Runs like these are why I wanted to call this blog Sucking Wind.

8:55 a.m., and I'm heading out the door. The weather is about as good as it gets... cool, with a little breeze. A few degrees cooler and we'll really be in business.

I've got my knee taped up, Cho-pat strip wrapped around the bottom of the kneecap. And the miles start piling on. One mile, two mile, three... No pain so far. Just the awareness that something's there, the same sensation as if someone dropped a marble down my shirt. You feel it, but it's nothing to worry about.

Four miles, five miles, six... wouldn't say I'm lookin' good, but I'm feeling pretty great.

Around mile eight, the knee flares up. And then ... nothing.

Doesn't get worse, doesn't cause me to walk, doesn't make me want to curse the tendinitis gods.

You see, the pain is ALWAYS there. Maybe not four-alarm, burn the house down pain, but always at least a little "yoo-hoooo, don't forget about me" irritation. To feel nothing? Exhilirating.

That's when I decided to pump up the pace and air it out ... only my body would have nothing of it. That's the thing about working back to injury. Take more than a couple of weeks off, and you're stamina takes a beating.

So it is that I labor through the final few miles, gulping for air and glad when the final few steps are over.

My body is tired, my feet are sore, blisters are forming. And I love every part of it.