Maybe you've noticed I haven't been posting as much lately. That's because I haven't been running much lately.
It's been almost four weeks since I absent-mindedly slammed my knee; It's been eight days since my last run. After an annoying run Aug. 19, the right knee ached all day. First time that's happened, even in the couple of weeks after I first hurt myself.
That didn't feel right, so I shut it down. Shut it down through a trip to Massachusetts to see family, costing me a chance to tackle some of the mountains I don't like but enjoy conquering. Shut it down through a couple of scheduled long runs. Shut it down through the beginning of this week.
It's been discouraging, but I'm hoping this will solve the problem for good. (Although, to be honest, it's felt stiff the last couple of days without doing anything except some arm weights and abdominal work. That makes me nervous.)
I'll keep it shut down until Saturday morning, when I'll try an easy four miler. If that feels good, I'll do an easy four or five on Sunday.
The important thing here is I've listened to my body, when my body said stop. My orthopedist, Dr. Mark Harary says that's difficult for any athlete, competitive or recreational, to do. You can read more about his thoughts on running injuries great and small in the Health section of Monday's Press.
So, while waiting to get back into my running shoes - new ones, just itching to be broken in - I'm left thinking about "Friends." Remember how Ross and Rachel broke up, he slept with someone else and then got in trouble for it when they, briefly, got back together?
"We were on a break!" became one of the show's signature catch phrases. It was funny the first time, cute the second. By the third or fourth, it was kind of getting old. And by the end of the series, the punchline was like the uncle who overstays his welcome at holiday parties: thinks he's funny when in reality everyone's shaking their heads in shame.
I've been on a break. It wasn't funny the first time, but it was necessary. Now it's just getting annoying.