Yesterday I decided to push my knee and try running. I started off walking and progressed to a very easy run, practical race-walking, on the flat Sawpit Wash trail. Keeping my stride short and cadence up, the knee was OK...so I did my standard 10 mile out and back. It hurt, but the pain didn't seem to match the "fingerprint" of worrisome knee pain that I've had before. I had the sense that the knee had turned the corner, it seemed like more of an itchy, healthy pain if that makes any sense....It was stiff and sore when I got home later so I iced it and did my usual stretch routine, again talking care to gingerly stretch the quads with the knee bent.
When I awoke today it felt better. After having breakfast with my family and some friends that were visiting, I stretched out again and decided to take it further today by running the "Ken Burton Loop": Up the Gabrielino Trail from JPL to Oakwilde (5.3 miles), then up the Ken Burton Trail to the Mount Brown Road (7.6miles); then down the Brown "Road"- really, its single track since the Station Fire-- to the Arroyo and back to my car at Arroyo/Windsor (14.5 miles total).
This route and the Ken Burton Trail in particular is a old favorite: Its been closed since the 2009 Station Fire, but recently re-opened due to the efforts of the local mountain bikers, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA) and CORBA, who together put in 15 trail-work days with 15-35 volunteers on each of those days to restore the ~ 2.5 mile long Ken Burton Trail. I was able to make 3 of those trail days and am grateful to MWBA and CORBA , particularly their leaders, who made all or nearly all of these the trail days. Amazing. Without the bikers many of our "running" trails would not be passable...these folks are great.
I took it easy today and walked the steeps on the KB Trail. It was a beautiful day to be out: