Accidents Happen

May 13, 2008

(Note: This is the article for this months RunnersFit newsletter.)

They say that most accidents happen within five miles of home – but usually the victim knows what caused the accident. That was not the case for my dear friend Left Knee (LK for short). The accident happened about three weeks ago while on a casual run down the street, but the details are a bit sketchy.

About three miles into an eight mile run, LK started to complain a bit. By the end of the eight miles, LK was feeling pretty stiff. After a few days rest, LK tried a short run, but, was sadly still sore.

It has now been a couple of weeks, and after fighting through a cold, LK is still having some serious issues. So, after consulting with the rest of the ‘family’ (Right Knee, Feet, & Head), LK has decided to try walking instead of running for a while.

Now, y’all don’t need to feel sad. The whole ‘family’ is actually quite used to walking, and we usually enjoy it. As a matter of fact, a few years ago, we walked the NYC marathon. All 26.2 miles were spent with at least one foot on the ground at all times.

(That’s a bad race walking joke, since one of the rules of the sport is that one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times… and this would be the point where my wife likes to remind me that if you have to explain a joke, it probably wasn’t that funny But that’s a whole different story.)

Now, there are plenty of advantages to walking. The biggest, besides LK not complaining, is that the rest of the ‘family’ stays happy too. After that jaunt through New York, the ‘family’ walked all around the city for days afterwards with very few complaints.

The one drawback is that the pace is a little slower, but not enough to keep the ‘family’ home. To date, our fastest recorded race-walking pace is a 12:16 mile, which isn’t much slower than my running pace. But, as everyone knows, for us, it’s never about speed, it’s just about being out there.

Now, some have called us “nerdy” for knowing how to race walk. But even they are impressed with the speed at which we can move, and our great race walking form. And we think it’s important to be able to adapt to changing circumstances, plus it’s fun to laugh at ourselves. Plus, if we call this “cross-training”, it will be new, exciting, and good.

It just goes to show, you can’t keep a good knee down.