Sunday, January 22, 2012

Owie Update

It has been almost two weeks since my knee tossed out a pain warning flag that something was amiss. I still believe the pain in the medial meniscus is from too much downhill running on my treadmill. Boston is a net downhill course and having run downhills on a similar course many years ago, I know not being prepared will result in a very bad race. We live on the coast of South Carolina in what is known as the "Lowcountry." It is basically flat here; very little elevation change and the only hills are bridges.

I had not been running hard on these net downhill runs, but I did note the extra stress on my knees. In itself, not a bad thing, it was exactly the training effect I was seeking. My stupidity lay in doing this on most of my treadmill runs. Many people HATE running on the treadmill, I find it a great training tool if not partner, always there and ready to go. If the weather is bad or I want to save time, more of the latter I admit, I can quickly toss on some shorts and be ready to run quicker than preparing for the elements outside. I can watch the Olympic trials on tv or run the virtual Boston course I made right there on my iFit equipped NordicTrack Elite 9500 Pro treadmill.

Boston Marathon Landmark: The End is Near!
(Note: I am not sponsored nor receive any compensation from any products or services I mention in my blog. As an athlete I am always interested in what others find works for them without ulterior motives. I.e., if an amputee athlete is employed by a prosthetist this needs to be made clear when interacting with the public or potential patients.)


I have been running once or twice a day with this injury, at most 6 miles so far. The main thing is not to lose too much fitness while allowing it to heal. Had it seemed at all worse, I would not hesitate to see my doctor, however, that does not seem to be the case. I feel it is improving and I am very actively working on strengthening, icing with light compression, anti-inflammatories, massage, and using the many Biofreeze samples we've gotten in our race packets. I'm also taking glucosamine, bromelain, and reparagen in an attempt to help the healing process along.

Yesterday morning I could hardly tell I had an injury, but a few hours later the slight tenderness returned. I knew it was way too early to call a victory, indeed, I expect to have some discomfort for some weeks.  Certainly enough sense, I hope, not to push the pace until I feel I am close to being healed without setting myself back.

Runners are often told to "listen to your body." This takes time and experience and almost always a runner will push too soon by at least a factor of 2. I am always amazed at how runners will "test" an injury, only setting recovery back longer or making things worse...and then complaining that they can't run at all. I am saying this as much to remind myself as to warn others.


I have missed 3 key workouts so far and know I will miss some more. The upcoming week was to be one of maximum mileage and the following weekend was going to be a run and bike ride with my brother Mark. I had been looking forward to this workout more than any others, but going 21 miles over several bridges would not be wise. My thinking is to take the rest of January easy, work on getting my knee strong so I can confidently run, and then have February and March to put in the work needed to run well at Boston. Getting to the starting line healthy sure beats not getting there at all no matter what the fitness level.

If I do not feel I am progressing later this week, I plan to see an orthopedist to determine exactly what is going on in my knee. The hope is this is not a meniscus tear that might require a surgery, only continued rehabilitation. 

Yes, the thought has crossed my mind....what if. At this point I do not think there is any real need to consider that possibility, only to remember what I have done to get this far and to recall what adversities I faced to complete my first marathon. I will do my best to get to Hopkinton in a high level of fitness and ready to give my all.

That is my plan. If fate has some other ideas, then I have learned to accept it. I do know this: I will not fail in the doing. I have the will to get there. I will do what I need to do to



  1. Hey RB, glad to hear the knee is improving. I was sorry we didn't get a chance to run together in the Charleston Half but it looks like you made the right decision. Onward to Hopkinton!

  2. Howdy jaydee,

    I definitely made the right decision, just hope in a couple of weeks I can return to the intensity I need to run well at Boston. First injury I've had in this area, I've had patella tendonitis but this is about as aggravating. Hope your training continues to go well!