Friday, May 26, 2017

They Tell Me I'm a Water Not a Land Animal

It’s good to have goals, but sometimes I don’t reach them: another running injury [patellofemoral pain syndrome/chondromalacia patellae a.k.a. runner’s knee] prevented me from running for most of the winter and spring.

Running Disappointments

  • I did successfully complete the Squirrely Tail half-marathon trail run in February and surprised myself with a time only a few minutes slower than my road half time. I was still getting back into running shape at that point, after my Achilles injury, but it felt fabulous.
  • I tried to run the Lucky Charm 10K in March, but I cut out at the 5K cut through and limped home.
  • I couldn’t compete in the Ironmaster’s Challenge 50K in April because I was still going through physical therapy and my knee wouldn’t have handled that distance or intensity, not to mention I had already taken over a month off of running to let the knee heal. So that was a big bummer: I had been looking forward to that race for years.
  • My mom and boyfriend signed up to hike/run the 15K at the same event, so I switched my registration and hiked with them, which was fun and only gave me a little bit of knee pain.

Swimming Successes

On the upside, my knee weirdly only hurt when running or hiking steep hills—not swimming or cycling—so I was able to keep working out, and my swimming improved noticeably when I stopped running.

I competed in the 2017 U.S. Masters Swimming Colonies Zones meet in Fairfax, VA in the 1650 freestyle (the mile, in swimming terms) and crushed my goal time to win my age group and finish as third woman overall with a 20:07.82.

The race felt amazing. It was the most evenly-paced race I’ve ever swum, and I believe it was because of all of the longer-distance running I did in the fall. I learned how to pace myself then and it carried over into the pool.

Current Situation

I started running again last week and so far so good. I can manage 5 miles without knee pain or feeling like I want to collapse. I’ve done two 7ish miles trail runs that felt good. And in a week from today I will compete with the Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg’s Ragnar relay team to run from Lancaster to Jim Thorpe (200+ miles of which I am doing about 19).

Swimming is still going great, and I’m still planning to tackle the 4.4 mile Chesapeake Bay swim on June 11. In preparation for this, a few swimming friends and I swam 100 x 100s on the 1:50, 1:45, and 1:40 a few weekends ago. That’s over 5.5 miles of swimming. My shoulders got sore, and were sore for two weeks, but nothing serious, no injuries. Can’t wait till this event! I’m hoping the water is warm enough that I don’t have to wear a wetsuit.

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