Thursday, December 27, 2012

Running

I was in track in high school and I really loved it. I didn't have much instruction (sorry Mr. Adams, but you had too many of us and were learning as you went), and we only had a 200 meter burned circle in the grass instead of a track to practice on, but I loved it. I ran both high and low hurdles and tried other events with less success. In low hurdles (300 m) I was a serious competitor. But starting with various crashes involving hurdles I started to have intense knee issues. By the time I was 17 and in college I didn't run anymore. By my 30s I would have knee pain sometimes for months at a time that followed me when I was walking, sitting, or doing whatever other activity without fail. It wasn't usually that severe, but I did get frequent acupuncture, always helpful for a week or more, while I was in Korea.

Yet somehow (and I thank in large part Jason Tsou, my amazing Taiji instructor in LA) over the past couple years I've been pain free almost all the time. Jason identified that my issue was with my meniscus, and that fluid from my knee cap has been pooling behind my knees causing my knee pain. Free of pain and bored of riding my bike on the same roads every day, I started running again, at first just a little bit, carefully, sure I would start hurting again at any point. My first seven runs (over the course of about 5 weeks) I stopped at two miles, just to see if I flared up. Now I'm increasing the speed, frequency and distance of my runs. I like the feeling of running. I like knowing I can go for a run and not need to stop to gasp for air.
 Running on a sunny half day (a couple weeks ago)



I went running again yesterday (Christmas Day)-- it was a classic run like Faith and I would have gone on as kids, through the woods, down iffy-trails, skirting quickly past homes of people who may or may not think it was okay for me to be running through their land. It was dusk and magically silent. I was getting closer to home and realized I was not on track to exceed 3 miles (goal for the day) so I ran down a path that connected to Phil Hastin's driveway, past the house he died in, then into the cow pasture beyond. I worried that the large black cows might include a bull who likes chasing strangers out of his field, but ran past anyway, lengthening my stride in crazy jerks to avoid holes full of water (I did end up with one wet foot) as I charged across the field. Hopping a fence I ran up the mucky driveway to Leslie's horse-field before I got back to the road.
Boggy path through woods

Wet driveway

Saw this owl and he sat quietly for my photo

Me with the moon in the background

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