Outcome of my orthopedist appointment today: my knee problem is, as he previously diagnosed, runner's knee, not a sprain or a break. He seemed pretty optimistic that I can fix this problem and return to my runner girl adventures simply by building up my quad strength and resting from running.
Ultimately, my prescription is:
1. No running for two weeks (boo!)
2. Spend the next two weeks spinning and using the elliptical to build up my weak quadriceps (yay!)
3. Begin running gently; maybe starting with 3-4 mile runs, not 10-12. (huh.)
This means no to the marathon Jan. 31; yes to running the half-marathon on this date instead.
Here, a "boo" won't do; give me some good dirty expletives. I'm devastated.
But, let's not dwell on that.
I'm always one to look on the bright side, even when faced with big, stinky, dream-dashing setbacks like this one. So here are 10 reasons for me to be happy that I don't have a date with 26.2 miles anytime soon.
1. I will be saving a small fortune on gels, shots, OxyClean for stinky post-run laundry, and iTunes.
2. People seem to think running a marathon is either very admirable--or truly crazy. With a half-marathon, the general response is, "Good for you." With what I've been through lately, I could stand a few more "good for yous" and a few less, "are you nuts?"
3. I've still raised a lot of money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a Team in Training teammate; running a shorter distance in this race doesn't take away from that fundraising accomplishment, which is actually more important (to me) than the athletic accomplishment of running the full race.
4. Spinning is fun.
5. My injury is not a break or a tear or anything that will cause me to sit around cursing at my dentures in my old age, regretting my years as a runner. Just a knee annoyance.
6. I'm a lot less likely to encounter dead rats, live, hopping frogs or strange pedestrians in the early morning spin studio than I did during my morning runs.
7. The Miami ING marathon course isn't known for being the most beautiful or scenic out there, especially for Florida residents who are bored rather than moved by the sight of palm trees and Spanish cosmetic surgery billboards. Maybe now I'll get to lose my marathon-running-virginity somewhere more exciting and romantic instead, like Big Sur.
8. My awesome college roommate Ava is going to run the Miami ING half. My plan was to run the first 13 with her and then push myself alone through the last 13. Now I'll have her company during the entire race.
9. You don't have to get up as early on Saturday mornings to run 8-10 miles with Team in Training as you do if you're supposed to run 18-22.
10. I can still run. That's the biggest silver lining of all.