There are days, my leg taped up, wrapped up and iced up, when I'm ready to tell someone to stick a fork in me. I'm done. Don't want to do it anymore. Any pleasure I derive from running is trumped by the pain.
But that's just me wallowing in self pity, and it doesn't (usually) last too long.
Physical therapy has taught me a few things: How to stretch properly to build strength in the muscles around my knee, particularly here in my quadriceps; that an extra 15 to 20 minutes spent stretching and strengthening my legs is well worth it in the long run; that no knee will work its best without building strength in the quads, calves and hamstrings.
All that we cover in my latest training video, including the stretches I do and the braces I wear to support my knee.
More than anything else, though, is that this is all making me a smarter runner. I'm chronicling my training for one race, but I've run since I was 13, and will, hopefully, run for decades to come.
If a few speedbumps in the summer and fall of 2009 make me better able to achieve that goal? I'll take it.