Thursday, May 5, 2011

That's a Pain in the Knee

Part of learning any new sport is having some aches and pains until you get used to it. This may very well be why I don't like sports. :-)

Part of learning is also knowing when aches and pains are more than aches and pains. I learned this the hard way. Since I stared week two of 'Couch to 5K', my left knee has been bothering me. I wrote it off and kept going. Last Monday, I whacked my knee against a desk and I suddenly found I could not ignore the pain any longer. I went to the doctor, thinking I knocked something loose when I hit my knee on the desk, but it turns out, the desk has nothing to do with it. My tendon in my left knee pulls a little wonky (apparently-- who knew??!!), and that, combined with the fact that I'm running with some (or a lot) of extra weight, caused a wicked case of tendonitis.

The doctor prescribed rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy. The kicker? The physical therapist that my insurance covers can't get me for a MONTH. He said the physical therapist would work with me on taping the tendon, stretching, and strengthening my quads. I do not want to lose and entire month of training, so I'm trying to do the best I can on my own with the information I have. I took just under a week off from the gym and limited my walking/movement for that time. I've been icing my knee throughout the day, and have been trying to stretch the best I know how morning and night. I'm using the elliptical machine now that I'm back at they gym, but I've only got a good 15 min. in me before the knee is extremely unhappy.

Per the suggestion of my doctor, I'm adding quad machines to my weight regiment at the gym, and I made an appointment with a trainer at my gym to help develop a plan for me based on my newly discovered wonky tendon.The trainer at my gym was super adorable and gave me some great ideas, but she also wants me to work out 2-2.5 hrs a night, 4-5 nights a week, to which I say, "HAHAHAHAHA!!!" She was super sweet, though.  I'm going to try some of what she showed me in terms of stretching and weights, but, like Emily wrote about earlier this week, it's hard enough to fit in my  one hour 3-4 times a week.  Also, I'm nervous to do anything that I won't be able to maintain on a permanent basis. (Her plan involved running and several fitness classes per week, including yoga which I can't do due to the rubber floor at the gym). I'm sure I could make the gym my life for the next 10 months and drop weight faster, but then I'll just gain the weight back when I get bored of having no life outside my workouts. As much as this is all about running 13.1 miles, it's more about creating something I can maintain. 

I tried to google how to tape my tendon, and it turns out there are, like, 2038403284932 ways to take a tendon, and I don't want to chose the wrong way and cause any further. The doctor said that taping would be the thing that was most helpful for me, as it will help hold the tendon in place, so I'm a bit disappointed that I can't have that happen immediately. I tried to get a tendonitis band from both the running store and the drug store, but they all contain latex, so that was a bummer. (Don't even get me started on the dude at the running store who didn't believe in my allergy and gave me funny faces and kept trying to give me a rubber knee brace! I was three seconds away from turning green, and yelling 'you won't like me when I'm angry,' Hulk style.)

The most disappointing part of this situation is that I'm supposed to do a 3.5 mile walk/run the day before I could get into the physical therapist. I'm registered as a walker and have two, non-runner friends doing it with me, so the plan was to walk; however, if my knee can't shape up, I may have to drop out of the event, which I don't want to do. Secretly, I wanted to run at least half of it before this all happened.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not the end of the world, but I'll admit I've kind of been letting myself wallow in a little self pity. I have a personal rule that self pity-parties have a week long statute of limitations, so I'm forcing myself to get over it with in the next 24 hours.  If anyone has any 'tending to your tendonitis tips', I'm all ears!!


  1. Oh I feel for you. My knees have been hurting so bad I've had to delay day 2 of week two. I can barely walk let alone do what passes for jogging in my world.

    Am going to try and gently do day two on the wii fit tonight see how I go - at least the sofa is there for me to fall on to rather than the hard concrete where I usually do it :P

  2. Can you swim or do water jogging? When we were injured in cross country, we usually hit the water! Maybe it's less irritating to your knee? And a great aerobic workout.