After not running for the past week, yesterday was the day to test out the knee and make a decision, if I am going to do the Blue Ridge Relay or if I have to make a phone call for my backup... Understandably, he wanted a couple of days heads up.
So, I finally worked up the courage to do the run and this was my "test track". A nice newly paved piece of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Sweet and flat.
Have a look at my "wheel set" too! ;-) They are enhanced with the Kinesio Tape and some Aspercreme, just to make it as easy on the knees as possible.
The first 0.5 miles were a complete breeze. It felt great to be out running again. Sometimes the running just bores and frustrates me, but whenever I haven't done a run in a while, I am just itching to get out there... Unless I am worried about pain, then it takes me longer to roll out of bed. Anyways...
As I said, the first 0.5 miles felt great and then the pain came back a little. For the next 0.5 miles, I was debating in my head, if I just let it go and need to accept, that the relay is over for me. The pain came and went in waves and after I did one mile, I got back to the car. I ran a little loop first, just to see how things are going. I threw the water bottle into the car, because it irritated me. Mental note: use your fuel belt instead of a water bottle... You have the stuff at home, just use it!
After that, I tried to apply what I had read about in the book ChiRunning. So I lean forward, concentrated on picking my heals up in the back instead of lifting my knees up in the front. I was focusing on relaxing my whole body and made sure my core was engaged... And I sure spend a lot of time wishing, that I already read more of that book! :-) Nevertheless, I felt like those points really made a difference in the pain. But as soon as my mind started to wander, I slumped back in my regular posture and the pain got worse... That reminded me to focus on my form again.
The run had it's ups and down, but was decent overall. I ended up doing 4.2 miles in under 40 minutes, which is a good time for me especially when fighting with pain. But I still didn't feel like I had an answer to my question, if I would be able to get through the relay.... So I asked the team... And the team told me, that they would pick up the slack, if I won't be able to run my legs and so it was decided.... :-)
In order to be as pain free as possible, there will be no running or cycling before the race anymore. I will do my stretches, ice the knee down, use the foam roller, go swimming and put Biofreeze on it.... Any yes, hope for the best!