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Sunday, February 27, 2011

On Ice

Snow was predicted for the Bay Area over the weekend, but in typical form, the arctic blast that was to facilitate the freeze was a bit too boisterous and blew the moist air inland to the Sierras leaving us with nothing but heavy frost and frozen puddles.

Saturday morning sparkled.

Though I begrudged the drive to a business seminar, I didn't miss the splendor of the frosty bay area hills along Highway 4. I also didn't miss the slick spot just under Cummings Skyway immediately over the crest of the pass, where seepage from the recent deluge had turned a 100' section of highway into a skating rink.

3 vehicles ahead of me were strewn like toys across the median and shoulder. No less than 2 sets of flashing lights per vehicle were keeping company and more were coming up the highway behind me. When forced by the 2 cars ahead of me to brake at the worst possible moment, my pulse soared through the stratosphere, and I consequently gained solidarity with my truck's anti-lock brakes.

I covered the orange tree again Saturday night, and as predicted, all was crisp and ghost like as the stars faded on Sunday morning. My first run in 3 weeks on a left knee plagued by pre-patellar busitis was going to be a cold one. A pair of thermal Pearl Izumi tights, my most recent and welcome addition to an ever expanding wardrobe of performance attire, proved to be worth the money. Saturated, the hillsides, yards, and even pavement cracks oozed thin glaciers rendering treacherous their meandering path across my own.
Tentatively I increased and decreased the pace, testing my knee, and made it to the 3 mile loop turn around all too soon. That was no good - I pushed on to the Contra Costa County Courthouse for the full 5 mile loop.

All things considered, the run was a success. The only subsequent pain was predictable, and acceptable. I have no idea exactly what I've lost in 3 weeks of limping and essentially not bending my left knee. But my lungs were on track for the 8 minute mile pace, and with the exception of a compliment of tight tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the recovering knee, all the other mechanisms for running were in tune.

But I wasn't done with the ice. For the next few hours I worried my left knee with ice packs, stretches, rest, then more ice and a continuation of the same.

Still to be determined is just how long the ice will be a part of the routine. My hope and prayer is that the warmth of spring will not only drive away the winter chill, but also melt the affliction of this knee.

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