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Best laid plans

I had hoped to be running this trail in the
Australian Alps early next week (photo taken
 on my hike through the Alps in 2011)
Injured again!  Yesterday I was starting to believe that I had resolved my right Achilles problem with the new heel raises, and that I was getting over my bronchial problems.  I was looking forward to a few days down at Thredbo in the Australian Alps early next week, where I planned to run some favourite alpine trails while Sharon and Jack did some skiing on the last of the season's snow.  With just a month to go until the Melbourne Marathon, and less to the shorter Australian Masters Games events prior to the marathon, there seemed to be some chance I could perform respectably, at least.

Some more of my planned running scenery for next week
Now I don't think it will happen.  I started Terrigal Trotters 10.5km North Avoca Lake Run quite conservatively this morning, having warmed up for a few kilometres.  Although I found the whole run hard, particularly the hills, I gradually worked my way through the field.  I never caught the front-runners, and still lack freshness and zest, but at least I ran a lot better than last week.

I wasn't conscious of any particular problems during the run, though my chronic right knee and Achilles injuries were about as worrisome as usual.  The new problem became evident after the run, when a dull pain emerged behind my right knee and proceeded to get worse and worse during the day.  If I sit down for any length of time, the pain is significant as soon as I try straighten the knee and begin walking again.  I have a feeling that it is related to the Baker's Cyst, a fluid sac behind the knee, that can become swollen if the knee is unstable.  It's an injury I have had in the past and the swelling can take a long time to subside (friends have had the fluid in the sac removed via a syringe, but often the problem quickly recurs if the knee is still unstable).

Diagram of the knee showing the location of the
Baker's Cyst, which I believe to be my latest injury
Anyway, given that I am not in peak form nor believe I'm destined to run well in Melbourne, it's easier to be smart and see if the knee settles down rather than plough on with the planned training for this week.  Today was the first time I have run faster in the new heel raises, and my guess is that this slight change in the angles of the lower leg and foot biomechanics has increased the pressure on the knee and affected its stability.  I've only been wearing the heel raises for four days, and my muscles and ligaments have probably not had sufficient time to adapt to the change in the biomechanics, especially if I'm running faster and putting more pressure on all joints.  There's an outside chance that the pain will subside overnight, and I'll be able to run tomorrow, but already in my head I've written off the next month, including the planned races.