Day 25 - Beer is good. Pain is bad.

"But aren't you afraid of stepping on glass?"
I ran 6.73 miles VFF and barefoot today. Almost half and half. I felt really good in the beginning starting off in my VFFs and then my crappy knee started giving me angst. Honestly, I have had fleeting knee pain (really its just uncomfortable swelling) since I started barefoot running, but its been nothing to blog about. I used to get it all the time when I ran shod more than two miles. I think its only happened twice since starting to go completely barefoot and it mostly happens in my VFFs. When I ditch the fingers it goes completely away. Today was another story. It went away for about half a mile and then came back.

So I tried adjusting my form. Slowing down. Increasing cadence. Bending knees (that really didn't feel good). I stopped a few times to "reset" my running form, but what I felt like I wanted to do is stretch. My leg just felt really uncomfortable even remotely bent. What was I going to do? I specifically picked a long route because I was jonesing for a long mojo run. I was still coming off the high of my previous trail run and was feeling inspired. Plus I knew rain was on the way and the holiday and school break would begin to eat into my only "me" and "run" time. So I sucked it up and ran. It wasn't too bad. Heck it wasn't even near the feeling of "transition" during childbirth. (That's my new pain benchmark these days.) I know its a bit extreme, but hey... it gets me through some pretty tough shit. Not that I've had a lot of pain to deal with these days, but if I experience any pain I have a serious benchmark comparison of what's doable and what's insanely painful, but still doable nonetheless.

600 milligrams of ibuprofen later, a little ice and the swelling's gone. I'm a happy girl. Got my run in. It was less than mojo, but I'll take it over no run at all. At least I didn't step on glass. Right? 

By the way, you might be wondering what I say to people who ask me "Aren't you afraid of stepping on glass?" 

My new answer: "Only if I've been drinking."

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  1. Oh, I love your answer. May I borrow it?
    Hope your knee starts behaving soon.

  2. Yeah, your answer is good! Sorry about your knee. Hopefully the good weather will last for you and you won't have to wear even your VFF's. And you're pretty tough if your pain o meter is based on transition. I'm a wuss. I don't think I could push it that far.

  3. Only if I've been drinking...LOVE it! I think that just may be the perfect answer!

  4. I'm wondering Zap, is the pain on the outside of your knee? I had a similar pain when I first started switching between VFFs and barefoot. For me it came from overstriding in my VFFs...and it led to a wicked case of IT band syndrome.

    Just be careful if it is on the outside of the knee. That sort of pain isn't something to run through. If you try, you will end up on the couch really quick. I went from running 40 miles a week to around 5 miles a week from the pain in about a month.

  5. Glad to hear your treatment on that pesky knee worked. Your symptoms sound a lot like my left knee arthritis pain though. I tend to pop two Advils before I do long runs and it seems to help rather than waiting to take them after. Give it a try. Also, the location of the knee pain can help you sort out that issue. It could just be an imbalance between your front and back leg muscles. I do some raised and twist leg stretches before I run and that seems to help too.

    Happy running and holidays!

  6. So the pain is sort of on the left outside and a little towards the front. My most recent run (good ol # 26) it was mostly in front. I keep a pretty small stride, but did notice if I shortened it even more it was less painful, but never went away. My latest run recovered pretty quick, but the pain was really annoying. I thought it could be arthritis on top of the chondromalatia patella (Great.) because it seems to happen in colder weather. I can't remember ever getting this pain in the summer.


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