Monday, December 5, 2011

The Knee Knob Strikes Again

As many of you regular readers know, I have a little injury I have dubbed, "the knee knob."  I acquired this injury during a 50 mile trail run in October last year when my knee and the trail came to a disagreement and collided. The result was a calcium deposit that now sits on my knee right where my IT band and several other things intersect, which means if I don't keep those things super loose, the knob gets extremely angry and sore. 

If you are a regular reader you may also know (possibly more than you cared to) about my current 50 mile ultra training.  I have chronicled it every week, written countless posts on my thoughts, my training, my strategy, my doubt, my friends who help me with my doubt, etc.

That is why I think if you are a regular reader it may come as a bit of a surprise that I am not going to be running the 50 mile ultra this Saturday.  I feel sort of ridiculous now that I have written about it ad nauseam and now, in the 11th hour, I am changing my mind.  It seems like a lot of big talk and no action.  I know.  And it wasn't an easy decision to make, even if I know it to be the right one. 

So let me explain.  I have been able to run and train like I wanted (mostly), and even if the knee knob did complain somewhat during the run, it was not so bad and usually let up.  It was after each run that it complained the loudest.  When I'd get up from my desk at work, a certain amount of hobbling (sometimes groaning) would ensue.  It was stiff and angry.  Going up or down stairs hurt as well.  At night, when I would fold myself up on the couch under a quilt, getting up was painful and many times it was hard to straighten out my knee after being still for so long.

I was also not as consistent with the foam roller as I should have been, nor with my stretching and grand plans to hit up a yoga class regularly.  And the next morning I was up and at it again, allowing myself to ignore the previous evening's hobbling and creakiness.

After witnessing this over and over again, Jason talked to me about it.  We decided that if I wanted to continue running - after the 50 mile and on into the future - maybe now was not the time to attempt such a long run with such a moody knee.  He felt awful even bringing it up since I'd been looking forward to it for so long, but I knew he was right and I agreed.  And if I'm honest with myself as I look back, I have not been able to train as hard as I would have liked due to the knee knob and my caution because of it.  While I may have trained enough to go the distance, it wasn't what I had planned, and I think you have seen that in my weekly training posts. 

So while I am disappointed to give up this adventure I've been looking forward to for so long, I'm also a little relieved.  I was concerned about the aftermath of this 50 mile run, and I am not a big fan of taking time off.  I want to run every day and I want to feel good.  More than conquering new distances and better finish times is that fact.  I simply love to run and it is my hope that I will be able to run as long as I live and desire to do so.

And so, as wishy-washy, ridiculous and odd as it may seem given what you've been reading the last few months, the verdict is out and I will not be running the 50 mile this weekend.  Saturday may be tinged with a hint of disappointment as I think (or try not to think) about how I am not in Florida going the distance, and even as so many friends run and pace the Rocket City Marathon that day, but I know I've made the right decision and for the most part I am at peace with it. 


  1. WOW! I am shocked. I have been thinking about you and the race a lot lately. I didn't know the knob was bothering you more than usual, I'm sorry!!! I feel like a bad friend not asking you more about it yesterday :( It sounds like you are at peace w/ your decision, so I am glad for that and you know you have my support on whatever you do! Looking forward to many more runs w/ you in the future!

  2. I was going to tell you yesterday but there wasn't really a good time. It was a very recent decision so it is totally okay. I am still running, just 6-10 milers or less. It is sort of fun to go back to just running for fitness and pleasure. :)

  3. Aw, Jane! There will always be another race :) Take care of yourself. You are doing what is best. I hope others will be encouraged by seeing you play it smart this time.

  4. As always, Jane, you are an incredibly inspiring athlete. I think it takes immense self control to back out of an event you have had locked in your sites for so long, especially at this stage of the game. To have foresight, as opposed to hindsight, is something only experience can bring. Your body spoke, you listened and are behaving accordingly. Well done.

  5. I'm so sorry you won't be running that race. You have to do what's best for your body and you want to be running for several years to come!

  6. You are right, Katie, there WILL be another race and a good chance that race will be there when I'm ready to run it. That was something I was thinking about too.

    Thanks for the encouragement!!