a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Knee Story

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Knee Story

SUMMARY: Not that it's inconsistent or anything. And it gets to do Black Mountain.
So tell me--after two weeks of walking a couple of miles daily plus every other day doing the Stairs From Heck (2300 through last wednesday), a hike last friday up a steep hill, a weekend of agility in which I did fewer runs that the preceding agility weekend--why why WHY did my knee sunday evening decided that it had had enough?

Sunday: By the time I got home from the trial, it was already stiffening up--stiffened more & more & became quite painful. Iced it a lot Sunday afternoon & evening, lost sleep when it woke me repeatedly.

Monday: It didn't feel great, but not really terrible, either, so I decided to go for my planned two miles plus Stairs From Hell (2 passes, 230 steps each pass) after all. About halfway up, I started to think that maybe it was a mistake, but, well, the knee does tend to loosen up and feel better as I use it more, so I finished that flight. Actually went up pretty smoothly without having to stop at all, which is already different from 2 weeks prior. Walked the .75 back to the base and started up again.

Knee felt funny. As in, suddenly realizing that it was swollen! So I turned around, went back down, and went home.

That afternoon and evening, increasing pain, more icing and elevating, another night of interrupted sleep.

Tuesday: Did nothing physical, no walkies, and it still wasn't happy, but a little better. More icing. Did not wake me up Tuesday night, thank goodness.

Wednesday: In the morning, it felt pretty good. But again, I did not go for my 2-mile walk or the stairs, and my big excuse was that my Sierra Club group was doing Black Mountain for the first time this season--about 1000 feet up and 6 miles round trip.

I wasn't sure that was a good idea, either, but I'd been SO looking forward to it. Drove myself rather than carpooling in case I needed to turn around early.

As we started, there were a lot of twinges and ooches, but as usual it loosened up as we went. I still wasn't keeping up with the leaders (you know, the ones who hike up Mt. Whitney ever year the day after doing a 30-mile High Sierra backpack trip, or who backpack 800 miles across Europe every summer). But I wasn't *that* far behind most of the time, and most of that was because I kept stopping for photos and would lose another 40 feet on them.

I think I did pretty well, and again I credit 2 weeks of those Stairs From Heck, or I doubt I'd have been able to manage it. The muscles in my thighs didn't get *nearly* as tight and protesting as they do on the stairs.

The hike up was pretty--so often when we go up, everything has gone brown for the summer, but it was still green.

Plenty of wildflowers, although I proved last week that my little camera sucks at wildflower photos, plus no time with this rampaging crowd to stop and snap the flowers, so I braved only a single hurried lupine shot.

But we also saw owl's clover, blue-eyed grass, bunch of other things I don't remember, and rows of wild iris in one spot (causing one hiker to suggest with a gleam in his eye that that's where the song "My Wild Iris Rows" came from).

At the one moment that I put my camera back into my pocket and opened my water bottle for a drink, three deer appeared abruptly trailside, and I couldn't get my camera out and zoomed until the surprised critters had fled up the far hillside.

Made it to the top!

Hazy day view.

Most of the rest of the group taking a very brief break at the peak.

As for my knee, going down was another matter. Unhappy knee. Taking most of my weight on the steeper bits on my other leg. I was sure I was going to be in trouble that night or the next day.

But--nope. Felt fine that evening and overnight.

Thursday: Felt fine in the morning, too, and all day today. Go figure. Guess it likes the abuse and my mistake over the weekend was not exercising it *enough*. Heh. Well, we'll see about that--On my way to agility class in a few minutes. And tomorrow--the Stairs From Hell!

(There are a few more photos from the hike here--mostly of the hikers going up the mountain.)

Update: May 11, 10:30 a.m. Photo from Kimmy--me descending Black Mountain at sunset (black shirt and teal fleece around waist). Thanks, Kimmy!


  1. Maybe it's just something about stairs?

    1. You think I should do more of them? :-) This morning's stairs were tiring but my knee, he don't care.


  2. I wonder if living where there's such gorgeous scenery would be enough to get me off the couch... Sigh.

    Even those big rocks are more scenic than the big rocks where I live!

    My knee was feeling wonky halfway through a walk the other day so I definitely feel for you. So to speak. Not fun, not fun at all.

    1. Really?! Not even interesting rocks? I seem to recall some nice photos of woods and paths and fields and ponds and lakes and things. I'm going to have to come up there sometime and scope it out.

    2. Yeah but woods and paths and ponds and things are so boring. I want open vistas!

      There was a time, many years ago now, I came *this* close to moving to Saskatchewan. True story.

      Do let me know if you ever go to Montreal again, eh!

  3. Yea, body parts are like that - fickle. My hamstring still hurts but at least it's not keeping up at night anymore. Today is more weeding day, figure I can mess it up for sure now. You sure have a beautiful place to hike! Though I like woods and ponds too. And you remind me, I bet my lupin is blooming. Need to go out back and look. Great photos!