Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ten Thousand Miles, an MRI, and PT!

Well, well, well...

After FAR too many years, I finally managed to hit the 10,000 mile mark for lifetime running mileage. Some of you might say, "that's quite an achievement for someone dealing with so many injuries over the years," and others might say, "jeesh, it took you long enough!" You would both be correct. I have many running friends who have eclipsed this mileage in far less time and have probably doubled or tripled my mileage already, so this won't be all that impressive to those folks. But it hasn't been an easy road for me. Still isn't.

Ran my 10,000th mile today in 7:22 (4th mile of a 5 mile run). Didn't feel easy. Sucks to be out of shape. And yes, my knee and hip hurt. But it was awesome!

It all started back on June 26, 1983 (Actually, it started a few years before that, with a year of XC during middle school, for which I have no written records, so I don't include those miles.) I was living in Kent, WA with my dad, stepmom and baby sister but visiting my mom and other family in Florida during summer break. I was going into my junior year of high school and had decided I wanted to run cross country. So I started running loops around the block where we lived.

Those of you that know me at all will NOT be surprised to know that I do, indeed, have my first written log from that time. My first recorded run was a 2-miler (at 6:46 pace!) around the block (CD stands for Crestwood Drive). I also like that I threw down a 5:44 mile during my second week of running. Ah, youth...

Low mileage, fast pace. What's this "base building" people talk about?

Thirty-two years of ups and downs (and plenty of injuries) later, I finally met that goal. You can see on the right side of this blog, if you scroll down a ways, my year-to-year mileage. Some years have zeroes, some have hardly any mileage at all. I'll admit that not all of those paltry years were due to injuries. Post high school, I lost interest in running (oh, if I had that time back again...I was just starting to get fast when I graduated!) There were other years where I decided I was going to lift weights and add muscle to my skinny frame. And, of course, there were plenty of injuries that derailed my running, sometimes for months (or years) at a time. But, glutton for punishment that I seem to be, I always returned to running. It's in my blood.

So, here's to the next 10,000 miles, God (and body) willing.

Speaking of a willing body, I ended up getting an MRI on my left knee after all. I won't go into the ugly details involving my insurance company (there are still issues being dealt with), but I met with my doc a few days ago to go over the results. Long story short, my knee looks great! No tears. Cartilage, tendons & ligaments all look good. Very little wear and tear. No arthritis. There is a bone bruise (probably from one of my bike crashes, but my knee pain goes back long before any crash), and there's a bit of fat deposit that might be causing impingement, but nothing that's obviously giving me the knee pain I'm still experiencing. I'm thrilled to know the knee is structurally sound, but frustrated that I still don't know what's up. Doc said that tight hamstrings can lead to knee pain (I've had tight hamstrings for decades, so I doubt it's the main problem.) I decided to go for a 6-week round of physical therapy to hopefully get my gait analyzed (again), get more flexible, deal with any strength imbalances and weaknesses and, hopefully, put the chronic pain behind me.

After all, I've got another 10,000+ miles to run. Don't want it to be painful! At least, not the bad kind of pain...

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