The Trail Beckons

I went three weeks between runs since my last post about the Huckleberry Jam. My family and I spent over a week at Disney. It was amazing to spend time away from phones, TVs, the Internet, and just laugh and play together. After that, I got the dreaded “travel cold” and I continued to struggle with knee pain.

The Snake Root trail at Pandapas Pond. To my mind, one of the prettiest trails at Pandapas
The Snake Root trail at Pandapas Pond. To my mind, one of the prettiest trails at Pandapas

After being assured by my doctor that my knee is structurally sound, he told me that he thinks my sense of instability is stemming from really tight IT bands. Oddly, I don’t have the pain or cramps that can sometimes come with IT Band Syndrome. My issues arise with this knee instability I’ve been fighting.

So, I got serious about using my foam roller multiple times a day. It’s exceedingly uncomfortable, but it does seem to help immediately. I also made a commitment to routinely do the Myrtl routine to build hip girdle strength. After a few days of that, I was finally able to go back out for a serious run on Sunday.

https://www.strava.com/activities/462344674/embed/609599c602eed3c469e83e99164fe30cdd308da4

The weather here in Blacksburg was pretty cold but beautifully sunny. I ventured out to my local favorite trail at Pandapas Pond and knocked out 6.5 miles. Making sure to wear a patellar strap and icing my knee down afterwards, my knee this morning feels pretty good. I’m on track for another 6 miles tomorrow and we’ll see how things hold up.

What I’ve learned over the last few weeks is that time away from work, home, and even running can be rejuvenating and invaluable. Nothing will replace the smile my son and wife gave me as we swam with manatees in Florida. I’ve also learned that being a healthy and consistent runner is often about things that aren’t running. That’s advice I wish I’d heard or at least heeded when I started on this adventure.

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Author: Alex Ezell

A web developer who has also been a literature teacher and wanna-be art historian.

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