I have been laying pretty low, trying to take it easy and give my right knee some time to heal up.
On my way home Wednesday, my wife called asked to me to pick up Juan Pollo Chicken for dinner. They have THE BEST rotisserie style chicken and their potato salad is awesome. I think it is much better tasting than their larger rival, El Pollo Loco. Of course you have to live in SoCal to know about either one of these places. With the chicken on the table, I decided to forgo the run and have myself some dinner. I justified the day off to give my knee the extra rest.
On Thursday I went back over to the Via Verde horse trail and put in a 3 miler. My knee did not complain at that mileage. I was very happy. And at 26:30 (8:50 pace) I felt like it wasn't a half bad effort all things considered.
Saturday, I met back up with my California Cruiser friends on the Santa Ana River Trail. I was hoping for a 10 miler but was keeping an open mind and letting the knee decide how far I was going to get. Songs get stuck in my head and usually whatever I hear last plays over and over while I'm on the run. Today the song that got stuck was an advertising jingle for Amstel Light. Its kind of a catchy jingle but really annoying after the first 20 times. I guess that's one benefit to running with an iPod or equivalent. At least then I would have fresh music of my own choosing, but I rarely ever wear one.
Mike wasn't there today. He and I have similar pace, but it was probably good (for my knee) that he wasn't there. I started off my run with Kevin, Margaret and Teresa. They run at a pace slower than I normally do. Since I was babying the knee and had no reason to go faster, I just enjoyed the camaraderie. I even took walking breaks every mile, which I usually reserve only for runs over 14 miles. Our average pace was 11:15 and I think my knee appreciated that.
At the 5 mile turn around, I took advantage of the bathrooms and they went ahead. I picked up my pace to catch them and just kept going. With about 2 miles to go I was passed by a bunch of bikers. One of them commented "only 23 miles to the beach." The Santa Ana River Trail ends at the junction of Newport and Huntington Beach. My response to him was "It can be done." He replied "It will be a b*tch getting back, though." I couldn't really argue with that, so I let him have the last word. I finished the second 5 miles alone in 8:49 pace. My knee started complaining around 8.5 to 9 miles, but I made it back.
Thanks to Kevin, Margaret and Teresa, I took it slow and was able to complete the full 10 miler without any major issues. It was really good to get to run with some people that I don't normally run with and to just enjoy being out there.