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The knee is okay, the legs aren’t

I don’t know how it’s with you, but I’m always a bit over enthusiastic. Especially when it comes down to running races. I mean, only a couple of days after my first Did Not Finish (DNF) ever, at the Grand Trail du Saint-Jacques, I started to think of revanche. I started to think of running the Utrechtse Heuvelrug Ultra Trail; a 100 kilometres long trail (1.250m+) here in the Netherlands. The only problem was; I still couldn’t bend my knee. The reason for my DNF in the first place.

RELATED: Grand Trail du Saint-Jacques; my first DNF

The good news is; I can bend my knee again. I tested it twice this week. Yesterday I went out for an easy run. It felt okay. Not a hundred percent, but okay. Today I tested it again with the same result. It isn’t a hundred percent, but it doesn’t bother me running.

No knee damage

More importantly I had it looked after by Jeroen Panhuizen, a physiotherapist that specialises in knees. A visit I’ve dreaded for the last couple of days. I mean, the UTMB CCC is only 9 weeks from now. This isn’t the moment I want to hear that I can’t run for a couple of weeks. This is the moment I should do loads of running. But Jeroen is positive. He doesn’t think there is anything wrong with my knee joint. He agrees it’s probably the tendon. Probably, because the only way to be sure, is to get an MRI of my knee.

As I was struggling last year with the same problem, I’m pretty convinced it’s just the tendon. That’s why I went for a run this morning. Nothing crazy. Just four intervals of four minutes around my lactate threshold. Each interval followed by two minutes of easy running. At least, that was the plan, but my legs weren’t up for it. I couldn’t push. And that had nothing to do with the knee, but everything with my legs.

RELATED: Testing my right knee and foot

No power

See, I told my legs were fine after the Grand Trail du Saint-Jacques. I didn’t have any muscle pain after the race. I felt just a bit stiff. That’s all. But today, no. No power, no energy. There’s a Dutch saying: pap in de benen. If you translate it, it makes no sense: porridge in your legs. But I do think you get the feeling.

The first two intervals this morning were okay. The third I broke off half way. The fourth interval, I only started two minutes into the interval. That’s the moment I was out of the sun and into the shade. Sun and running don’t go together for me. Even when it’s just a short interval. I melt.

Bad recovery

To be honest, I haven’t taken good care of my legs after the race. I didn’t do my regular yoga exercises. I didn’t eat properly. Didn’t sleep properly. I had a few days of holiday in Annecy and enjoyed those. After that I was in Italy, where Sara was teaching in Milan at a big event to celebrate International Yoga Day, and I had to film. I know the importance of recovery, but sometimes I just don’t want to think about it.

Not the smartest attitude, I admit. I think I’m paying the price now. If I had been better, I probably would be running the Utrechtse Heuvelrug Ultra Trail this weekend. Now, no. No power, is no running. Well, a bit of running, but no 100 kilometres. Breaking that magic barrier has to wait. Again. But one day, one day it will happen.

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