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Day 60 of 112-Long Run-20 miles #hopespringseternal

Saturday
Saturday was a rest day, and that is exactly what I did.  The most taxing project of the day was my blog post #backinthesaddle, and that is because I did it while I was hungry and watching incredibly trashy television that totally demeans and compromises the quality of my life, “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”  

 I woke up at 7 a.m., went downstairs to hit the couch, turned on the tv, and that is pretty much where I was all day.  In fact, I never once changed out of my pajamas (I didn’t really see the need to do that just to walk my dog around the block in the middle of the day.) Doug made me dinner and served it to me and  I went to bed around 10:30 (didn’t have to go to bed too early because we had a “late” run-leaving at 7 a.m.).  Basically, I felt I did everything right for a really good run.  I even sent Christy a text at 9:26 that said as much.  “Am feeling good about tomorrow’s run! I think I did everything right today.”

Sunday
5:30 a.m.-Woke up and ate breakfast
6:15 a.m.-G0t dressed.  Despite the temps being in the lows 30s I wore shorts (NEW compression shorts!!) and my compression socks.  Layered up on top with a short sleeve shirt, running sleeves, and a long-sleeve shirt.

I wore this shirt in case I got delirious so at least someone could tell me my name. Actually, I wore this in the NYC Marathon in 2009 so people would yell out my name. It was awesome to run through the boroughs and having people say, "Way to go Kristi and Doug." Disclosure-When I ran the 2002 NYC Marathon, my friend Ronelle Pricket said we should do this. I thought it was lame and we didn't do it. I was wrong. Ronelle was right.

6:55 a.m.-Arrive at Christy’s
7:05 a.m.-Christy’s husband Tom takes the usual assortment of photos.  

Can you fully appreciate how ridiculous I look? Orange knee socks; long, black shorts, navy blue top with orange text that clashes with the orange of the socks; a white-collar sticking up and white sleeves sticking out of my shirt. It is NOT a coincidence that you don't see a picture of me with my fuel belt and big-ass royal blue Brooks bandanna to use as a sweat rag.

 7:10 a.m.-Depart and the first few steps are really, really, chilly
8:20 a.m.-Mile 7, arrive at Starbucks downtown Ann Arbor and head in for a pit stop.  And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where the fun begins for me.8:30 a.m.-Depart Starbucks.  Seconds after starting my run my butt and quads are tight, and they never get better.
8:45 a.m.-Soreness in my inner left ankle doesn’t seem to be going away.
9:00 a.m.-Why are my knees so sore?  My knees haven’t been this sore since last summer.  Is that what I get for posting in #recipieforsuccess that since I started running with Christy I have stopped walking during my runs and I am running faster?  And without knee pain?
9:10 a.m.-The bottom of my feet are really starting to get sore and achy.9:30 a.m.-Mile 14, I look down at my GPS and see that it’s mile 14 and say to myself, “I can’t believe I have 6 more miles to run.”
9:50 a.m.-Mile 15-Just wrapped up a pit stop at the Shell gas station on Plymouth.  My butt and quads are so sore that it is difficult to begin to bend over.
10:05 a.m.-My feet are so sore I feel like I’m not even wearing running shoes.  It’s just my feet on the bare pavement.10:20 a.m.-Just finished up mile 16.  Just three.more.miles.to.go.  I can do this, yes?  How can I do this?  It’s just one foot in front of the other at this point.
10:30 a.m.-OMG!  Two more miles.  How am I going to pass this time?  What can I think about for 20 minutes?  Why are my knees so sore?  Why can’t I bend over?  Why are my feet killing me? Why did Gretchen of the Real Housewives of Orange County make such an ass out of herself by performing at the Pussy Cat Dolls Lounge in last night’s episode?
10:50 a.m.-DONE! I can’t even imagine running 6.2 more miles at this point.
11:30 a.m.-Arrive at home and head upstairs to ice bath. 

