October 28, 2021

Return to Running Recap : Week 22

Well, like yesterday's weigh-in, this week's running didn't go as I'd hoped either!

It's been 22 weeks since I started running again (that sounds so much less than saying 5 months) and this week, I decided to start doing the MAF80 plan that I wrote. I was getting kind of bored with the 3 miles on the treadmill at 5.0 mph, so I wanted to change things up.

My first run was AWESOME. The schedule was 40 minutes of straight MAF heart rate (my range is 131-141 bpm). When I do the MAF runs, I like to do them outside rather than on the treadmill; it's easier to speed up or slow down as needed.

It was raining, and I love to run in the rain (as long as it's not a total downpour or super cold and windy). I ran as slowly as possible so I wouldn't have to keep checking my heart rate (every time I looked, it was in the mid-130's, which was surprising--it's never that low on the treadmill!). 

This is perfect fall running weather for me!

About two miles in, my knee started bothering me. (Yes, I know--I feel like my body is totally falling apart, and I hate writing about this stuff because it sounds like I'm just whiny and full of excuses.) It was a sharp pain just beneath my knee cap on the lateral side. (It's not the knee that I injured by kneeling on a screwdriver, so it's not related to that.)

I've had this pain a few times before--it's super sharp and it makes my knee get very stiff and hard to straighten my leg. I changed my gait a bit while I was running and I didn't feel the pain when I ran a certain way (fully extending my leg behind me with each step).

When I got home, I walked up the driveway and the pain came back right away. The last time this happened, I was in so much pain I thought for sure I'd torn something in my knee, but I sat down to write my blog post and then when I got up, the pain was totally gone and it didn't come back. I have no idea what happened, but it was there one minute and gone the next. I figured a nerve must have been pinched and then it was released or something.

Anyway, my knee was really stiff and painful. I thought it would be like last time--I would just not think about it for a little bit and then it would be fine. Well, it was still there the next morning. And the morning after that!

The knee pain is gone now, thankfully. However, when I was in the shower, I noticed that my left foot was totally numb on top. It didn't hurt at all, but I didn't have any sensation on the top of my foot. 

I started to feel a little panicky. Of course, I googled what the problem could be, and it never occurred to me that the knee pain could have caused the numb foot until I read about peroneal nerve entrapment. Interestingly, the peroneal nerve is in the exact spot I was feeling the pain in my knee; and it also causes the top of the foot to become numb. If that's what's wrong, it's super mild because I don't have the more severe symptoms.

Something that really interested me was that the peroneal nerve could become damaged by several different things, and one of them was a fracture to the fibula. I had a stress fracture in my fibula in 2014-2015; there is still a bump where the fracture was (probably scar tissue, I'm assuming). I remember feeling the numbness in my foot shortly before my 10K in 2016. I wasn't worried about it then, but I thought it was weird. It may not be related at all, but like I said, it stuck out to me. So I'm wondering if I somehow damaged that nerve (mildly) when I had the stress fracture and now it's just irritated.

I did a LOT of kneeling and squatting and stuff like that this past week while I was working on fixing the door, so that could have triggered the knee issue as well. 

Okay, enough of that! I'm tired of thinking of all the ways my body hurts, hahaha. Since the knee pain is gone, I'm going to try to do the full first week of the running plan this week. Hopefully my knee won't be an issue since I'm done working on the door.

I had such a great first run that I was actually really excited to do the second one. I realized just how much I miss my MAF easy runs. When I first started doing them, it was like I finally understood why people enjoy running!

My pace was slower than it is on the treadmill, but I was also making sure to keep my heart rate under 141 bpm. When I run on the treadmill, it's always higher than that, so it would make sense that I would have to run slower for the duration.

I just ran as slowly as possible from the very beginning because I knew that the longer I ran, the more likely my heart rate would go over my MAF rate. I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the run when I saw that my average heart rate was 138 bpm (my MAF range is 131-141 bpm) and my maximum heart rate was 142. So there were a couple of times that my heart rate hit 142, but I slowed down again. That's the lowest average and maximum heart rate I've had while running in a VERY long time.

When I was done, I wasn't out of breath or red faced and sweaty. I felt SO good. I hope this upcoming week feels just like that!


  1. Love seeing your version of MAF180 come to life. I came down with a non-covid19 bug and haven't been able to run all week. Your post reminds me of how much I love those slow, rainy runs. Sending good knee vibes too.

  2. I just completed week one of your plan and it went great. I am looking forward to completing the 6 weeks and see where I am at. Sorry to hear about the knee pain. Hopefully it isn't anything serious. Did you ever hear from the doctors about RA? I hope it isn't that.

  3. I really enjoy your posts! I am not a runner but enjoy you posting about your style of dieting...keeping it simple. Just calories and movement. Thanks.


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