Up Your Mileage

After intermittent twinging for some months, my right knee felt fine during and after the 53.7 mile trek that Kate Abbott and I took together (2010-05-15 - Half Massanutten Mountain Trails). But a few days later, after a short walk to the Metro and a climb up the long Rosslyn escalator stairs, the old joint really began to ache. What to do? Of course, I followed the classic advice that one addicted runner gives another: Up your mileage! Foolish, I know, but it seemed to work.

So yesterday I had to laugh when, in Chapter 7 of Why We Run: A Natural History by Bernd Heinrich, I read about the author's experience in the late 1970s:

Soon after I started training, I got a knee pain. I went to an orthopedic surgeon, who said, "You have (some sort of) cartilage degeneration. If you don't stop running, I'm going to have to take your kneecap off and throw it in the garbage can." His exact words. They rang in my ears a long time. I figured, instead, that I had a loose piece of cartilage, which I could get rid of by grinding it down by running, So I increased my mileage.

(cf. 2010-03-20 - CCT Wimp-Out, ...) - ^z - 2010-08-11