry needling appointments later, I am pretty confident that the doctor was right. I have a slew of exercises and stretches which have kept the pain to a minimum. Ideally, when you really want to heal the patellar tendon, you eliminate running or jumping exercises first and then do the physical therapy exercises. I have opted for a different route, simultaneously doing the PT and beginning to train for my first 10k on Thanksgiving day. So far, so good. My knee hurts almost every time I start a run, but a mile or two in it does not bother me at all. Couple the exercises with the knee strap I wear, and my right knee feels excellent the whole latter half of the run.


Swimming days at UW. 2005.

My interest in running first grew when I was swimming for Wyoming. In the fall and spring, the team would often run a 5k before getting into the pool and swimming one, as in another 5k, not a 1k. I wasn’t the fastest runner at practices. There would always be a couple guys ahead of me who were just built for longer distances, but I always enjoyed those runs, even though they were at 7200 ft in elevation. In the years since, I have loved running for exercise, but I haven’t ventured into competition that much. I ran in one 5k in Milwaukee a few years ago and that is it.

With a Thanksgiving 10k on the horizon, I really wanted to do some formal training. Not knowing where to start, I did some googling, naturally, and I found this (the intermediate 10k training program from Hal Higdon). Feeling like that was as good a place to start as anything else, I enlisted myself in a solo training program. Of course, it’s not entirely solo. On many of my runs I have had to push London in the Mountain Buggy. She enjoys it tremendously. I, on the other hand, sort of prefer the days I can run by myself. Although it rests on three wheels, the Mountain Buggy with London in it is no light load. The max distance I have pushed London is six miles. In the beginning, pushing London for 3 or 4 miles was very hard, but now, six weeks in, I can push her for a four mile run and quite easily run under eight minute miles. Progress.

Come race day, I’ll have two big breaks. One, I won’t have to push London around the course. And two, perhaps even more of a boost, the race takes place at about 1000 ft in elevation. There is some bad news though. There is a decent chance it will be cold enough to watch your spit freeze right after it hits the ground. At the start of last year’s race it was 12 degrees.

One thought on “Cleared to Run

  1. So glad your knee continues to improve! And I love that you are running in this race. I think the 10K-5K runs on Thanksgiving are a great (relatively new) tradition. Plus, you have continued to improve in many athletic pursuits. So enjoy!

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