In my never-ending quest to return to knee normalcy, I was able to do a whole lot of not-too-impactful workouts this week. I spent 10-25 min each on the Gazelle, the Nordic Track, and the bike trainer. That, with additional leg-lifts, weight training, and sit-ups allowed for the deterioration in my legs to dissipate and begin to actually reverse course. The workouts culminated with a 2.5 mi run on the FSHS rubberized track yesterday. I had planned to kind of run/walk a couple of miles at a 10-11 min/mi pace. After the first mile, though, I realized that I was rebounding pretty quickly. There was little if any pain, and I was shuffling through a 9 min/mi pace. And it is a different style of running. I was trying to run lightly. It involved less of my usual, let's-crush-this-distance pounding, and more of the Joan Benoit marathon speed shuffle (you can see her on old videos). It really seemed to fit my running style. I ended the run because I felt that I should, not because I felt that I had to do so.
Today, if all goes according to plan, I'm going to knock out a 3 miler on the Riverfront Trails with Rebecca (my running buddy Eric's spouse, who's also a runner and a monster swimmer) and another friend, Kit. Rebecca promised to go slowly. I hope to have a careful, tentative run. The trails should test the side to side motion a bit. I still plan to have the knee ready for 9-12 miles of Colleen's run on the 13th. I'm hoping to be in LA and Malibu the first weekend in January. While I won't be undertaking the brutal Griffith Park Observatory Run (my favorite run I've ever done so far), I do hope to do some beach runs in Malibu, and more of the trails (and less of the hairpin turn road runs) in Griffith.
I have said it in at least one past post, but I feel I should say it again. I would highly recommend the movie, Welcome. It follows the story of a 17 year old Kurdish boy who arrives in Calais, France after covering a couple of thousand miles alone on foot. He has suffered many hardships to get as far as he has. His goal is to get across the Channel so that he can be with his girlfriend. The film watches his struggles with day-to-day living and planning. The film, of course, is really just showing a microcosm of the the larger issue of displaced people and their treatment by governments and private citizens around the world. But the allegorical nature of the movie, doesn't detract from the intimate portrait of the main characters as they build trust and find a common humanity. Again, highly recommended.
Next week I hope to list some of my favorite films, books, songs, and miscellaneous events that I encountered in the previous year.
Quick update - nice 4.57mi run on the trails this a.m. It felt so good that I kept going. Still feels fin 7 hrs later.