Friday evening, I was laying on the couch watching TV. Two hours earlier, I completed an 80-minute hard treadmill run. I was laying on my side such that in order to get up, my knees would come off the couch and rotate down to the floor. As I did so, my knee cracked. It was exactly the same kind of crack that you get when you crack your knuckles - and I a lot of my joints, including my knees, a lot. However, this crack was unusually dramatic. My wife, sitting next to me, heard it loud and clear, and there was about 10 seconds of intense pain.
For the next 24 hours, particularly when I was doing any sort of rotation motion, my knee always felt like it was going to pop again. To guard against this, my brain automatically tried to prevent it from happening. Also, there was a constant dull pain that would intensify whenever I got up from a seated position. I figured it best not to try to run on Saturday, and the situation didn't really improve on Sunday.
By Sunday night, I started noticing a distinct tightness in the back of this leg, particularly in the upper part of my calf, but also in my hamstring. Not sure if it's caused by the pop or by the compensation I've been doing. Either way, I like tightness because I always feel like I can stretch my way back to health - which is exactly what I did this morning for about ten minutes, and things did indeed feel better. Also on Sunday, I had to push a 4500-lb minivan about the distance of a football field (I don't want to talk about why.) Even though I slipped on the ice of few times, my knee didn't complain at all. I take that as good news.
Still, it seems prudent to take a few days or perhaps a week off from running. This bugs me because I've been doing so well. I have been doing lots of training runs in the 4-6 mile range at around 9-10 minutes per mile (which is fast for me.) My improvement in terms of speed has been dramatic and I was eager to spend a winter really hammering this kind of training and hopefully take an hour or two off my marathon time. If this turns out to be something that sidelines me for more than a couple of weeks, I'll have to start from scratch and that will sap my motivation.
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