My goodness, I feel like every time I get one step forward this year, I then get knocked completely on my behind!
Case in point:
To combat the pain I've been having in my right knee, I started seeing a personal trainer at the beginning of April. We are focusing on my hips, glutes, and core, as those areas seem to cause most of my instability, bad form, and other issues which lead to extra stress on my lower legs and joints. I felt like we were making some progress by the end of April, but the knee pain wasn't going away. They sent me to see the muscle activation specialist on April 29th and that is when it all went down hill.
She apparently tweaked something in my lower back which caused a muscle spasm which irritated a nerve and made my right leg and arm go numb/tingly for a few days. Pretty scary and ended up in a few visits to the doctor and taking anti-inflammatory medication with steroids which made me sick for a week.
That was one really frustrating week and I was looking forward to getting back into the groove the following week. Unfortunately over the weekend I rolled my foot and got a minor sprain. I ran on it Monday/Tuesday and had GREAT runs but lots of pain and definitely made it worse. I took 5 days off and was hoping to again, get back into the groove this week.
Monday and Tuesday I had good indoor runs and a good session with the personal trainer, even tho I’m still frustrated with that as most of the things he asks me to do don’t seem to be helping. I have 2 sessions left with him this month and then I’m going to just be done… enough money spent and although I’ve learned a lot, I don’t feel like any of my issues have improved or been fixed so I’ll try something new.
But I digress… so Monday/Tuesday were ok, then I had a horrible run on Wednesday. Couldn’t figure out what was wrong and then realized, o joy, female issues. I was miserably sick at work that day and took yesterday as a rest day. Went for a jog with Lukas this morning and after 1 good mile, my knee started hurting so I just walked another 1.2 to finish our lap around the reservoir.
On top of that unexplained knee pain, my left shin has really been bothering me lately. I haven't been using my VFFs to run, so I can't blame them this year. I stretch, foam roll, use my calf sleeves, tape my shins, tape my arches, take time off... nothing makes them happy. So yea... let's throw that onto the list lol.
I feel like I just can’t get a break and it frustrates me to no end. But then I think of all those awesome athletes who have had accidents and come back stronger and even learn to run again with artificial limbs… and I know I need to shut up and get over it, my issues are pretty minor in comparison for sure. But hey, this is my blog… so I’ll whine a little… but try not to let it get me down in the long run.
The only good thing that has come from basically 5 cruddy months of not much running is that I’ve spent a lot of time on the treadmill and have gotten faster. 2 miles on pavement makes my knee hurt but the treadmill doesn’t, so we have learned to tolerate each other.
This week I set a new treadmill PR at 8:30/mile on Monday. Then on Tuesday I knocked that down to 8:26/mile. Felt pretty awesome! I can run 9 – 9.30 min miles outside without having to super push/sprint and I really feel, if I could get over this knee pain, that I can get my half marathon time down quite a bit from last year. There is just that minor issue of only being able to run 2 miles before the pain sets in… bah.
So there is the recap, whining, and a PR to lighten it up at the end. Now comes the revamp… what am I going to do about it?
2 more sessions with the trainer, hoping to get some more exercises to do at home so I can build on what I’ve learned from him. He has been great, but just 1x a week isn’t going to make miracles happen so I need to keep building on that.
I may join the gym by our house because I definitely see now that strength training is something I should have started 2 years when we started running, if I wanted running to be a longterm activity for me. Although it doesn’t have any cool classes and I definitely get enough cardio time in on my lunch break at work, the gym by us does have good weight equipment and lots of free weights so hopefully I can convince myself to do that 3x’s a week and really focus on building up my core/hips/glutes and getting stronger.
I really don’t know what else I can do for my knee. I swear it isn’t IT Band issues because it doesn’t act like ITBS has for me in the past… so I’m really at a loss. Doctor has no clue, physical therapist has no clue, and personal trainer has no clue. They all say the same: Stretch, roll, strength train – so I guess I’ll keep focusing on that for the rest of the month and see where I end up.
Anyway... if I can run 2-3 miles without pain, I'm going to stick to that on top of strength training. I really miss long runs of 5-10 miles but maybe with luck and lots of work I'll get there again this year and who knows... maybe my goal of a half or full marathon in Rehoboth again this year in December will be attainable!
Think positive right? :-p