We are rogaining this weekend, which of course, got me thinking about my knees.
How little attention I pay to them when I don’t have a challenge ahead of me.
But faced with this upcoming 12 hour event, I can’t help but think that my knees might once again let me down.
And this got me thinking more about their health over the years.
In fact, these problems with my knees aren’t new by any stretch, and are probably all related to existing muscle imbalances I’ve had since, oh, I don’t know, puberty or so?
In my youth and teens I never had any trouble with my knees. I was reasonably athletic. In fact, my dear friend K and I were keen track and field runners. We were part of a team that met after school… in fact, we even PAID to participate, and went to track meets on the weekends.
Then I became a surly teenager and had to stop participating in all that healthy stuff and focus my attention on partying.
So, later in my mid-twenties, K and I started running again. We were doing 10:1s with Running Room running group, along the Bow River in Calgary, and it was a bit cold and icy out. I slipped, and twisted my knee and almost fell down, but caught myself….
And that was it – knee bunged.
It hurt every time I tried to run from then on, so I simply stopped running.
Enter Australia, and the Blackwood Marathon. Not the 2010 Iron Woman event, but the family team event we did in October 2006.
In 2006 I rode my horse, Cassie, while other members of my family did the other four legs. It was so much fun, and for some reason, I decided that day that I would do it as an Iron Woman.
My goal was to complete the Blackwood Marathon Relay Race as an Ironwoman in October 2008.
I didn’t manage to accomplish this goal until 2010, for a wide variety of reasons, but my knees were certainly one of the major challenges I faced. When I first started running again, I could only run a few steps without pain.
In fact, my second post on this blog mentions my knees.
It was only due to my sheer determination, a little education, and careful training, that I managed to build my knee strength and endurance until I was able to run the whole 12km without difficulty.
Then, in the last year or so, I did a few things to twist or injure them, just that little bit, like at the Run-A-Muck where I twisted my knee a bit in the mud pit.
And then with less than optimal care and attention, less than typical training or running or walking to ensure my knees were in good nick, we headed out to try to to break 2000 points in a Rogaine just a few weeks later – which meant a marathon distance of walking through bush, up and down hills, carrying a backpack in the rain …. and yeah, I hurt my knee … duh.
Right now my knees only hurt when I go downhill lots. And unfortunately there will be lots of downhills in this next Rogaine.
I will prepare my knees as best I can. I have been doing my knee exercises with complete dedication (for about a week), have extra strapping tape, and will buy a second brace so both are equally cared for.
And I will be positive, and we will set our course for 2000 points and we will hope for the best!