Today was my fifth day running after almost two weeks off with a knee injury; it's been a rocky road back for sure.
A week ago I was uncertain I'd be able to run at all, but set a target for two days later, cut up my shoes, and went for it. By Monday I had run three times, and my knee was steadily improving but my toes were still being pinched by the Hokas.
So yesterday, in a cold, nearly freezing rain, I went back to my standard Brooks Launch shoes, which were easier on the toes, but the old knee pain was creeping back. I'm not sure if this was due to the shoes or the cold, but I decided I should go back to the Hokas. I increased the size of the holes in the shoes, and added extra holes on the other side. Today would be the big test.
I woke up and could tell my knee was feeling quite good. The plan was to go to the gym for my standard weight-training routine and then run 4 miles with my friend Tristan. At the gym, everything was feeling so nice that I decided to try squats, which I haven't done for over 3 weeks due to the knee issues. I could actually do proper squats, getting all the way down so my thighs were level with the ground. I was lifting a substantially reduced weight, but I was doing it. Awesome!
Then it was time to do the run. Fortunately the weather was much-improved today compared to yesterday and Tristan and I were able to complete the run at a comfortable 7:54 pace. The last mile was at a 7:20 pace -- with no knee pain at all.
After the run the knee was a little sore, and I'm treating it with ice and heat now, but I think it might just be possible for me to be nearly 100 percent by mid-December, when I'm running the Kiawah Island half marathon. It will still be a challenge to hit my target time of sub-1:25, but I think I'm at least going to be able to give it a go.
I'm also doing better on the weight front. I want to be down into the 170s for the race, and my weight had climbed as high as 186 while I was recovering from the injury. Today I was at 182, so I'm getting closer. The big challenge will be restraining myself tomorrow, Thanksgiving day!
Details of today's run are below.