Injuries Suck

Said every runner, ever.

I mentioned last weekend that my left knee started hurting 7 miles into my long run, but I was able to bear the pain and finish the 17-miler. However, that whole day I had SO much pain that at times it was difficult to walk.

The pain was on the back outside of my knee—right where the tendon seems to run along the back edge. A lot of runner friends, when I told them the pain was on the outside of my knee, kept suggesting it may be my IT band. I’ve dealt with that pain a lot with my right knee, so I know what that usually feels like—and this felt way different. The pain started as a dull ache (I don’t think I even noticed it at first?) and then got worse as I kept going. It seemed to emanate up and down my leg as the pain increased; even all the way up my leg to my lower back (which had already been sore). Sometimes it felt like my knee would just give out completely, and actually it kind of did once…That probably should have been the sign to stop, but I didn’t (dumb).

So, after some research online, it makes sense to me that my Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) is what’s giving me grief.

BentKneeAnatomy

[source]

I don’t think I would say it’s sprained or torn, since the pain was pretty much gone the day after my long run and I never heard any popping or anything; but I’d definitely say I’ve irritated, or strained, it. I have a feeling the 8-mile trail run during the week before (after which I had some dull pain) may have had too much twisting or jumping over rocks/ruts, and maybe I tweaked it during all that?

I had to no pain going into a test run this Thursday, but by three miles that familiar ache was coming back. So I called it quits before it started to hurt and decided I need to take some more time off running to really heal. That’s always a tough decision to make, but it’s 100% always the best decision. I’ve read that if you DO injure a tendon, it can take from 2-8 weeks to fully heal. And I don’t have that much time.

I normally would be kind of freaked out, but seeing as I’m still six weeks away from the Chicago Marathon, I realize it’s better to take off time now, while it’s just irritated, than later. At least I’ll still be able to [hopefully] get in a 20-miler before the race.  But if I can peak at 18 miles, I guess I’ll take it!

So, I haven’t really done anything (besides some PT for my knees + core work) since Thursday. I will only be biking this coming week. It was definitely weird not getting up Saturday at the crack of dawn and putting in a ridiculously long run by 10am. But, it’s what’s best for me, so I need to cut back!

Because I realize that internet research and self-diagnosis isn’t always correct, I also made an appointment to see a physical therapist for an evaluation on Tuesday night. Hopefully she can confirm (or otherwise diagnose) what’s going on and help me with a recovery plan so I can still run 26.2 miles in October.

Cross your fingers! And run an extra mile for me. I’ll be the one on the bike, staring longingly at your flying feet as I pedal by…

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5 thoughts on “Injuries Suck

  1. You’re doing everything right. Good job on seeking out some PT and even if you can’t run, keep walking, biking, etc.. Looking forward to your race report!

  2. I’m also training for the Chicago Marathon and have been sidelined for 17 days and counting. I think I injured my itb. I have been stretching, foam rolling like crazy. I try to run on it couple of times and pain comes back after a mile. My longest run I’ve done is 13 miles. Only thing I can do without pain is the elliptical. I’m driving myself and everyone else around me nuts complaining about my injury. Is it possible to run the Marathon in October?

    • I’m no expert, since this is my first marathon… But in the past, I’ve realized that sometimes the only thing that will help with an injury is complete rest for a period of time. Usually longer than you want to rest, but you need it. You might be helping yourself heal but then re-aggravating it each time you try to run again too soon (which I have done in the past a LOT!). Try taking 1-2 weeks off running (I know, seems crazy) but keep using the elliptical, if that doesn’t hurt like you say; yoga might be a good idea too, to stretch you out and help strengthen your body. If you seriously want to still do the full marathon, I would go see a physical therapist NOW to diagnose you properly so you can heal now vs. later. Also, they can help you recover faster with specific treatments, and give you exercises and stretches to help keep the injury away.

      Good luck!! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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