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.


LauraK said...

How awesome! I am so happy for you that your knee is doing well :) Looks like you two had a nice hike, beautiful pictures prove it! Looking forward to hearing about you getting back into your running routine- I so wish I was a runner! Maybe someday when I don't live at this altitude and I'm not such a wimp lol!

Diana said...

I'm so glad your knee is better and you and Kona can get back to what you love.

Priscilla said...

I am so glad to hear that your knee is okay and you can go back to your favourite trails with Kona again. The view is always so beautiful and I think I understand why you love hiking with Kona. It's because of Kona and it is also because of the irresistible fresh air and beautiful scenery. It always looks so calm and serene there.
However, please do take care of your knee until they are 100% fit before you go for some heavy running again.

Sara said...

Love that last photo of Kona. She looks like she's on top of the world!

So glad to hear your knee is feeling better. I've missed reading your posts about trail runs.

Your comment on my blog about your marathon photos cracked me up.

Kathy said...

I am really glad the knee is doing so much better, that is scary when you get a "good" injury and it takes a long time to heal, but I for one am SUPER proud of you that you took it easy and you were strict with yourself and gave yourself time to heal, and glad it sounds like it is going to pay off, YIPPIE!!! The pictures were gorgeous and you had to feel you were on the top of the world to be back to the old stomping grounds and doing well with your knee on the test run ;-). VERY GOOD NEWS indeed!

Kristine said...

What great news! You've been keeping it easy for so long and it must have been really hard to stay away. I can see why you missed the views. I am so glad your knee is on the mend and you can get out with Kona again.

Anonymous said...

Yippee! I'm SO glad you didn't have to change the title of your bloggie to "Hobbling with Kona." It just really wouldn't have had the same ring to it.

I'm very much happy you're back to what makes YOU happy!

Wiggles & Wags,

PeeS. Mom wants to know if you've ever read a blog called "Reactive Champion"? She just discovered it and thought you might be interested in it, too:

Barb said...

A wonderful, happy post! Loved your photos of the trail and the city. Glad your knee has healed.

KB said...

Yay!!!!! You have been so patient and careful in healing from your injury. I'm thrilled that you and Kona are on the trails running again! I bet that Kona is ecstatic!

Dawn said...

I'm SO happy that you're back on the road to running again! Take it slow, even when it feels good don't push just yet. Too easy to re-injure yourself. But I've been worried that you ruined yourself...and I'm very very glad you're feeling better. Kona is glad too, I'm sure!

Ettel, Charlie Poodle, and Emma Pitty said...

Hiya Kona and mom,

Charlie and I would like to thank you lots and lots for coming over and sending us love during our difficult time.

And we think your hiking views are beautiful.