Besties! Be Your Own Best Friend

Last Monday I was running with Allison through the Seattle snow. Hobbling really. My knees were hurting; a party of pain that included aching, creaking, cracking, and stabbing. This pain party was waking me up at night. My achilles had just joined the pain party a week or two after the knees started it up and had invited my heels. Everyone was jamming. Except me.

I told her, if I were a friend of mine I would tell myself to back off the mileage. And a year ago I would have been that friend to myself. But I was at a place where I was suddenly addicted to my mileage. I wouldn't accept the fate I'm constantly served: I'm a delicate runner. Argh. A real pansy I you ask me.

I decided outloud to back off the mileage for a week and then build it back. But -in my head- I decided I would bump it up 5 more miles that week to get over 50. I needed to push through the pain. The swollen knee caps. The fact that I couldn't squat and get back up on my own didn't stop me. No, no. Just keep going.

weird - it seems like I've learned this lesson at least 5 times before. 3 times in surgery.

Three days later I couldn't run, because I got sick. And I stayed sick. I bonded with my bathroom in ways I will never speak of. So my sickness was the friend I needed. A bossy unwelcome friend, but that's the kind I needed. Two days off and my knees weren't aching or stabbing. Ran a sad, sad 4 miles on day three. Then took two more days off. No knee pain! No achilles pain!

So I'm going to be the friend I need now. I wish 50 wasn't hard for me. But it is right now. So I need to figure out why it's beating my knees down and build up slower. My goal is Eugene Half Marathon redemption in late April. It's going to be sweet.

It's hard to take your own advice - anything you're not saying to you?


  1. My body has done a similar thing! Right when I'm on the brink of a running-related-injury, I will suddenly get the flu or a bad cold or a similarly unpleasant ailment. Forced downtime. My response is usually, "Thank you?"

  2. Amen sister. After a sudden jump in mileage and intensity last week, my inner best friend leaned in real close, right up to my ear, so I could feel her labored breathing and said, "You jerk. Train like a dog, feel like a dog."
    Ah well. Like you said, April can and will be sweet!


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