No no...this is not the shinning object glowing inside the suitcase Vincent Vega opens in awe in the movie classic Pulp Fiction.
Last Saturday I set out at 4am for a 18-mile training run. The route went from "Ultimo Trolley" in Ocean Park along McLeary and Ashford avenues, across the new Dos Hermanos bridge (will NOT miss the clanking of the temp-almost permanent steel bridge), twice around Condado Lagoon, twice around Muñoz Rivera Park, out to "Paseo del Morro", and back our starting point. Our Galloway 3-1 running group was 6 runners deep (myself included). It was between 78 and 80 degrees at 4am. There were several late-night stragglers at that time out and about thanks to the Condado Culinary Fest.
Like clockwork, at mile 2.5, my right knee started sending pain signals. By mile 8 the pain was annoying. By mile 13 it was almost unbearable. We already had lost one runner. After mile 14, I decided to shut it down and speed-walk my way in. I tried to start up several times, but the pain was too much. They say you have to listen to your body. Well...I listened all right. I really didn't know at the time what was causing the pain. I had a torn meniscus repaired 10 years ago on that same knee. Maybe that was it. In order not to risk further damage, I decided stop, without knowing what was causing the pain.
I walked the last 3-4 miles in. I was actually feeling good and, aside from the pain, was running strong which made the stopping quite frustrating. Our running coach at VIP Running, Jaime Molina, went on diagnosis mode once I reached the start/finish tent. He figured I'm having problems with my right IT Band. In the afternoon, I stopped by his gym and picked up that sucker pictured above. I will do daily leg massage routines for the next couple of weeks using the foam roller. My next long run (21 miles) is on August 6, almost 3 weeks away. Will see how my knee responds...
I will be in Jacksonville all week working with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Brought that baby up and took up most of the space in my suitcase. Brought my running shoes too. Did a 20-minute workout this morning on an elliptical machine in the hotel's workout room. First time on one of those. It's easier on the knees.