Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cracking It

@ The Movies: Rocky Balboa
Originally uploaded by ★WaiWai★.

I'm actually getting kinda sick of myself at the moment, I have to say. It seems my whole life is consumed by my sore knee and how it has been holding me back in training.

Yesterday was no exception. I got to Central Park on time, proud as punch to be using my fancy new fuel belt. Having iced and stretched my knee the night before, I was not feeling any pain as we started the first of two 4-mile circuits. I kept up a good, steady pace - staying out in front of the run/walker pack, for the most part. And then, just like clockwork, my knee injury demanded to be noticed. As I rounded into the last 1/2 mile, ignoring it was not an option and as I completed my first circuit, I had to stop.

I have been mad at myself ever since I started feeling this injury, but yesterday took the cake. I was mad, then I was sad. I am not a runner, so I am realistic about my performance in this race - I have always said that I just want to finish. And yet after yesterday's setback, I sincerely doubted my ability to do even that.

Last night I continued to feel sorry for myself, and then I took a long hard look around my apartment and realised that a one-woman pity party is pretty pathetic. So I gave myself a stern talking to. I pledged to go back to Central Park first thing Sunday morning, stare down those 8 miles and never again let my knee be the boss.

A little after 9.30am, I set off on the first of two 4-mile circuits; a wonderful reprise of Saturday's run. But the weather was so much better today - even the sun knew better than to let me down today.

Right on schedule, my knee started to twinge at the 3.5-mile mark and those second thoughts crept in. But I shut them up by squeezing Vanilla Gu into my mouth. Then I spent the next 1/2 mile trying to wash it off my hands and my tshirt, where I had slopped it. I mean, seriously - I was a mess, but at least it was a distraction.

I was almost 1/3 of the way into my second circuit before I realised how well I was doing. My walking breaks were a welcome relief from the running, and sure, my knee was hurting every time I started up again - but I would not let myself stop.

The hills on the western side of the Park (aka The Three Bitches) lived up to their nickname today, but I willed myself forwards. As I made my final turn into Bethesda Terrace, I could almost smell the coffee of the Central Park Boathouse.

And so after shuffling 8 miles around Central Park, the Boathouse was exactly where I headed. A strong, hot latte was the perfect reward for my longest run to date. And my knee will just have to live with that.

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