2015 · single mom

On knowing when to stop (and how hard it can be)

I’ve always identified as a runner. Although I played team sports throughout my childhood and teen years, I preferred solitary sports like running, gymnastics and snowboarding because I could compete against myself. Anyone who knows me knows that I hold myself to a high standard, often setting a level of expectation and pace that isn’t sustainable. After I decided to run Sole Sisters 2015, I started lacing up my shoes more and more.

My first run of the season was on March 1. There was still snow on the ground, but I completed 4.70 km in just over 30 minutes. In May, I did over 6 km in 30 minutes. And just this week, I broke 2 kilometres in 10 minutes but quickly felt a deep pain setting into my right knee. Stubborn as I am, I kept going. It wasn’t the first time I’d had a pain in my knee while running and it’s one of those things I’ve always chocked up to being par for the course.

Except that this wasn’t just a little ache.

I awoke at 3 am the morning after my last run with pain in my knee. I could neither straighten nor bend it further than it was at that time. By mid morning, the swelling had increased enough that I felt uncomfortable just sitting. But after going easy on it and keeping ice on my patella for most of the day, it felt better. So today, I laced up and went out with F and his new bicycle. Less than half a kilometre from home, F tipped his bicycle over. I had jogged to keep up with him, and in under half a kilometre I could tell I was undoing all of the good that rest and ice had done.

As we walked back to the apartment, F crying because he had a scape on his knee, and me frustrated because my knee hurt and F was refusing to get back on his bicycle I realized that I had to be a little less me and a little more F in that moment. I had to wave my white flag, listen to my body, and stop trying to pound the pavement for a day or two.

My friend Amy shared this gem on her blog recently and it screamed ME at me. Now, if you need me, I’m icing my knee so I can *maybe* do a couple of kilometres tomorrow. Perhaps.


Stupid knee.

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