I ran last night.
But I ran. Outside. On a trail.
And I can still walk this morning.
If running three klicks through on a random Thursday evening in January sounds less than impressive, let me introduce you to my Medial Collateral Ligament injury and the fact that I haven’t had a pain-free run outside or beyond the confines of a physiotherapy-prescribed treadmill run in over six months.
I pushed myself back in September in the park near my house and ended up limping home and elevating my leg for nearly a week.
This morning, fourteen hours later, I feel pretty normal. Good. Strong. Hopeful.
Back in July of 2022 I injured my knee ligament.
I don’t know how. I don’t know when. I don’t know why. All I know is that one day I was running and training and planning adventure runs through the city. The next day I was struggling to climb a few steps in my house.
I figured a couple weeks recovery.
After a month I went to see the physiotherapist.
He told me it may take a couple months, but maybe as long as four months.
It’s been six months and I’m finally feeling like there is something resembling hope in a recovery.
It was -15C on the trails.
My crew meets sporadically but regularly at an elementary school parking lot near an access point a ravine.
In the spring, summer and fall it’s a beautiful asphalt trail descending into the river valley under a canopy of big old trees.
In the winter, its dark and icy and hauntingly creepy.
I recorded a walking tour there just last week and the view hadn’t changed much to last night, except that I was plodding along at one minute run to one minute walk intervals, and listening to the crunch of my feet through the dark forest trail.
My four companions kept my pace for the first of my one minute intervals, but then I purposely slowed and they dashed ahead. On my second interval I almost felt like if I pushed it I could catch up with them. On the third interval they were little more than bobbing headlamps in the distance and by the fourth I had descending into a canopy of eerie trail that was as much like a haunted pathway towards some frozen hell below as it was the scene of my running recovery run.
At eleven minutes I made a u-turn and returned to my truck, logging exactly three slow kilometers of winter plodding and setting the stage for a “now we wait to see how I feel in the morning” scenario.
I already spoiled the lede, of course. I feel fine this morning. I can still walk… have walked. Gone up and down the stairs a dozen times and…
I have an appointment with my physiotherapist tomorrow. Now I need to fess up that I pushed the program. I suppose it all worked out tho, huh?