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Every-Other-Step at a Time

I know from experience that it will be this way for a while: the fear, the gingerness (is that a word?), the focus on each and every time my left foot hits the earth and engages everything that happens up to and beyond my tender knee. Am I slapping my foot down with too much force? Is it going to buckle THIS time? Have I maneuvered one more every-other-step on the road to pain free? Scary stuff when it’s your knee. Scary stuff when it feels out of your (my) control. Scary stuff, this every-other-step fixation.

So, this first week of 2018 is in the training log and all is progressing “nicely.” Nicely means this: the goal was to run every day, log 35 miles, do my “square one” knee exercises consistently, and get in a run of 7 miles. The actual week was 38 miles with a 7 AND an 8 thrown in for good measure. So, I’ll take it. In fact, the 8 mile run, which was today, was highlighted by feeling BETTER as the run went from 2 miles to the end.

I consider one of my strengths to be self-awareness. Self-Awareness comes in several packages: physiological, emotional, cognitive, spiritual. And while it’s often easier for an athlete, a long time runner, to be physiologically self aware, I think I have taken this to an entirely new stratosphere. 

I DO NOT, you see, want another knee problem. And, while straddling this fine line between strengthening my knee and using my knee to do this thing I love to do, I’m finding my conscious fixation (translated: OVER fixation) with every other step to be absolutely fascinating (in a weird way). Foot strike becomes really significant; the running surface becomes really significant; flat, uphill, or downhill becomes really significant. Every-other-step becomes really significant.

I guess in a way, this is an easy thing. After all, every-other-step means I have this over-fixation just 50% of the time. The other half, I have off, right? Well, I’m finding that assertion to be false as preparation for the next foot strike becomes almost as big an obsession as the actual foot strike. Wow, sounds exhausting. WAY better than sitting on the couch, though.

Next week is supposed to be a 40-42 week. Hoping for a double digit longer run next weekend, AND….. with sixteen weeks to go until my re-entry in marathon world, it’s time to get serious about visits to the pit of misery. But, more on that later.

Thanks for reading. Run on. Oh AND……. saw this today and loved it: