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Started: 2009-07-31 21:08:24

Submitted: 2009-07-31 21:26:36

Visibility: World-readable

My half-marathon training program hit its first major snag last week.

Based on a suggested training program in my running guidebook, Getting Real About Running, I set out a sixteen-week training program ramping up to running a half-marathon on Sunday, 20 September. I ramped up smoothly and worked my June travel into my running program with some great runs on the beach in San Diego. Two weeks ago, I ran nearly 36 miles. (My training week runs Tuesday through Sunday, with Monday off.) Last week, I started to get tired of running; I felt bored with my routes and only my determination to stick with my schedule got me out of bed in the morning. I scaled a lactate-threshold run back to a five-mile aerobic run on Thursday, but I still wasn't into it. That afternoon, my left knee started bugging me. (It didn't so much hurt as simply feel funny; the ligaments on the inside of my knee felt tight, and no reasonable stretching or walking seemed to make a difference.) I asked the Internet for advice and found a variety of knee ailments for runners but nothing that seemed to match my symptoms. I skipped my scheduled runs for four days; the only extra activity I undertook was a short hike on Sunday. Last week I ran less than 16 miles, less than half of the distance I ran the week before.

By Tuesday this week, I was ready to get back on the trail. I stretched carefully and kept my runs short and easy. I remain optimistic that I can ramp back up from my current training volume and get the training I want in the in the next seven weeks. I have a better understanding of where my limits are, and I now realize that my self-motivated determination to keep running might not always be in my best interest.