My training for The Dash to the Finish Line was going pretty smoothly. The weather was cooperating, The Husband was cooperating, The Baby was cooperating – my body, however, was not cooperating.
About two weeks in I was really starting to see improvements. I was running with more ease and losing some weight. I was feeling pretty good during a Saturday run that I deviated from the training program a bit. Instead of sticking with the run/walk intervals, I just kept running. I kept telling myself, see if you can get to this point without stopping. This point turned into that point. That point turned into all the way home. I felt great until I stopped running. Afterwards my legs, especially around my knees , felt stiff and achy. I brushed the pain off and attributed it to being a sign of a really good workout. I tried taking a hot shower in hopes that the heat would loosen my legs but it didn’t help at all. I spent the rest of the day walking around like a 105 year old. I figured my legs just needed some time to rest and that I would feel better the next day. Nope. My knees didn’t feel better the next day or the day after that and the pain continued for about a week. I tried icing my knee, applying heat, Tylenol, then a lot of Tylenol but nothing seemed to help the throbbing pain. Using a knee brace and a knee strap didn’t work so I resigned to the fact that I probably should rest. I took a few days off from running and when I tried running again a few days later, I found that my legs refused to bend. I gave up and made an appointment for an orthopedist. I had to wait a week to be seen, a whole long and painful week. In fact, the appointment was scheduled for the Tuesday before the 5K. I felt pretty low at this point. I wasn’t able to continue with training and I was really disappointed about that. I was hobbling around everywhere and Steve had to carry Luca down the stairs for me because I had so much trouble just trying to get myself down the stairs.
By the time my appointment came around, the pain in my left knee disappeared but my right knee still felt awful. The doctor felt around my knees (Does this hurt? YES!) and sent me for X-rays. The diagnosis: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Yep. My quads are weak so the knee is taking the brunt of my weight when I run. Or something like that. Poor knee.
I got the go ahead from the doctor to continue running when the pain eased up and a sheet of exercises to help strengthen the muscles around my knee. Oh, and a script for anti-inflammatory medication to take as needed. I decided to hold off on training and just see what I could do come race day. There was not much more I could do other than that.
All that rest helped and by the time Saturday rolled around, I felt like I was able to make a decent attempt at running. My plan was to start off running and walk when my knee needed to rest and that’s pretty much what I did. Kim was really great at staying by my side the whole time even though snails were probably passing me at one point. I had a lot of fun but couldn’t help thinking about how much better I would’ve done if my knee didn’t hurt.
It’s been a month since the race so the actual race details are a little fuzzy but you can read all about it on Kim’s race report.
I will always remember my favorite parts of the race. That’s coming up next!