Thursday, January 9, 2014

10 Mile/10 Day Challenge (Day 4)

End of first mile.  You can hardly tell by
the picture, but it was very foggy.
 I started this morning into the fog.  I was a little concerned about the forecast of freezing rain, but it never came, to which I was very thankful as I had nothing to protect from the elements.  I was also concerned about the nagging pain (I guess I'd rather use the word "discomfort") in my knee.  I don't have any experience with knee injuries, so I'm not quite sure what I'm getting in to.  Everything I have read recommends reducing mileage immediately when you feel pain in your knee...but that philosophy just doesn't work for ultra marathoners.

Once my knee warmed up, the discomfort wasn't so noticeable.  I wouldn't say it is worse than yesterday, but definitely not better either.  I got a good pace going (playing the little games I often play), and soon added another concern!  I left my pack in the truck (I don't usually take it on anything less than 13 miles or so), and I was feeling like I might have to use the restroom before my run was over.  Not a problem...
I thought that I had written about the use of Mullein, but I can't find it.  Perhaps I deleted it as "inappropriate," but this is important stuff and is worthy of mention.  I took a risk over a year ago, in an emergency, and when I got home I researched the plant to make sure it wasn't  poisonous.  It turns out that they are a very common plant to be used for TP, but sometimes cause rashes due to either the oils in it or the tiny hairs (I usually wipe the leaves off very good with my hand and have even used a bit of water from a water bottle if I have one).  My skin is actually very sensitive, but I have not had a problem with Mullein...and trust me, I have since used them many, many times!  Another benefit is that they are around all year round and never really freeze (you may have to brush a little frost off... but then they are ready for use) 

 I never really felt that cold this morning.  It was about 30 degrees, and I knew I was sweating good, but didn't realize the sweat was freezing till I looked at the draw string of my hooded sweatshirt.  It had formed a "sweatcicle." I sent a picture to my wife and she thought it was pretty gross... I'm really not sure that it was all sweat.  Freezing moisture was collecting on all the plant and trees.  But how does one know?  I sure wasn't going to test it for saltiness. 

Anyway, it wasn't a bad run.  My time was on target (I set a slow, 12-minute/mile pace for each run during this challenge).  I know I could go faster, but I'm comfortable alternating slow jogs and faster runs with short walk breaks.  As long as I stay within 12 minutes per mile, I'm not too concerned.  The last mile, however, the discomfort in my knee got a little closer to what I would call pain.  As an precaution, I decided to ice it.  Here is another good reason to keep a zip-lock freezer bag in your pack (more about packing here)

Looking forward to the rest of this challenge.  I just hope the knee doesn't become too problematic.  If it does start getting worse, I will try hiking a day and then try to go back to running the next day.  Stay tuned for day 5.

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