It was a Saturday so I was all set for my long run, 22km to be exact. Things were going smoothly—quite perfectly in fact—as I kept a steady pace below 6:30 and maintained my heart rate in Zone 3. The cool weather gave me an extra reason to smile (and a good excuse to keep on wearing my favorite mizuno leggings). Yup, I could definitely cover the distance on my own (Annie passed this week)—and I was going to enjoy it. Had you been there, you would’ve witnessed me rolling down the roads of Ayala Alabang singing “The hills are alive…” sans the little apron, of course.
A little after 5 km, I felt a slight pain below my right knee (different from my other meniscus problem on the left knee). This had been troubling me for the past weeks after my runs, but never had it attacked during the actual run. Ouch. I plodded on. Ouch again. I shifted to brisk walking. After a few minutes, I tried running again only to feel the pain return instantly. After a few more futile attempts at running, I gave up. Crap, I was over 4 km away from my car.
What followed was—without any ounce of exaggeration—the longest 20 minutes of my entire running life. Walking back that distance was like dying a slow death…in slow motion. Groups of cyclists were passing me by every so often and I contemplated on grabbing one cyclist from behind and hopping over on his bike to ride back home. Since they were all burly men, I decided against it. The whole walking thing was making me sleepy…and worse, it didn’t make me sweat!
I made good use of that time though: soul searching, evaluating of the year that passed, and planning for the year ahead. Then, I did a couple of memory enhancing exercises, recited the alphabet backwards followed by all prime numbers under 1,000 and many many more. I even thought of new inventions for runners that I’ll tell you more about in a future post.
Then, as always, I started worrying. What is this? Can I run again on Monday? God, not another major injury, pleeeease.
As soon as I got home, I covered my injury with ice and elevated it. Then, I repeated my plea with more fervor: God, not another major injury, please!
My guess is that the little devil is this: Anterior Compartment Syndrome (another way of saying shin splints that make you sound awfully smart). How do I know? Well, that’s what my inner doctor told me after a few minutes of meditating. And yeah, I also looked up my symptoms on the web.
Just to be sure though, I’ll visit a new doctor this week. Time to get a second opinion on my meniscus (left knee) and have my shin problem (right leg) checked. What a great way to start the New Year, don’t you think?