If you remember, I experienced a right knee issue at the end of October right before my goal marathon in November. The marathon went well enough and I earned a new PR to cap off five months of high mileage and intense training. Sometime in mid-November I started experiencing a tightness at the top insertion of my right adductor. I was told that my right knee pain had been caused by a tight adductor so I figured this was just the top part of the muscle acting up. I did cut back a little but continued to run another few weeks until we went on our honeymoon. I had Goofy coming up and needed to keep up some sort of base. I figured I would scale back during the honeymoon and hopefully things would clear up then.
We took a cruise down in Australia and New Zealand for our honeymoon. I did three runs on the treadmill (have you ever run on a treadmill out on the open sea? I felt like I was running up and down hills even though the thing was set on 2%) but the pain was only getting worse and I decided to not run the rest of the honeymoon. That was easy enough mentally.
I did break my little "no running during the honeymoon"rest period for three things:
1) I ran up the steepest street in the world in Dunedin. If you ever want to feel like you are pushing the last 0.1 miles to the finish of 5K while moving at a slug's pace this is how to achieve that. The thing was about 0.25 mi long and we took 4 breaks.
|Hard to capture in photos, but this sucker was steep.|
3) We started and ended our cruise at Circular Quay in Sydney. We got to utilize our ship as a hotel the last night. We woke up early to do a run from the ship through The Rocks and up and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. About 2.5 miles if I remember correctly.
|Our ship, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. No better "hotel" location than this! The views at night were spectacular.|
|Views from the bridge|
|Pedestrian path on the bridge|
When we arrived home I started back up again even though the thing was still tight so I could have some sort of mileage going into Goofy. I didn't run much at all considering what I had coming up and then merely survived those races.
After that I took some time off and started back up again fairly slowly. I got to the point I could run with minimal tightness but post-run it would tighten up. Yoga would usually set it right and I figured with enough damage control I could keep running. Through this all I was getting massages, going to my chiropractor, doing Bikram yoga 4x a week, and doing physical therapy. I was just starting to get back into some speed work and was still feeling doable. Things were looking up.
Then the area right above my left knee started to hurt. It started up slowly enough and I only felt it during yoga. I had still not learned the lesson of catching something early. I didn't ice it. I didn't stretch it more than usual. Boo on me. I told my chiropractor about it only when I started to feel it niggle a little while running. I had it worked on and it completely blew up. For a few days it would hurt when walking (it would sort of catch and I wouldn't be able to fully extend it). I took two weeks off from running. I went on a a short 2 mile test run after that and the results prompted me to take another two weeks off.
|Mario gets some love while I work on the tight spots.|
I got the green light to start up again and my left knee was feeling better. But even after 4 weeks off with lots of damage control for it, my right adductor was still feeling tight. I did a few short runs that week.
I recently began working with a personal trainer. She specializes in corrective exercise for injury and basically targets what my physical therapist was but in much more challenging and dynamic ways. She asked me to take another two weeks off from running while we started and that is where we are now.
I have to say, I am actually enjoying working with a trainer. I just show up and she thinks for me. She tells me what to do, she tells me how to do it, she tells me when to start, and she tells me when to stop. She challenges me to do things I never would have tried. She is also working on my upper body strength which I have always known was non-existent. I work up a sweat and get my heart rate up and that feels good. I am not sure how I will incorporate this down the road, but I am going to stick with it for a bit and see if and how it helps me.
So we're almost up to 6 weeks of pretty much not running save a few 2 mile runs scattered here and there. To say I am in a bit of a mental funk over this is an understatement. I am starting to feel like I will never run high quality again. I realized the other day I have been injured since October. O.C.T.O.B.E.R. Yeah. My left knee is not 100% but I can tell from how it feels in yoga it is almost there. My right adductor issue still feels tight every now and then but overall seems to have improved in the last two weeks, especially. I am not terribly optimistic it won't tighten up again when I start up running in a few days but my fingers are crossed.
I have an appointment with a sports medicine doctor in a couple of weeks but may or may not pursue that depending on what happens next. Frankly, short of saying I have some tumor growing up there, I doubt I will get any advice different from what I have already heard. Take time off, stretch, ice, massage, strengthen weak muscles. Pay big money to image exactly what is bugging me. But it is the next weapon I have so I've gotten it ready.
And that is the "running" story over the last few months. Not entirely happy but it is what it is. Onward.
P.S. My friend, Aron, wrote an amazing post about Boston that sums up what I wanted to say more eloquently than I could. It is definitely worth a read if you haven't already.