The last week has been pretty decent for training, a mix of both progress and pain. I did a training run of 14 kms in 01:35 hrs. Seems pretty ok, and on track for a sub 2hr target in TWCM, provided I don’t stop training the next 4 weeks. I hope not to. There’s just 5 weeks to the event. But a part of this somewhat tough training (by my standards: at least one 15km, one 10km, and one 5 km runs in a week, aside from the regular walking/cycling stuff) is taking its toll in pieces in my right knee. And worse, the last two days it’s been flowing down to the shinbone (the long front bone section between the knee and the ankle). I don’t think it’s an issue with my technique, for my left leg is as good as ever. So I guess it must be from the right knee-down.
Once I severely injured myself, twisting my right knee and tearing a ligament around it, during the Oxfam Trailwalker 2015 in Avallon, France, in June 2015. I need to write about this. It’s a post long due! Long story short: it’s a 100Km trek in the valleys and dense forests in under 30 hrs straight. (Btw, I cross the finish line at 06:20 mins in the link above! ;-)). I know 2+ years is way too long a time for anything to heal, so the problem now is definitely not because of that. But, tell you what? It’s some sort of a mental connection I have made up and that has stuck to me ever since that day: my right knee is not alright since Oxfam. In a way, I like to keep it that way, because it reminds me of two things: 1) what the tough conditions of a real run/trek mean and 2) the cardinal truth of long distance running/trekking/whatever you put your body through – pain is inevitable. So I’d rather stick to what I have now defined for myself and accepted as a small personal motivation factor – there’s something wrong with my right knee for a while, and I’m ok living with it. But that won’t stop me from running.
So, the point: associating with an impactful (and preferably painful, for pain is what keeps it going) event is a good way to keep oneself focused on the training.
Back to the training. What I also realized when the knee hurt too much this week is that I have long stopped training with weights. Stamina is not a problem now, but strength is. Maybe because my muscles are not strong enough for 30 kms in a week, so my body is letting my bones bear the brunt. And those are two entirely different things, stamina and strength, especially for a long distance runner. This may or may not be factually correct (who cares?), but it is definitely true for me. It was a simple thing that I had happily chosen to neglect in the past two months’ break. I need to pick up the weights again. And I’ve got to make my muscles learn that more pain is on the way.