Not-so-great north run

I was up north at the weekend, which meant two things: rain and hills (I’m sure my friends would offer a third – gravy!) Rain I don’t mind, but I was advised to avoid hills for the moment as they could give my knee problems.

After my two good, small runs in the week I was feeling confident, but still nervous about running on pavement again. The last thing I wanted was another setback and enforced rest.

I was running in unfamilar territory, and I walked the first ten minutes up a gentle slope to somewhere a bit flatter and began my run as a slight drizzle came down. Pace was as slow as you like, but I was determined to do three miles, maybe even more if I was going well. A mile down, and things were going quite well. No real pain, although I did seem to be heading for a long but gradual slope, so I knew it would be a test. After another half mile, I was halfway to my original target, and thoughts of clocking up the 10K that Nike+ was encouraging everyone to run was entering my head, but I decided not to risk it, especially with more inclines ahead of me. And then it started to go wrong…

Once pain starts, you pray that it’ll soon disappear magically. When it doesn’t, you try to take your mind off of it and hope it doesn’t get worse. The back of my right knee was tightening up and not relenting. Not wanting to be left out, my left knee had started a pain smack on the top of the knee cap after every stride. Two miles out, scared of further injury, I stopped. Wet, in pain and a mile away from my destination I was in a little trouble.

I walked a bit, and it got better. I tried running again, but the downwards motion just made it worse. Disheartened, I trudged home under the grey sky.

Thankfully, the walk seemed to have done it some good, and the pain ended up not as bad as I feared. My left quad muscle above the knee was quite tight, but I hope it’s only temporary.

Once recovered, it’s back to the treadmill in a few days, I guess.

Please consider donating to the children's charity that I have now painfully run the 26.2 miles for - details at: http://www.justgiving.com/andymales
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