I obviously have much to update on, since I've been MIA for a couple of months. And I will--update, that is--soon. In the past couple of weeks, I have finished my master's program, we have both stopped our jobs in Charleston, and we have moved back to Charlotte. I will graduate this Friday.

But for now, I need some advice! I have my very first half marathon coming up in less than 3 weeks. Training has definitely not gone as originally planned, but has gotten back on track the past few weeks. We had a great 9 miler two weekends ago, and 11 miles on the schedule for this past Saturday. That's where the advice comes in ... after the 9 miles, my left knee felt a little tight, but not really painful. It didn't really bother me during the week, until Friday, when I spent a lot of time cleaning and when I would kneel with my kneecap on the ground, it was a little uncomfortable. On the run Saturday, my legs never did loosen up. My knee felt tight to start out, and then about 2-3 miles in started with a nagging ache. At 4 miles, it was hurting just enough to decide to stop the run and go out again another day.

My knee feels tight, with pain down the lateral side, with some shooting pains up my thigh area when I step down while running. It hurt mainly on downhills and a little on flat surfaces. Uphill was fine. I'm concerned that adding too many hills too quick may have irritated something, since up until 2 weeks ago I was running on all flat areas in Charleston. Since moving back to Charlotte, I've been running on lots of hills. The half marathon is in Hickory, NC--the start of the NC mountains, and the first 3 miles are all downhill. If my knee is still acting up, that could potentially be a painful 3 miles!

Any ideas on what this could be? Any suggestions on the best way to stretch that area? I've been icing it and taking ibuprofen, and today it feels much better. But, I really want to get a couple more long runs in without hurting it further.