Run: Why you should train smart and not faint

How could anyone ever say that running is boring? So far, my running adventures are full of mishaps, surprises and drama—hilarious drama. Let me bring you all up to date. Try to stay with me because the last parts a doozy.  

In April, I made a few summer goals. Although I have not completed them all within the time I allotted myself, I’m doing an okay job of crossing them off slowly. You know how I love lists, and this is quite amazing since, looking back, I set completely arbitrary standards for myself and didn’t take into consideration the science behind training, mileage, injuries and all that jazz. So after going from probably 12-mile weeks to 20-mile weeks over the course of a month or so, lo and behold…. my knees are feeling very angry and resentful.  

They were feeling a lot better after the icing, stretching and pouting involved in my group run preparation, and during the run I didn’t feel any pain. So, naturally, I was healed. I did, however, run much faster than I usually do in an attempt to stay with the group... and yet I still was dropped. Fabulous. It was fun anyway. So there’s bad decision number one: increasing speed on a junky knee.  

And then came Saturday: long run day. I woke up a little late, but I was determined to get closer to my eight-mile, eventually ten-mile, long run goal. The high on Saturday was 115, and it was probably well over 95 by 7am. From 7-9 am, I drenched myself in water, stayed clear of the stray dog pack and attempted to ignore the knee pain. Seven miles later, (the two hours included a lot of walking as a warm-up and cool-down), I almost fell over when my knee completely gave out. Ouch! I was also close to facing heat exhaustion. I guess I should stop. And how did I recover? Pizza and beer. Bad decision number two.

And then came Monday. After a weekend of celebrating, eating and hours in the sun, I thought it would be a great idea to go on a short run with my cousin around Tempe Town Lake. I didn’t eat dinner the night before, I only got six hours of sleep, and I was feeling extremely dehydrated. So guess what folks? After 15 minutes, I actually fainted! I mean eyes rolled back, cuddling with the pavement and twitching — fainted. The faint occurred after we stopped due to cousin’s side stitch. I suddenly became severely nauseated, had a jolt of pain to my stomach and then everything began to close in on me as I sat down and notified my running partner. Why exactly did I faint? No idea. I felt fine before that.  

I’m sure it’s not surprise to the rest of you, but today I’m feeling exhausted, unmotivated, and my knees still hurt. I'm not sure if it's my ITB or what. It hurts on the outside of my knee, but also below my knee cap and on the inside side. Any ideas? Any suggestions?  I guess I’m going to have to take a few days off until they feel better. I’ll definitely try to fill my week with cycling, walking, jump roping and maybe even a swim or two. So stay tuned.  

Grr, I hate the ten percent rule.


  1. the knee could be so many things. I wouldn't want to diagnose but you should just rest, ice, compress and elevate for sure. And maybe have another beer? According to the Michelob Ultra commercials, the calories don't count if you live an active lifestyle.

    Hopefully someone who knows knees better than I posts or go see a sports doc....

  2. Those commercials are so effective. They actually make me want to drink Michelob Ultra, and I hate cheap, light beer. Maybe if I drink Mich Ultra, I can be more like Lance!

    Hmm... are you poking fun at my drinking habits?

    Thanks for the advice!

  3. Wow, be careful girl. Definitely rest up and have a few more beers -- but I suggest you go for the fully loaded, high carb beer. The calories and malt goodness will help you heal faster. ;) BE CAREFUL, or else much, much worse things will happen.

    Coming directly from a girl who doesn't know when to stop,

  4. It sounds to me like ITB band problems. I had similar problems when I became a little too over-zealous and ran my first half-marathon unprepared. I know it's hard, but you probably just need to rest a few days and then get back into it slowly and easily with a some pretty short, slow runs.

  5. yeah that 10% rule sucks sometimes...take it easy and R.I.C.E.
    rest, ice, compression and elevate...hopefully that'll help...

    or another beer (actually ice your knee with the cold beer bottle)

    hope you get back on your feet soon

  6. I'm definitely taking a break for a few days. Thanks for the advice! It's funny that you all think I should drink more beer! ... Maybe I should cut back instead?!

    I thought it might be ITB as well, but since my pain is also on the inside of the knee I wasn't sure. Rice is so much fun!

  7. Kelsey! Katie Widener from summer staff here... I just found you via FB... your blog rocks. Glad to see you're pursuing your dreams. :) Hope you don't mind I'm semi-stalking you. Way to go on the marathon training. I just went to (read: watched) the rock'n'roll marathon in Seattle and it was a rad event. I might go for a half soon. You'll have a lot of fun... but don't kill your knees, you need those suckers! I got married so don't get confused over my name. my blog is katieannecollins.wordpress.com. xoxo


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