More trouble with the knee

I think I’m about done with these Grid Omni 5s from Saucony. I’m sup­posed to ease into run­ning in the Kin­varas by run­ning with them every oth­er run or so, but I’m find­ing it uncom­fort­able to go back to the Omnis. At the very least, I’m find­ing it easy to blame a poor run on the shoes.

It’s not van­i­ty at work, but wish­ful think­ing. I’d love to believe that the pain I’m hav­ing in my knee will be mag­i­cal­ly cured by run­ning in shoes with­out an ele­vat­ed heel. I want the new shoes to be the answer to all my prob­lems. Of course, if the shoes are actu­al­ly a part of the answer, it will be because the answer is my form, not my any magic.

Today I ran from Fish­er­man’s Wharf out to Chris­sy Field and back. The Gold­en Gate Bridge was lost in fog but it’s always a kick to run out to the end of the Munic­i­pal Pier and see how close Alca­traz looks from there. I used to run this route pret­ty reg­u­lar­ly when I worked in an office at Fish­er­man’s Wharf on a dai­ly basis. I don’t have as many oppor­tu­ni­ties any more but today I took advan­tage of being down at the Wharf to run the paths I used to.

My knee was both­er­ing me quite a bit, even on the flats, and so at the top of the small hill at Fort Mason I stopped and walked almost the rest of the way back. I can tell I have been uncon­scious­ly adjust­ing for my knee because I have dif­fer­ent sore mus­cles in each leg. On the right my ham­strings are tired, and on the left it’s my calf. How that trans­lates to an adjust­ment in my stride I could­n’t tell you, but it’s plain I’m doing some­thing dif­fer­ent on the left side than on the right.

This being the case, it was the right thing for me to do to come back walk­ing. I don’t want to do any more dam­age than I already have. I have to find a way to run with­out injur­ing myself and I’m sort of bet­ting the farm on get­ting out of the tra­di­tion­al shoes. I need to rest, but too much rest has its own set of issues as well.

This pret­ty much clinch­es it that I’m once again not run­ning in the Thurs­day evening race out at Lake Merced. I’d like to get out there before the Sum­mer race series ends, though there is plen­ty of time for that. This com­ing week­end there’s no reg­u­lar DSE race on Sun­day because Sat­ur­day is the Dou­ble Dipsea. I will not be run­ning the Dou­ble Dipsea this year. Four­teen miles of hilly trail run­ning is too much for me even if I weren’t strug­gling with knee prob­lems. I’d like to do more trail run­ning, but the Dou­ble Dipsea is not an appro­pri­ate entry point.

Instead I’ll be vol­un­teer­ing at one of the aid sta­tions. It’s about time I did some of this. I always appre­ci­ate the vol­un­teers at the races I run, and this week­end it will be my turn to do some of the work. The fol­low­ing week is the Potrero Hill 4 mile race on July 4th. That’s right in my neighborhood—it almost goes past my house—so I’d like to be ready for it. That means stay­ing off the knee and test­ing it in very small incre­ments. I should prob­a­bly lim­it myself: if I am to run, I should run no more than two miles at a time. Even one mile at a time might be smart. I might give myself a lit­tle extra dis­tance if I do laps over at Jack­son Park, but only because the grass is very forgiving.

It’s going to be a very inter­est­ing week or so. Lets see if I can suc­cess­ful­ly stave off injury and be ready for the Potrero Hill 4M.