working through challenges

i’ve been experiencing some nagging knee pain now for about two weeks.  it started the day i left for new york, and (surprise!) didn’t get any better when i continued running.  there were times i had to force myself to continue going, and it hurt badly enough that i wasn’t having much fun.  last friday i deciding (about a week after a more sensible person would have) that i was past the point of diminishing return, and needed to take a few days off.
should be an easy choice, no?  all i was able to do was slog through the miles – i wasn’t up to speed work, or any real distance work.  running down hills was out too.  so i’ve been sitting tight now for three days, and feeling ansy.
i’d not really decided whether or not to try running the valley of fire marathon next month.  this injury might make the final decision easy, but doing the race would have been a major hassle … involving distant accommodations, plane tickets, and rushing back to be at rachel’s birthday party.
i really can’t complain though, as kris is facing a bigger challenge right now.  she’d been experiencing some nagging hip pain, and went to get checked out.  an mri revealed cracks in several vertabrae in her lower back.  they’ve been there for quite a while, and she’s run, biked, ans swam countless miles like this.  but it’s the sort of thing they need to check out carefully, so she’s gone in for another mri and is playing the waiting game.  she’d registered for the minnesota endurance 50 event (run this morning), but had to bow out due to the injury and the risk of making it worse.  i know from experience that it’s a real downer to commit and prepare for an event, then not do it.  and it’s a bigger downer to play the waiting game on top of that.
still – we want to plan for longevity too.  i’d rather be running at 80, than to pack it in now.  i suspect kris feels the same way too.
speaking of longevity, the girls and i attended a great get-together over the weekend, and our friends rhonda and brian’s house.  we were marking one year since brian had open heart surgery.  he’s a guy I worked with right after moving to the northwest.  he’s a bit younger than me, and has a beautiful wife and daughter.  apparently he also had a leaky heart valve (i think that’s what it was).  anyway – seeing brian, and celebrating with him on saturday made me reflect on the more important things in life :  enjoying friends and family, and doing everything we can to stay healthy and happy!
in that spirit, i’m going to try running tomorrow.  if all goes well, i’ll go out again thursday.  if that goes well, i might try a really long one over the weekend – playing things by ear for now though.

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