About a month ago, I injured my knee at school pretty badly. Imagine this: rugs by the side doors of the school, one pushed up a bit. Me, wearing my favorite heels, rushing to get back to class from the computer lab between periods. Heel catches on rug. Whoops! Sent flying, my knee twisting at an unnatural angle, but “gracefully” catching myself before I land on my knees.
Got to class a little red-cheeked, but fine. Lunch came around and my knee was a little sore. That evening, a little more. The next day I could barely put weight on it. Day after, I went to see a doctor about it. Turns out, it was a pretty bad sprain. Thus began my first adventure in worker’s comp. I hated dealing with all the paperwork!
Well, running was out. Not that I had done much during the school year any way. Heels were out for a few weeks. Knee brace on almost every day.
Two weeks ago, I started working out again. My knee had been better for a while and I wanted to start training for a half-marathon my sisters-in-law invited me to do with them.
Back on goes my knee brace and I headed to the gym’s treadmill. Sharp pain for the first 10 minutes, then it dulled out as I found my rhythm. I could do it. The knee had a dull ache the next day, but nothing some ice or ibuprofen couldn’t fix. All last week, I spend doing the treadmill and the elliptical. Finally, I was able to do the treadmill without my knee brace!
Today, it was excellent weather. Beautiful! Cool enough for a warm-up, but warm enough to lure me outside to do my running.
I pulled on my knee brace, started my timer, took a deep breath, and started out.
Foot hit concrete, vibration shook knee, pain registered in my head. Over and over. (Mind, it wasn’t bad pain, but just noticeable.) The rhythm which dulls pain wasn’t coming. I was three blocks so far. Should I go home, or should I keep going?
Then, my stubbornness kicked in. “Keep going. You are strong. Your knees have always been weak. You can ice it when you get home. You have a half-marathon. You want to be outside. Keep going.”
So, I listened. And I ran. My knee, more noticeable than any other part of my body. My shoes gently slapping the ground, knowing exactly where to step as curbs came and went, hills appeared and disappeared. Pink pinched my cheeks with its hot and cold hands. I was enjoying myself. I was running outside. At my old pace. No stops.
Before I knew it, half an hour had passed, and I was rounding the corner back home.
After taking off my knee brace, pain snaked up and around my knee, thanking me for being done, relieved to be relaxed.
But, I was smiling the whole time. I had finally run outside for the first time in a long time. And now I know, I can run outside with my weakened knee. I can train for this half-marathon. I can do it.