Sunday, February 17, 2008

Over and out..

Last week's 12 miler - while mentally essential - made it very apparent that my knee pain hadn't gone. While it was not too painful while I was out running, I woke up the next morning with a warm feeling behind both of my kneecaps.. Aarggh. Ibuprofen, ice etc. did nothing to take away my nagging realisation that I was indeed injured. Properly. A feeble 4 miles on Sunday firmed it all up - there was something here that was not going away.

You've all been able to follow my avoidance of seeing anyone knowledgeable on the matter. But on Wednesday I finally saw a physiotherapist at our local sports injury clinic. He really took his time checking out my knees, my legs, my feet, my stance and finally, when I was flexing and relaxing my upper leg and he had his fingers underneath my kneecaps you could just see my kneecap moving from left to right. It's not meant to do that folks - it's meant to go just up and down, not across. Why is this happening? Various reasons - tight ITB and underdeveloped muscles on the inside of my knee / leg (adductors?). Fairly typical for a runner, apparently, but also problematic. Apparently the problem has probably been growing for years and now it is really beginning to raise its ugly head. My "hot" knees obviously means there is some inflammation and more than 8/9 mile runs cause pain during and after the run. Of course my first question to the man was what to do about this. The answer is - work on loosening the ITB and strengthening the adductors. How long will this take? 3 months at least, he thinks. My second question to him was, of course, what about running London? Now the guys deals only with sports injuries. He's quite used to people who are training for an event and who want to do these things at any cost. So he said I could run it - if I could stand the pain of training and the race - but it would exacerbate the problem and make for at least a 6 month recovery. And, in his view, if I didn't take the problem seriously soon I was heading for a situation where I a) couldn't run at all and / or b) needed knee surgery. Well - I made my decision there and then to drop out of London. Not an easy one and not lightly made. But, finally, inevitable. Running is for life - I want to carry on doing it for a long time. I have no desire to be in enormous pain doing it, nor do I want to find myself in a situation where I am physically unable to do it. I have to do my thrice daily exercises, my hourly stretches and work on these. He thinks that within a week or two the swelling will have gone down enough for me to be able to slowly add short runs, and to build it up slowly alongside the stretching and strengthening. I will hopefully have other opportunities to run London and am now firmly aiming to be ready to start training, fit and strong, for Chicago this summer.

However. However. I am letting some people down here. Save the Rhino gave me a gold bond place to run the race for them. I vowed to raise money for them and many of you have already made a donation. The money raised has already gone directly to the charity. I do appreciate however, that some of you may feel that if I'm not running the race you would like to divert your sponsorship to someone who is, or to another worthy cause. If you feel that way please e-mail me and I will personally refund your donation.

What a few weeks these have been! I feel battered around by events. And I'm not able to take it all out on the road for the time being. However, I've seen my admirable friend Susan cope with injury and setback and I'm taking her as an example. I WILL do everything my physio says to do, I WILL crosstrain in the meantime and I WILL be back out there on the road. So go out there, enjoy your runs and stay tuned - I think I will need to blog more without the distraction of the exercise I love more than any other..

13 comments:

IrishBlue said...

Petra,
I'm so sorry about your pain and injury. I know it must have been really difficult to drop out of London, but I think you made the right decision. You're right when you say running is for life and like life, it has it's ups and downs. But, you're a tough and determined cookie and you'll pull through this I know!

Hugs,
Melisa

Road Warrior said...

Petra, I'm so sorry that you heard what you were dreading. You're absolutely making the right decision and I'm incredibly impressed. It was the right decision but definitely not the easy decision.

Remember, you started running for fitness, and if you can't run again, you'll be defeating that. London will be there next year--heck, Chicago isn't too far away either.

Susan said...

Oh my darling Petra -- I am sorry. Being injured just stinks, plain and simple. I sympathize, of course.

You and I can now grow an even tighter bond, I believe. We can overcome TOGETHER.

Chasen thinks I need to go back to the foot doc because my foot always hurts and is always swollen. Ugh ugh ugh. What to do? I told him it would take three months. I assumed that meant farther down the road (closer to May 1) it would start to feel better. Maybe I have it all wrong.

I am so very sorry you're out of London. But I bet this will make for an even better Chi-town race! :)

MarathonChris said...

So sorry to hear about your injury. That must be frustrating, but I agree with everyone else, I think you made the right decision. Get yourself better and run a great race in Chicago.

I am looking forward to hearing you blog about your cross training! :-)

ShirleyPerly said...

Dear Petra,

As difficult as it is was, I believe you made the right decision. No race is worth a long-term or permanent injury. If only my husband had done the same 20 years ago, perhaps he could still be running today ...

Heal up and if you're able to swim and bike, of course, we'd love to have on you Team Tri4Elijah. It's over a month away and so a lot can change. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Drusy said...

Oh Petra, I'm so sorry that you've had to pull out! You must be so disapointed. You've made the right choice, of course. You've run so many races, and want to run more. I'm just sad that we won't be running together. No problem on the sponsorship - the Rhino's deserve it. Get better soon!

CewTwo said...

Petra! Great decision! You need to take care of yourself. Keep us posted on your convalescense!

I feel so lucky sometimes in that I haven't had to experience a setback like that. It encourages me all the more to look internal and listen to my body!

Hang in there! Take care of yourself!

Toughnoodles said...

Sorry about your knees. I currently have knee pain too...sounds similar to yours.
How about sharing the thrice daily exercises? ;)

jen said...

Sorry to hear about your lingering knee pain, but I'm really glad you got in to see the doctor and I think dropping out of London training is the best decision. Your doctor is right, most runners refuse to quit when injured and end up with long term issues. I know it sucks right now, but you'll be thankful in 20 years when you're still running strong. :)

This will pass quickly and you'll be back out there soon. Have fun with the cross training in the mean time- maybe you'll find a hidden talent!

Revrunner said...

Good luck with your recovery. I've approached my recent injury as just another kind of adventure, teaching me new things about both my limits and abilities.

peter said...

Sorry about your injury, I think you made the right choice. You're going to love Chicago, it's a great race (even though I grumble about it having run its infamous fun-run). Glad you're attacking your rehab seriously.

Sunshine said...

So sorry .. waiting for healing to happen is difficult.
Take care and be well... And happy running when you can.

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