Lessons Learned

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          So I have been running for two and a half years now.  Scarily enough I started for two to three months running in my Keen hiking shoes as I was too cheep to buy running shoes.  I was convinced that I was not going to like it since I had never like running.  After I discovered it helped my joints I decided to take the plunge and buy actual decent running shoes.  I aam a cheep person so this was a big jump for me.  I even jumped to buying expensive shoes as I had had one bad shoe buying experience since treatment and learned I could not buy cheep shoes now that my joints are messed up.  I suddenly realized how important it is to buy the right gear!  While, amazingly, I was not uncomfortable running in Keen shoes I was not super comfortable.  Once I took my first run in actual running shoes I knew there was no turning back! 
          Flash forward to today as I wear a knee brace on my left knee.  I am a mere four weeks  from my Moab trail race and I my whole left leg is out of whack.  My knee is sore and tight…not injured…no not injured…hopefully.  I have tight calves, shins, and left hamstring/quads.  I am fairly confident that my knee issue is due to my tight muscles as soon as I do a good round of stretching or yoga I am immensely improved.  My left hips pops in an unsettling way but I was still able to do a 11 mile run this week.  Last week on my long run they downhills were painful.   So my husband told me I was just getting older… He has a good sense of humor but on this one point I believe he was wrong.  As we brainstormed the injury we have come to the conclusion that it is all due to a cheep pair of shoes.  I wanted to put off purchasing another pair of trail running shoes as they cost $100 so I bought a pair of $30 costco tail shoes.  Oops.  Since my long run in those shoes two or three weeks ago I have been having this knee issue.  On that run my running partner and I made one other catastrophic mistake:  we talked about our lack of injury in our training.  Double oops.  Last week my running partner ended up with a re-aggravated ankle injury.
          I have new shoes on order from REI and I hope to get the in and broken in before our race.  Until then I will be taking it somewhat easy.  The problem with that is I have to run about four days a week to keep my joints from regressing to a painful state.  So how do I rest my knee and make my other joints happy.  I am going to try the strategy of shorter runs which seem to not hurt paired with yoga on the days in between.  I will get back to you after this coming weekends long run to see how that is going.  I will also be wearing my new shoes in stints to get them broken in. 
          As usual life is all about learning and not a day goes by that we do not learn something new.  This month it is a double big whammy of lessons: 1. don’t talk about injuries until after a race, and 2. DON’T BUY THE CHEEP SHOES!!!  Ok Maybe I will have learned that lesson now.  They say writing things down helps you remember them. I will see if that is true or if it is just a reminder of ones past mistakes. 

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