I took a couple days off from running because the inside of my right knee was bugging me. Nothing debilitating; just playing it safe. I’ve been doing a lot of extra stretching at work, a place where I sit at a desk for most of the day’s 8 or 9 hours. Some days the only time I get up to walk is to pee (which I do in the bathroom, not while I walk).
Every so often I take walks around Bryant Park, an area that stretches the length of two blocks and one avenue. On some days, like this past Wednesday when we had record high temps, I might take a half hour afternoon stroll around midtown. Even so, I’m still sitting a lot. So I’ve been trying to stretch while seated: I can prop my foot up on the bar under the desk and stretch my hamstrings; stick my leg out to the side for inner thighs and calves; sit back and grab one foot at a time for my quads.
I was hoping all that stretching would have helped my run this morning, which I was determined to do. Strangely, although my inner knee was still a teensy bit sore during my early morning dog walk, it felt totally fine on the run – but now my upper inner thighs were tight. Not enough to make me stop, but just enough that I wanted to ice them, an idea that has come to fruition as I type these words, on the train on my way into work.
And I figured some more knee icing couldn’t hurt either. I’ve spent the last couple evenings icing it with this mask my mom used to wear over her eyes when she was getting radiation on her brain and it was making her bald head feel like it was engulfed in flames. It’s been in the freezer ever since, and I’m glad it can be of service again. I’m just wearing it while on the train.
So I got ice packs all over my damn self right now. I have to say, my commute has never felt more relaxing.
I managed to slog through 4.4 miles this morning. Initially planning on doing 6, the inner thigh soreness forced me to make a compromise and shorten it. I’d rather not push it, even if it means the dreaded Getting In Fewer Miles This Week.
One thing I thought about this morning while trying to get my mind off my inner thighs is how much running is an extended exercise in compromise. It’s a constant battle between doing what we want to do and doing what we know we should. Sometimes, when we’re lucky, those two things align. Those are the good days.
Other days are tougher. The advice we can easily dole out to friends and strangers alike is suddenly clouded when we have to give it to ourselves. We push through feelings of discomfort and pain and even injury – sometimes this works out in our favor; the worse the pain, the more it doesn’t. It’s a gamble, and we are the willing participants parked in front of the slot machine, constantly hoping we won’t go home empty handed, or worse, dragged out of the casino for disorderly conduct.
I’m always conscious of how my body feels and whether or not it’s up for the run I want to do. When it’s not, I need to respect what it’s telling me. It’s up to me to determine the level of pain I have and where that line is. I try my best to make an educated guess, which is all we ever can do. Sometimes it feels like walking a tightrope. I mean, I could just not walk the tightrope. But where’s the fun in that?
Once again, it’s Bagel Friday. Even though I had this same combination last week, it was so good I had to have it again: cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter and jelly. Bonus: this NYC bagel was made fresh this morning. What more can you ask for after 4.4 miles and icy inner thighs?