After a week of no running, I finally finally went running this past wednesday (since it had been a full week off from the painful-none run, it was deemed ok by the hubs). I ran a very, very slow 3 miles and it felt, well, OK. Nothing great. There was some pain on the lateral aspect of my knee, but again, I couldn’t really pinpoint anything, and after the run I made sure to ice the knee. Thursday morning I woke up and the back of my knee was a little sore, but I was able to walk know problem. My knee became that problematic car that makes a funny noise every single day except for the one day you take it to the mechanic.
After convincing my doc that “No, it’s my RIGHT knee hurting” (the scars from the fall are much worse on my left knee), he bent my knee and leg ways I honestly didn’t know possible. He touched one section of me knee, which kinda hurt, moved my knee some more, touched the tender section again, and diagnosed me with a…..bruised femoral condyle, in other words, a bruised bone (said husband, “bruise? are you sure you want to tell people that?!”)
Instead of telling me something awful (ie: no running), the doc (who claims to have ran daily for 19 years before he was told to stop lest he wanted bilateral knee replacement within 10 years) said, “No continuous running…no 10 mile daily runs (ha! I don’t run daily, and certainly don’t run 10 miles more than once a week). If you can run through the pain, keep running. You can take advil, aleve, or darvocet before your run. I do when I have to run for my PT test.” (PT test: physical fitness test for those in the military). OH, my knee cap isn’t tracking either. STUPID FALL!
It being Thursday, I wanted to meet up with the runners group for some beer and bad greasy pizza, and decided to stop at the running store to look at taping options. I looked at the tape, but ended up buying a band to wear below my knee cap. And ran 4, slowish miles relatively pain free. It felt funny, running with the band, but I got through it (without taking any meds beforehand). Friday morning I felt, dare I say it, fine. Saturday I spent the day at work without issues (and no medications). Then came Sunday Sunday. 20 miles Sunday.
Since I was worried I wouldn’t make it, I decided to run locally & solo. I took aleve first thing in the morning, ate, had my cup of coffee, finally got dressed. And started. And I was feeling ok. The knee band certainly felt kind of weird, but I wasn’t having any pain on impact. I even stopped at the house to pee around mile 4 or 5, and had no issues starting back up again (on the long runs I had noticed pain when starting after a hydration stop). Next thing I had 12 miles under my belt. Then 18 (where I met another runner training for the Air Force Marathon), then TWENTY.
And. I. Felt. Fine.
Mentally and physically. I didn’t feel loopy, My breathing was controlled. I was giddy. I took the knee band off. I sat and stretched a bit. I got up with no problem! I walked around the neighborhood to cool down a bit. I stretched, had a second, larger breakfast. No problem. But after my ice bath, I swear my knee started feeling funny. by 2:30pm I was aching. by 4:30 I was certainly limping. By 5:30 I was googling possible issues with my knee and came up with patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Stupidly, I took only one aleve that night, slept horribly, and woke up feeling, again, that my leg wasn’t stable. By 6:15, driving to work, I was so uncomfortable I took 2 aleve even thought I wasn’t yet due for a dose. Finally, around lunch time I began to feel a little bit better. At 5:30 I took another dose, and by 7:00pm I felt much much better, hardly limping.
Now the question is, with Chicago quickly approaching, do I run another 20 miler? Last year I ran two 20s before the Marine Corp Marathon, but I don’t remember how many I ran the year before. Is one 20 miler enough? And did I run it too soon?
Tomorrow I have an appointment with a massage therapist whose studio is in the running store. I’ve never had a sports therapy massage, but I trust her. Hopefully between her, the aleve, and some ice, I can get to chicago.