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12-26-2011 21:30    Categories: Katie Cordova     

By Katie Cordova
OPW Staff Writer


You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.
One of the worst things for an athlete is an injury. As a runner, the thing
that I love to do the most is... you guessed it. Run! So when something
prevents me from being able to do that which is beyond my control it really
eats me up inside. Maybe I take it too harshly, but I tend to get pretty
upset when an injury occurs.

Last year I ran my first marathon, which was my first distance over a half.
You can read about how it went
my blog. During my training, around my 16 mile run, I injured my knee. I
don't know what happened to it but I think it was just a classic case of
runner's knee, and because I was continuing to train for a longer distance
it never really healed. After running the marathon, because of the fact
that I couldn't walk for a week after the race, I decided to take some time
off from running to let my knee heal and I didn't run again until the 4th
of July 5k race in my hometown. I spent the next 5 months building up my
mileage from nothing and strengthening my knee and my legs. I started
training for my 2nd marathon the day after Thanksgiving this year and am
currently on my 5th week of training.

Last week my goal was to run ALL of my miles that were on my schedule. A
goal that sounds practical of course, but with my busy life, running 5 days
a week can tend to become very time consuming and some days it seems almost
impossible to find time for a run. Last week my mileage was 24. I track all
of my workouts on and you can see my progress through this
link <>. I was supposed
to run 3/6/3/6/11 for my miles, but things never really seem to pan out how
I would like them to. I ended up doing 6/3/6/3/6. This Wednesday was a 6
mile run for me and the weather was crazy that day. It was almost 60
degrees outside, unusually warm for Ohio near the end of December. I left
my house to hit the path as I usually do, and I noticed that my knee was
feeling a little sore. The first time it has felt sore since... I don't
know when the last time my knee has felt sore. I didn't think too much of
it, and as I kept running the soreness slowly went away. My run was swift
and the 6 miles felt easy. But when I stopped in front of my house, my knee
started to throb. I immediately iced it, and was hoping for the best but
the worst happened. For 2 days my knee was on fire. I could hardly bend it
and it felt inflamed and sore. It felt like everything that I had been
working for went out the window after this run.

People love to give me advice when I talk about a run that doesn't go well
or an injury that I cant seem to get rid of and most of the suggestions
involve the absence of running. Maybe I'm stubborn for thinking that is the
most ridiculous suggestion, but most of the time I think that I can truly
call myself a runner. I don't mind advice, in fact, I LOVE advice. But
advice that tells you to quit when things start to get really hard seems
very counterproductive for anyone.

There has to be balance in life. You have to "know when to hold em, and
know when to fold em" in a sense. The human body is an amazing thing. It
can adapt to almost anything that you place upon it, weather it be
physical, mental or whatever else you can think of. Anyone who has ever
been in the military can tell you that this theory is true. In a sense, you
can do whatever you want to as long as you are willing to commit to hard
work, dedication, and the proper sense of recovery. I heard a quote once
that said the best kind of runner is one that has a lazy streak inside of
them. A person that is willing to work really hard when it is time to work
really hard, but can sit back and thoroughly enjoy a rest day without
beating themselves up about taking time off. If you don't know when to back
off, you can really wreck yourself in the long run but you also need to
know that it is ok to push yourself. To take a chance and dive in for
something that you really want, such as a marathon. Its healthy to run a
marathon, as long as you follow a training plan and treat yourself right.
One the that goes along with becoming an experienced runner, is that you
learn to read then signs your body gives you, and if you are smart, you
will listen to it when it says its truly time to back down and its going to
take a lot more then a little knee pain to get me to quit. At least for now.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that you cant do something you love, even if
it is slightly crazy. The people that tell you you can't do something are
the ones that are going to be sitting on the couch while you are out there
achieving your dreams.

Katie's past articles.
Personal blog