Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Running Injury: Can I Get A Whoohoo?

After my Sunday 15 miler with some MP (marathon pace) running, my 'good leg' left knee cranked up a pain alarm.  It became quite sore on the medial side, not super sharp but enough to cause me to limp that evening. By Monday it I was concerned enough that I called a local PT for an appointment, thinking I really need to know what was going on quickly so I could get after a recovery that meant business.

Gerber daisy blooming - Dec. 21, 2011
I had run a lot of miles prior to Christmas, and over the holidays I cut my mileage way back and did no speedwork. The idea was to allow the body to recover from the hard training, and I thought I had been successful. Pain, however, is a teacher who's class cannot be least not without severe consequences.

As I thought about what might be going on, I realized I had been on a steady diet of training on the new treadmill, and that meant running on the virtual Boston Marathon course of many downhills and a few stiff uphills including the infamous "Heartbreak Hill." Considering how I felt running the declines I am somewhat convinced this caused my injury, and from online pics it seemed likely either the medial meniscus or the tibial collateral ligament were among the most suspected 'usual suspects.' I have had many running injuries over my career, but this is a new one.

Sometime during this process the thought struck me: I have a running injury. It wasn't that long ago I couldn't run at all, and now I have a running injury! I felt myself smiling...ah irony, you old crowbar to the knee you.

So I am off to the see the PT wizards and discover what the exact problem is, as well as see what they think about my running a half marathon this weekend. My prize is Boston, and my sight is singularly focused on it. If I have to take some time off now you bet I will...


Good news, I should be back on track soon. The discomfort was localized in the meniscus area, but range of motion was good and nothing causes sharp pains or made it any worse. So anti-inflammatories, icing, massage, and some strengthening should do it and I'm hoping the pain will subside by the weekend to allow me to run the half.

I saw John Mart at Imagine Physical Therapy in Mount Pleasant SC, not far from where I run on the town track. Very thorough, I got some immediate relief, and he understood my needs as a runner. A PT who runs will almost always have an edge over one who does not run or understand our mindset. It is what we have to do, not what we need to do that drives us forward, compels us to go beyond.

Since I had hoped to run well at this race I hope I can make it to the starting line without being held back nursing this injury. If I don't run it I will likely do a half at Folly Beach next month. The goal race is Boston, and if I don't run a single race before then it's okay by moi. Detours will confront us, but running off the road onto the rocks miles below is not effective training.


Winter in the South
Sometimes to move forward you have to take a breather.

Do I smell roses?

No, it's a camellia blooming just before Christmas....

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