I’m not sure to what I should credit this, but knee has been feeling pretty ‘normal’ recently. It’s not 100% pain free, but it’s pretty close. I haven’t been doing the PT because it’s boring & stupid (and PT isn’t going to repair the cartilage). I’ve had difficulty being consistent with the core workouts since my illness in January. Although I’m slacking this week, I’ve been pretty active. I’m hopeful that all this movement is what’s helping the knee. In fact, I over-did it this past weekend, and that’s why I’ve been kind of slothful this week. Last Friday, I tried out my new snowshoes at Nason Ridge. (I love them!) The following day, I did Race Up The ‘Snake race. It’s only 6.5 miles, and my calendar showed a 20-mile workout for that day. I figured I’d do three loops, but I only did a second one (minus the Mountain Goat Challenge) as I figured I could go out later in the day and do more miles. However, once I got home I saw that Echo Ridge received about a foot of snow over the previous days. *Poof* there went my plans!
I got as much of the chores done as I could on Saturday (The Hubs was out of town). I’d decided the 4.5 hour drive to Echo Ridge – and, more importantly – the 4.5 hour drive home – was just too much for one day, so I would go to Lake Wenatchee State Park instead. I installed my new bindings on my old skis so I could test my theory that I’d be more comfortable if I feel like I have more control over the skis.
And then I didn’t sleep. I woke around 1:00 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. I believe I dozed a bit, off & on, but I kept waking up. I finally gave up and got out of bed a 3:45 a.m. (I didn’t want to fall into a deep sleep and then have the alarm jar me awake at 6.) I could have been out the door by five pretty easily, but I opted for a leisurely breakfast and finished up a few chores. I think I left around 7:30 or so – not great, but earlier than I usually get out the door.
I skied around the campground first to test the bindings on the small, rolling hills there. Sure enough, I was far more comfortable than I had been wearing the looser boots. I was able to control the skis on the hills. That was enough to give me the confidence to head up to Kahler Glen. (I was always fine with climbing – it’s the descents that scared me!)
I had this idea that I’d make it to the spot where I turned around on my snowshoeing a few days before. Alas, that was farther than I could travel & make it back to the trailhead before dark. I didn’t realize that the route up to Nason Ridge is rolling, not just a climb up and then a descent back, and it’s a lot longer that I realized – about 15 miles (round trip) from the Kahler Glen sno-park. (The only way I could make that trek is to start at Kahler Glen & get there relatively early.)
So, over the course of three days, I covered 31.5 miles and gained & lost almost 5,000′. My quads were tight on the drive to Lake Wenatchee on Sunday — I knew I was going to be hurting come Monday morning, and I was. Add my muscle tiredness to my overall lack of sleep, and it’s been a rough week. I feel like I’ve mostly caught up on the sleep I lacked this past weekend, and yesterday I was able to walk down the stairs at work without too much discomfort & I think I looked fairly normal doing it.
On the down side, this hasn’t been a good week for workouts. My quads hurt so bad I feared trying to do a core workout. (I could only come up with a couple of moves that wouldn’t have been painful.) I failed at getting up early for a morning walk at any point this week. I managed just one walk so far. I’m visiting my parents this weekend, so it’s unlikely I’ll get a workout in. That’s a little too much of a recovery period.
But back to the title – dare I be optimistic? I’ve been considering trying a short trail run to see how the knee reacts. I’m seven weeks away from the Snake River Island Hop. Is it insane to start running now, in the hope I’ll be able to run part of it? Or do I risk pain keeping me from being able to walk the 50K?
For now, I’ll keep taking advantage of the snow while it’s up there and get in as much skiing & snowshoeing as I can. And maybe I’ll stop signing up for ultramarathons….