Monday, October 12, 2009

A Bump in the Road

So remember right before I ran the 5k last month, that I was worried about injuring myself by running it before my training was over? Well, let it be known that you should always trust your first instinct. Even though it's cliche, it's cliche for a reason. That reason is because it's true. You already know that I pulled a calf muscle racing for the finish line, but I iced it when I got home and it felt fine the next day (Monday). Tuesday morning, I woke up and my legs felt great, so I went for a run (2.5 miles) and I felt awesome. No pain, no discomfort, just awesomeness.

Well, Tuesday night I started to get this really sharp pain just below my knee joint on the inside. But it was weird because it was only when I lifted my knee up, like to put on socks, shoes, jeans, or to climb stairs. And, it was excruciating. Like, on a scale of 1 to 10, it was probably an 8 or so. Anyway I iced it a bit, which seemed to make it worse so I stopped. I stayed off it for a few days, and it was totally not getting better at all.

So of course my next step was to do some internet research, which, in general I try to avoid, especially when it's something medical. Things you find on webMD can be pretty darn scary. Anyway, I googled "pain below knee inside" and found quite a bit of info. After I waded through the symptoms and descriptions, I figured out that I have Pes Anserine Bursitis of the knee. How do I know? Well, let's check the symptoms:

"The patient often points to the pes anserine as the area of pain or tenderness. The pes anserine is located about two to three inches below the joint on the inside of the knee. "

Yep, that sounds about right. Let's see what the causes are:

Overuse of the hamstrings, especially in athletes with tight hamstrings?
Check. I have notoriously tight hamstrings... like, I can't even touch my toes. So yeah. Check.

Are you a runner?
Check. Apparently runners are affected most often.

Sudden increases in distance run?
Uh... definitely check.

Running up hills?
Does a humongous hill, count? If so, check.

Anyway, I'm no doctor, but I'll be damned if that's not what I have. According to everything I read, the only treatment option says, "Stopping the activity that brings on or aggravates the symptoms is the first step toward pain reduction." It also said that icing it and taking an anti-inflammatory would help.

So that's the deal: I've been sitting around on my ass for almost THREE WEEKS and haven't been able to run at all. It took a solid two weeks for the pain to subside even a small amount, and I haven't wanted to risk running too soon, because I definitely don't want to go back to square one and sit around for another three weeks. Anyway, I waited until my knee really felt great (which was yesterday) and decided to go for a test run. And, because I wanted to try out my sweet new gear: a wicked running jacket, long-sleeve shirt for cold runs, and some amazing socks.

Yesterday's run was okay. Frustrating, but okay. I made it about 3/4 mile before my knee started to hurt, so then I walked about 5 minutes and started back jogging, but my knee hurt so I stopped, stretched, and walked some more. Then I ran for about 2 minutes until it started hurting again, then I stopped, stretched, and walked. I repeated this process about 4 times all the way back home. So, I finished feeling pretty frustrated that 3 weeks ago I was almost running 3 miles and now I can't even run one. When I got home I iced it of and on for about an hour, and then took an ibuprofen. It feels pretty good today, but I'm not sure if I will run tomorrow... I might wait 2 days in between until it gets better.

My plan is to keep at it, though, and to just ease back into it slowly until I'm back where I was. I'm not quitting!!! I know you might think I will, but I'm not. I promise. But obviously, I'm not going to be running the Run Like Hell 5k I was hoping for at the end of this month. It's okay though, because I didn't really know what costume I was going to wear anyway.

1 comment:

Amy said...

First of all, can I just say that the picture of the dude on that website is hilariously old school? WTF? That's the best they can do in this day and age? Looks like he should be shooting at squirrels on the Oregon Trail computer game or some shit.

Anyway... As you're aware, I'm no doctor. BUT, I do know runners and their injuries and I've never heard of this one. So, yeah, sorry I can't help you out much with that. Sounds painful and annoying, I always thought bursitis meant there was some swelling of liquids or something? If so, you might have to get that drained, if not, then maybe it's not a bad case!!!

The thing I will suggest... do hamstring exercises. Your hammies will naturally get stronger the more running you do, but the only way to fully knock injuries like this out (and keep them from reoccurring)... is to strengthen the other muscles. So, definitely work on hamstring exercises... squats, lunges, other hellacious hamstring moves and that should help you in the future. Our knees get jacked up because they wind up doing the work that they aren't supposed to be doing when the other muscles are weak. Most runners get IT band issues, which is from weak quads... so, take relief in the fact that your quads must be rocking. (and it's cooler to have rocking quads anyway, cause thats a muscle you can ACTUALLY see).