The past few weeks I started running with my friend Marie. She is this lightning fast maniac runner. If you want to improve at something...find someone who is a whole lot better and spend as much time as possible with them! Marie was a college runner and has coached High School for lots of years. She just quit coaching a couple months ago. So she has been a lonely runner. I finally got up the guts to give it a go with her, and boy does she work me hard. I am a serious amateur in comparison. She ran a 3:05 marathon. That is 7:03 min/mile averages (and she hit the wall the last 4 miles of that race). 3:05 is just incomprehensible to me. Running with Marie is forcing me to step up my game.
Today she took me on hills. Not little hills, but steep, unrelenting hills. Already tonight I am paying for it. My quads are going to kill me tomorrow and my knee is screaming in protest, after icing it 2x today even. But if I have learned anything about running, it is that I just better keep running. My body always fights me when I go to the next level. My knees hurt, my joints ache, my muscles are sore... However, if I just keep running, within a couple weeks, that same hill, or increased distance doesn't bother me anymore.
Anyone can be a runner. I have a hard time believing someone can't run because their knees hurt. Mine are so painful. When I started running after pregnancy, I wasn't sure if I could ever do it again. Two miles felt so hard, and I had to limp on my knee. I didn't stop, just iced, and over a couple weeks, the knees got stronger and the distances and times got longer and faster. Just keep running. With anything...it may hurt, be uncomfortable...but just keep runnning.