Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Knee Needs a Challenge

As you probably know, I did a number on my knee while running the New York City Marathon back in November. I was pretty nervous the first three weeks, when I still hobbled while walking.

Over the last three weeks, I've slowly added running back into my morning trail time with Kona. I gave myself strict guidelines: I couldn't start running again until my knee didn't hurt at all while hiking. I was only allowed to run uphill, as descents put too much strain on my joint, and I had to stop if I felt any pain.

To stick to my guidelines, I've had to stay away from our forest trails. They're just too steep for a bum knee. I was glad to be on the mend, but missed the views from the forest.
Since I've been doing so well, I decided to put my knee to the test. Kona and I set out up our local peak. We hadn't been on this trail since my marathon taper.
While I felt sluggish and my hip flexors complained about the steep terrain, my knee felt fine. The clear sky opened views all the way to the ocean and wispy clouds reflected light from the rising sun.
Kona turned on her power snout at the peak, pacing frantically around scent tracks. It was good to see her engaged and not nervous. The descent to the car is always challenging for Kona on our forest trails. Long time readers know Kona fears most things related to humans and their creations. While she loves to hike away from the trailhead and the neighborhood that surrounds it, retuning toward the city often turns her into a nervous wreck. Today was no different, so I lingered at the peak, letting Kona do her confident Kona-thing.
I also lingered to enjoy the view of the city
and the forest around us.
I planned to hike down to be nice to my knee. Apparently, I don't have much patience for sustained descents. I figure that if I have to look at my feet to stay upright, I might as well look at my feet moving quickly, finishing faster and spending less time looking at my feet.

So down Kona and I ran. I took it easy, more shuffling than running. I thought I would walk the last quarter mile but with Kona becoming progressively more nervous, we pushed on to the car. With Kona safe in her crate, chomping on a handful of treats, I slid into the front seat and smiled.

Knee still in tact? Check.

I think I might be a runner again. The future is filled with more forest peaks to run with my Kona Girl.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Brilliant Beginnings: Happy 2011

Rain continues to frame our early winter. After the days of grey skies, fresh air and crisp colors emerge.
Kona and I went on a rare afternoon hike, celebrating the first week of the new year and a break in the wet weather.
I couldn't convince the smile off my face, sore cheeks and all. The sky around us swirled with cotton candy clouds. The view toward Downtown shot straight to the ocean, reflecting light off the sea. Kona ran like a maniac, never missing a worthy smell.
I stopped to ask the sky and trail, "Who photoshopped your colors?"
Before leaving, I took a deep breath, smile still glued in place. I looked down at Kona. She sat right by my side, a rarity for my spazz-girl, taking her own deep breaths.

Welcome 2011!