This was the coldest ice bath to date as I was submerged in the deepest water. I was hoping that the ice bath would take care of my knees and that I would feel as good as I did after last week's ice bath. Hope can be a dangerous thing.

After the ice bath I took a warm shower, got dressed, went out and got a delicious bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich and washed it down with a Mountain Dew and then crashed on the couch for the next three hours before my chiropractic appointment. It was agony.  It was like I had restless leg syndrome.  I just couldn’t keep my legs still because they were soooooooooooooooo incredibly sore and achey. I couldn’t keep my legs bent or stretched.  Each time I got up seemed more painful than the time before. Walking up and down the stairs was painful because it hurt to bend my knees ever so slightly. I was walking around the house like a woman who is 10 months pregnant. What the hell is going on?  How did Slade, Gretchen’s boyfriend on “Real Housewives” get ever douchier?  Why this knee soreness?  Why now?  This is my emotional Achilles Heel; although, quite honestly, it could be my physical Achilles Heel. In past long training runs, i.e., BC-Before Christy-my knees would get sore like this around mile 10 and then my  head would fill with, “OMG! OMG! OMG!  I can’t make it! I won’t make it! OMG!  Blah! Blah! Blah!” This is NOT what I needed right now in my training.  I’m already feeling a little stressed and worn out, I can’t have this emotional thorn in my side throw me. So I didn’t let it!  This, btw, for me, is the equivalent in terms of magnitude of Moses parting the Red Sea. Based on the knowledge I have of my body, how I had prepared for this run, and what was different from other runs, I had a theory as to why my knees were hurting.  I ran it by my accupuncturist and she agreed with me. 

Simple science.

The one thing I had done differently during yesterday’s run was wear BOTH compression socks and compression shorts.  Now, because I am, as they say, vertically challenged, the compression socks come up high on my leg and the compression shorts go down low on my leg.  There isn’t much of my leg that wasn’t being compressed……except my knees.  Or ladies, if this is easier, think of it as a pair of granny girdle underpants.  Granny girdle underpants, while they “hide” your fat, don’t actually make it disappear.  So when it is sucking in all your hip and gut fat it has to go somewhere doesn’t it?  Where does it go?  It follows the path of least resistance.  In my case, the 1″ space I have between the top of the granny girdle underpants and the bottom of my boobs.  Same thing here.  The compression socks are working to prevent excess fluid build up in my lower legs and the compression pants are working to prevent excess fluid build up in my upper legs.  Great!  No fluid there and good circulation.  So where exactly does that extra fluid go?  I suspect it went to the one area where there was no compression (ie.g., the 1″ space between the top of my granny girdle underpants and the bottom of my boobs), that is….my knees. So my plan is to no longer wear both of them at the same time.  I will wear the shorts when I run, because that is generally where I have the most muscle soreness after a long run, and I will wear the socks after I run to aid in my recovery. 

The bonus to this plan is that ever since I started wearing the compression socks I was getting soreness in my inner left and right ankles and I think my feet were so sore because there is ZERO CUSHIONING in those socks.  So now I will go back to wearing soft and comfy socks and hope that it doesn’t feel like I have a pair of boulders attached to my bare feet. 

Now, do I have scientific evidence to back up my theory?  No.  Could it be something else. Yes?  But,  I don’t really care.  I had a problem; I diagnosed it and discussed it with someone whose opinion I respect; and now I have a game plan.  Will it be the ticket?  I hope so, but I don’t know.  I won’t really know until after Saturday’s 15 mile run.  And that’s the thing…sometimes you know and sometimes you don’t know.  And all you can do is make the best of it and move forward.  I iced my knees this morning and I will again tonight, and when I hit the track tomorrow at 5:40 a.m., I hope that the running will help “smooth” things out.  On the other hand, sometimes hope is healing. 

Carry on friends, carry on. 

P.S. Regardless of the pain and my moaning and groaning….we still BEAT our goal pace of 10:14 by 5 seconds with an average pace time of 10:05.  Now what’s not to love about that?

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