TL;DR I think I need knee surgery, I set a PR of 10:28, 17:59 5k attempt still on for May.

First test of the year? Complete!

Running hasn’t been going well. I believe it all stems from my skiing knee injury in college for which I never got proper treatment (outside of PT – I’m certain I should have had the surgery). My whole knee feels very loose and tracking poorly, which results in severe pain on random days and when doing random things like walking down the street. I’m quite certain I’m going to get out of bed one day and my lower leg is going to detach from all ligaments.

So… Training hasn’t been great. Lots of pain, but running seems to ease it so I’ve continued. Skipping a lot of the long runs, but still getting the speedwork in. I’ve also been stress eating with the whole job thing so my weight isn’t quite “racey.”

Last year I ran a 10:31, which put me only a couple of seconds above my projected 17:59 5k later in May. My track workouts this season said there was no way I could replicate that because even running a quarter mile at that pace was a struggle (lack of turnover is seemingly unrelated to knee issue).

Race day came, my high school friend Matt (living in Portland now) came out to run with me (he was “National Class” back in the day and can still lace them up with zero training and likely run a sub-5 mile), we warmed up, and I had a nasty limp while walking. GREAT. I almost didn’t start and figured there was no way I’d get through more than a lap.

Lined up, gun went off, and my pain went away completely! Endorphins? Whatever, don’t care.

The race broke into two groups with us elderly folk comprising much of the 2nd one (this is a preseason race open to the public, but it’s mostly high school kids). Our pace was perfectly even, running ~82 second quarters. I attempted a surge or two to break from the pack and see if I had anything extra, but kept falling back in line. Hopefully that kept the group honest if nothing else. Attempting to pace a track race with a GPS watch is an impossible thing (don’t do it), but I tried and thought we were way off on our second mile. Coming through the finish line on our 2nd to last lap told me my watch was off and we were well within the comfort zone. We cruised in for a 10:28 finish. Side note: In that 2nd group was a kid I had smoked last summer in the trail series. He did the smoking this time by pulling away hard in the last lap – very cool to see kids progress so quickly. 2nd side note: I’m signing up to be an assistant distance coach (or maybe highly involved volunteer) at Jefferson!

My speed is still there. Hurrah! And there’s somehow more of it. I’ll continue managing pain as best I can (lots of resting when I’d rather not be, but maybe there’s something to that?) and hopefully I can make it to the start of May for the planned solo track 5k. If I can get that 17:59 in the books I can theoretically stop having speed-based running goals and really focus on riding in the spring for the rest of time. I do think doing this thing on a track will get me that handful of seconds I didn’t have on the road last year. ?

Sorry, no photos so here’s one of our big baby.

4lbs when she should be 3. Her mother is thrilled!