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Running Revival: Joel’s Incredible Return to Half Marathon Glory After Years Away

Running Revival - Joel's Return To The Marathon

Welcome back, Joel! Joel is training for his first half marathon in several years, the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon. Joel ran through high school and college but stopped for several years when he opted for cycling instead. Joel’s half-marathon will take place on October 22. His running revival has been one that has seen him defying age and a long hiatus. A lot has changed since we chatted with him last, and Joel has even found himself a new training partner. 

How Is Training Going?

The training was going well until I did something dumb. I wore a pair of shoes for the day that I guess my feet didn’t like and then went running that night. The regular shoes had hurt my foot, causing me to run funny which then meant I tweaked my left knee. I thought everything would heal and become fine if I just eased off of running a little. But then I jumped back in too quickly and ran an eight-mile trail race which really took a toll on my body—my left knee became swollen and very tight. 

I’ve been taking days off from running to see if rest will help. It has helped the knee physically and it seems to be getting better. Mentally, though, I want to run! Now, without the knee issue, I feel like I could complete my half marathon tomorrow with the training I’ve already done.

My son has decided that he also wants to do the half with me in October. I really want to be ready for that because I’ve found running with him makes this all better! I enjoy our time together. My first run back went okay. He and I got five miles in, but I’m still trying to take it easy on my knee. It’s getting better just not as fast as I would like. 

I’m now experimenting with which shoes to wear that are best for my knee and which seem to make it worse, and I’m using KT tape on my knee.

What Made Your Son Decide He Wanted To Run With You?

When I asked him, he just said, “It seems like fun.” But from my conversations with him while we’ve been running together, I know he enjoys running because it allows him to explore new places that you can’t reach in a car. He likes that you’re going slower and seeing more.

My son dove into the data and loves tracking his miles and seeing what Strava says his VO2 max is. His competitive nature drives him to get better and take on more miles. He has also noticed how his improved fitness has benefited his soccer game! 

Are You Cross-Training Right Now?

I’ve been riding consistently, but easing off the power used. I’ve found riding has helped loosen up my knee and, since it’s not impact, riding doesn’t seem to hurt it much. I’m trying to listen to my body and take time off if it asks for it.

I’ve just got some KT tape to support my knee, and I’m waiting for my compression boots to show up and I’ll see how that helps me.

What Else Are You Doing To Focus On Recovery?

I went to a chiropractor, and my issue is from a cyst that has caused swelling in the back of my knee. This, in turn, is causing my kneecap to twist out of place. The chiropractor cupped it, then taped it up. It seems to be helping, so we shall see. I’m willing to try different things to improve it so I can get back to training!

Thank you, Joel, for your time. We are looking forward to seeing you get healthy and back into running.



Hollie is a runner, hiker, swimmer, residing in California. She has worked in run specialty for nearly 8 years and has fit hundreds of people for shoes. Outside of the running world, she enjoys the general aviation world, her two cats, and spending time with her spouse.