Monday, January 9, 2012

I've done it again.

Happy New Year!

After the last few months of craziness, it's time to get back into the running groove. We were able to keep up with running here and there with our busy schedules, but not as consistently as we would have liked.  Now that the new year has come, our schedules are going to keep us in town to get more miles in.

I'll admit that it's been frustrating that I'm back to where I was a few months ago, in that I'm slower and struggling to get the same quality of runs that I had before.  The new house is located in an area that is jam packed with serious hills, whereas the old house had much more gradual ones.  I'm sure this has a lot to do with my slower pace.

The Silver Comet back in November

Luckily, the Silver Comet trail is right next to my house, and it is probably the most continuously flat path that we have around here.  It's great for the necessary breaks from constantly running up and down all the hills.

I've decided that for now, I really need to be more concerned with just getting miles in, instead of worrying about my pace time.  Better pace times will come eventually.  Getting back into the routine has got to be a priority.

And so we run.

Last week we were off to a good start.  Phillip kicked butt on his runs, tackling the hills like they're no big deal.  I, on the other hand, pretend to enjoy them as I slowly run my routes.

Tuesday turned out to be what felt like the coldest day ever as I unknowingly set off for a 7 mile run in 29 degree weather.  I thought I had dressed appropriately, but unfortunately for me, I couldn't feel my fingers or toes until at least halfway through the run.  My body did not seem to really warm up at all, and felt stiff and was hard to move the whole time.  Worst.  Run.  Ever.  Never again.  It is so important to dress warmly on those cold days.

Thursday was supposed to be another 7 mile run.  Originally the plan was to start on the Silver Comet trail for about 2 miles and get off into a neighborhood to complete a loop, but I felt so good running on the trail that I just kept going.  In the end, I ran just over 8 miles.  It was awesome.

Except for my poor knee.

About 7 miles in, my left leg started to feel like it was being pinched around my hip muscles.  At one point the pain was in my entire left leg.  Eventually the sensation in my leg simmered down while a pain in my knee really began to flare up.  It hurt for the entire last mile, but I kept going, determined to finish.

Once home, after putting ice on it and doing a little research, I self-diagnosed myself with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, most commonly known as "runner's knee".


Read: Injury #4

Basically, it's considered an overuse injury.  Overuse?  Really?  I knew those hills would kill me...

It happens mostly in young, recreational runners, and twice as many women than men.  Ah dang, I'm  both of those. 

I feel the pain mostly on the outer side of my knee, and occasionally just under my knee cap.  It is definitely more noticeable when I'm walking downstairs. And we definitely moved into a two-story house.  Lovely.

The good news is that it's been a few days since that run, and the pain is slowly but surely subsiding.  I took Friday off from all running.  Saturday I went on a short, low-impact bike ride.  Sunday I ran a little over a mile to see how my knee would do.  It was still aching, so the run was kept short.  Today, I ran just over 3.5 miles.  It took longer for the pain in my knee to flare up, but flare up it did.  More ice was applied once home.


I don't want to stop running altogether, but I'm nervous about making anything worse.  I think riding my bike on off days can help, since I wouldn't be putting a lot of pressure on my knees.  And these stretches have been recommended on a lot of different sites. 

At least this injury won't leave a scar.

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