Today I was testing out two new bits of equipment: A new compression shirt, and new insoles for my shoes. The plan was to run a 7 to 9 mile hill workout, depending on how I felt during the run. Normally I do a longer hill workout on Fridays, but I've got a 5K planned for Saturday and I didn't want to wear myself out too much in advance of that. So, despite the fact that I did a hard tempo run yesterday, off I went.
About 3 miles in I realized that I had forgotten to wear my knee brace. That's a much more dramatic equipment change, and I hadn't even even noticed. Needless to say, the knee wasn't bothering me, so I kept going. I was a little worried about the hard downhill stretches on this route; the insoles were supposed to help with that, but I wanted the extra support of the knee brace too. I took the downhill sections relatively easy, running about 8-minute pace on those sections. I felt okay, but I didn't want to push things with the full 9-mile hill workout, so I improvised a bit and ended up with an 8.15 mile hill workout, with a total of 491 feet of gain (compared to 670 for the full 9 miles). Tomorrow I'll run a 6 mile recovery run instead of 5, and I should be fresh for Saturday's 5K.
Although the knee feels great, I think I'm still going to wear the brace for the next week or so, just in case. It also helps to keep the knee warm, so that will be a good thing on days when I'm not wearing tights.