There hasn't been too much running in the last few weeks.
But that's not how I had intended it to be. I had registered for a 5K race. I had my training plan. I was all ready for speedwork and -- with the cooler temperatures of September -- I was looking forward to it.
And then I woke up one morning and my right knee really hurt. Bending it was excruciating. I had no idea why. Just overuse, I guess. Too much running, dancing, and tennis and not enough attention paid to my joints.
I've run through plenty of pain. I've run when I shouldn't have. But knees are different. Thinking about the 5K race, I knew there was no way to care for my knee and to train sufficiently. I decided to run the race just for fun, to stretch, to foam roll, to ice.... The past two weeks have been full of time on the elliptical and yoga classes.
Today, in the middle of interval training, I wanted to try running. I added two five-minute treadmill runs in between sets of weights. It was a little choppy at first and my strides were uneven. But, in the second run, I found that easy, loping cadence, that rhythm that is so hard to find during a run and even harder to find on a treadmill. I lost it for a minute and then slowly fell back into the rhythmic motion of muscles gliding and feet striking the treadmill so lightly that it was more like stroking.
Next weekend, I'll be back out there running. I'll run a race. I'll pin my bib number to my shirt but I won't tie on the timing chip. I'll run because the race is for a worthwhile cause, because it will be a beautiful fall morning, because I'll have great company, because I can run and my knee won't bother me too much any more.
And maybe I'll look ahead to November and the race calendar. Maybe then I'll try again for time.