Brinkmanship (i)

Writing my last post, having completed my first run in almost three months just two days before, and anticipating the second the next day, I dared to suggest that I might “start tinkering with 12 week marathon training plans” for my planned first marathon in Brighton. All the same, I knew even then that choosing not to run Brighton in April would be a better decision.

My run the next morning made it easier to make that decision. From around 4k, my right knee became significantly sore. I completed the final kilometre, not least because I needed to get home, but I was distinctly disheartened. My condition seemed to be getting worse; throughout the several months of my knee being swollen, I had never experienced significant discomfort during a run before.

I will now definitely be deferring my Brighton Marathon 2016 place, which at least affords a 20% discount on a 2017 entry. What would have been a preparatory half marathon at Silverstone in mid March has no deferral option. My only other advance entry is the Thames Path Challenge 50k in September which I hope to run, but only if I achieve a full, sustained recovery over the next six or seven months. The 50k also has no deferral option, but since I entered all three events well in advance my total entry fee loss will be under £100. It helps if I rationalise that this is a little less than the cost of two physio sessions!

I took ten days rest before running again. During this period, the swelling on my knee reduced significantly and my third run of the year was comfortably uneventful. Following a further five rest days, during which period the swelling on my knee disappeared completely for the first time since October, I set out on the fourth run of the year nervously hopeful …

It too was essentially comfortable and uneventful, I even ran an additional 500m over the planned 5k! Inevitably I was hyper-sensitive to the possibility of returning injury and so was very aware of every sensation as I ran. I did feel several moments of fleeting discomfort in my right knee, but couldn’t really define these in a specific way. Most significantly there was no return of swelling on my knee during or following the run. Manipulating my right knee I can feel that it is still ‘not quite right’ in comparison to my left, but this is minimal enough that I am looking forward to my next run, tomorrow, much more positively than I have for more than four months.

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