Yesterday, during my long run, my left knee started acting up. For about an hour after the run, I had pain every time I bent it. Getting in and out of the car while we went furniture shopping was rather trying. Basically, I hurt.
Normally, I take muscle pain as it comes. As a runner, I'm used to getting sore, and my usual remedy is to keep going. Most often, when I have sore muscles, just using them is enough to make them feel better.
However, any time a joint is involved, I get a little more nervous. With joints, you have to worry about tendons and ligaments and other things that take a lot longer to heal, and, given my family history, the knee makes me particularly edgy.
I kept walking around and even made it through a tech rehearsal yesterday, which was promising. The more I moved, the less it hurt, which is a good sign, but I wanted to make sure there was nothing really to be concerned about.
So, I decided to see how I felt today before going for a run. I still had some pain, and I came to the conclusion, for several reasons (and quite reluctantly), that I should skip my 5K today.
It was actually a really tough decision, because the 5K is my favorite run of the week. I thought about moving today's run to tomorrow and replacing Tuesday's run with it, but at this point in my journey, it's more important to run the miles than to make the time, so I'll just keep today as a rest day and get back on schedule tomorrow. There were several factors in my ultimate decision.
First, I need to make sure that my legs are fine. They're hurting less, and I bought a knee brace, but it hasn't bothered me all evening, so I'm hoping to be okay in the morning. I'm five weeks from a marathon, and I need to be able to run the whole thing. I've just (re)started this mission, and I can't take time off yet.
Second, the training program on which I based mine doesn't even have a run scheduled for the days after my long runs. That was something I added myself.
Third, my shoes are still wet from yesterday.
So, sadly, I did not complete a run this morning. Today was about being smart. When you hurt, stop doing the thing that hurts you. It only makes sense.
Tomorrow, I feel confident that I'll be able to make my six-mile run, and that's because I rested today. Hopefully I'll be able to make it a better run than it would have been otherwise.
I hate to skip a run, but I'd hate more to miss all of them.