Having started cycling again after my accident, my knee was holding up quite well. It was time to take the next step and start running again. Since I was going to be without my bike soon, I decided to give it a try when I got to Paris where I was spending two days for a meeting.
We arrived in the morning after our 04:00 flight from Tbilisi. After going to the office and catching up on work, the beautiful warm sunny weather of early June beckoned me to put on my shoes and see how the knee was progressing.
As my coach Margie once said, my problem is that I like both high volume and high intensity workouts. Guilty as charged. However, as the first run in over three weeks, with a messy scab on the knee still healing I vowed to take it very easy and listen to my knee. That I did, which meant that my run lasted all of 200 metres. There was a tightness near the tendon which was worrying so I carefully walked back to the hotel not in the best of moods. It was a good thing that I withdrew from the Eagleman half-Ironman race next week.
I was leaving two days later so decided to give it another try. I put some medicinal cream on the area in the hope that it would make it a bit better. It was a cold, rainy June 6 when I went out. The 65th anniversary of the day when the allies invaded France. There were commemorative newspapers and magazines for sale at all the news stands. How far Europe has come since those dark days.
Sure enough, after about 100 metres my knee felt tight, but not sore, so I continued on at a slow pace. Gradually the discomfort went away, to be replaced by a general muscle soreness that comes from not running for a while. I headed down the Seine River and over to the Eiffel Tower where I had the photo above taken.
It felt so good to be out running again. My friend Jerry says that I am addicted to endorphins. That may be part of it, but for me running is being free to explore and see things, visit new places, and just feel alive. It is second only to cycling.
I ran along the path by the Seine where there were boats moored and others moving up and down the river carrying bulk cargo. It was a very grey day, but there were a surprising number of runners out there. Unfortunately they were not very friendly as only one returned my greetings. Must have been my Canadian shirt they didn’t like :-)
Paris really is an exquisite city like no other. It is grand and impressive, with many lovely buildings and a grand atmosphere. While architects designed cities like Washington and New Delhi to be impressive, they pale in comparison to Paris. One major advantage to working for the World Bank in Eastern Europe is being able to visit places like Paris.
I turned around just past the bridge to the left and headed back to the hotel. Ignoring my goal of taking it easy – I had been loping along at 8:30 miles – I did one mile at 7:30 pace and the knee felt fine. I ended up back at the hotel after running just under six miles with no knee problems. God is good.
So now I need to develop a training plan to bring my running fitness back up again, and also to start swimming again. I still have some deep scabs on the knee so I probably shouldn’t hit the pool for at least another week. In two weeks I have an Olympic Distance triathlon so if all goes well I’ll be able to participate, although not compete. Here’s hoping the healing continues.