Run All The Miles…Without Any Pain!

Or at least start with a couple.  Especially since you’re only 66 days out.

Oh dear....

Oh dear….

I figured it was time for an update.  One that I’ve been putting off.  If for no other reason than I didn’t want to admit – to myself or anyone else – that I’ve been suffering.  A LOT.  Even this post was pretty much scratching the surface of how scared I’ve been.  Scared that I felt like I was in more pain than even BEFORE #KneeGate2015, and it wasn’t going to get any better.  Scared that it would get so bad that Wine and Dine was going to end being a pipe-dream-I’m-gonna-have-to-pull-the-deferral-card kind of terror.  Most of all, scared that my damn #brokeknee either wasn’t fixed or worse, that I had #brokekneed it AGAIN.

scared Jerry

Nooooooo!!!!!!

Alas, it was all for naught.

That’s right.

Naught.

Nada.

Zippo.

Zero.

Zilch.

NOTHING.

Thanks in no small part to…well…a small part.

Hello beautiful.

No, this is NOT my knee. It’s a stunt knee.

Let me give you a quick rundown as to what this little strappy thing is all about.  On a training run after what I believe was me pushing it too hard at PT one day, I started suffering some majoroso underknee pain.  Celebrex, ice, EMS, my old giant knee brace, nothing worked.  Not.A.Damn.Frigging.Thing.  So what came next?  What usually seems to.  Lots of tears and lots of anger, accented by my usual litany of colorful language.

Then, in a last-ditch effort before picking up the phone and racking up yet ANOTHER doctor visit bill, I hit up the ever so trusty Team #runDisney Facebook page.  And therein I found the Moose Tracks to soothe my angst.

Ahhhhhhh......

Ahhhhhhh……

One of my fellow TrD’ers suggested I try this. The main complaint for runners who use this is a nifty little pain in the dupa – or in this case, under the kneecap – known as patellar tendinitis.  Being a gold star member of the Amazon Prime Is My Crack club, I went online, read the reviews, and decided what the heck.  If it doesn’t work, I’m only out $15 bucks and no worse off than I already was.

Having only gotten one run in this past weekend after battling a case of the plague, I wasn’t expecting too much.  Then…

I started to run.

And had hardly.any.pain.

Angels were singing.

(And Bon Jovi.)

It was heavenly.

HallelujahSquirrel

Now.  I’m trying to stay level-headed about all this.  After all, it WAS only one run.  And breathing was quite an adventure. (Remember? Post-plague.)  And apparently it was lead leg day.  However, instead of a pain level of 9 to start, it was more like a 3.  And I’ll take a 3 over a 9 ANY.DAMN.DAY.

So this is the plan for the remaining, ever-so-quickly dwindling available training days until November 7th.  Keep it to mainly 2 running days a week, with a few 3-a-week thrown in there to make up for lost time. (Don’t forget, I still have to deal with #KneeGate2015 Part II after W&D).  Keep up with lots of ice time, EMS time, foam rolling, and PT exercises.  I HATE the possible side effects of Celebrex, but may start taking them daily the week before race day, just to build it up in my system, but that’s still up for debate.  After all that, guess we’ll just see how it goes.  I’m hopeful and cautiously optimistic.  And hoping for a big fat dose of pain-killing pixie dust.  All wrapped up in a pretty little strap.  Maybe I’ll even add some sparkles….

Do your thing girl.

Do your thing girl.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever had the simplest piece of equipment cure your pain, or at the very least minimize it?  Do you believe that most of your pain can be controlled by your brain?  Does the pain threshold of pro athletes shock the hell out of you?  Jealous?

Knobby Knee, I CAN Live Without You

Yes, I have actually named these joints that are slowly but surely driving me insane.

Who needs you anyway?!?

Friggin’ GD things….

It’s starting to feel like I cannot catch a break.  I’ll go days with no to minimal aches or pain, and then I’ll have a day or two where I just feel like plopping myself down on the floor and having me a good old crying jag.  Like today.

Just. Make. It Stop.

Just. Make. It Stop. PLEASE.

Since my schedule has been a bit insane, I’ve been working out at home more.  I’ve been able to get some really good weight and ab work in, but the cardio isn’t quite the same as I can do at the gym.  The Wonder Mutt can give me a pretty good walk around our lake, but I like to shake things up with some bike work as well.  I’ll go between the stationary and recumbent bikes, rotating between low and high resistant runs.  Saturday, I jumped on the stationary and set it for a medium resistance program.  Thirty minutes later, I had worked up a pretty good sweat and felt like I had accomplished a decent calorie burn.  Then…

dun-dun-duuuun

I spent the afternoon walking around at a local flea market.  Twenty minutes in, my right knee was on fire and my right hip was screaming at me.  WHAT. THE. YOU KNOW WHAT.  Now, I’ve pretty much reserved Saturday as my only day to party like a rock star. (Girl’s gotta let loose every so often, right?)  So after a cocktail and a glass of wine, and a begrudgingly taken dose of ibuprofen, the pain had miraculously disappeared.  It’s not exactly my recommendation of a good pain killing method, but hey, it worked!

Good for high cholesterol too!

Good for high cholesterol too!

Fast forward to Sunday.  I worked out at home again and decided to take Wonder Mutt for our usual jaunt around the hood.  Before we even started, the left knee this time – because damn, why should the left one feel left out? – felt bruised, like someone had kicked the crap out of it.  After a couple of Mutt miles, it felt no better.  So now I sit here with an ice pack slowly freezing my skin, on the verge of tears, wondering if I am ever going to get my running mojo back again.  Thankfully, these moments of moroseness haven’t happened often, but it IS like a black cloud I’ve stuffed in the back of my brain, that just keeps threatening to hit me with an unrelenting downpour.  I have yet to actually say it, but here goes…WHAT IF I CAN’T RUN AGAIN?

scared timon

I’m trying to make light of my fear with crazy Timon, but I really AM scared about all of this.  As with many of us, running isn’t just a thing we do to keep in shape.  My ortho asked me if running was a passion of mine.  I almost laughed as I said, “No doc.  It’s an OBSESSION.”  So what do you do when faced with what may or may not be a life-changing condition?

questioning-Person

What do I do???

It’s like a kick in the stomach every time I go to the gym and see people running, lunging, squatting, jumping, and basically doing everything I’ve been told not to for now.  I’ve been really good about following doctor’s orders, doing what I’m supposed to and keeping away from what I’m not.  I guess that’s why I’m so freaked out about why I’m still occasionally having so much pain.  I have another three weeks or so before I go back to the doctor, and I’m slightly terrified as to what he’s going to tell me.  Now I know this condition can be fixed somewhat with surgery, and at this point, as scary as surgery sounds, I don’t think I would completely object to it.  After all, I still have a score to settle after last year’s disastrous Splash and Dash/Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  And I so do NOT want to be dealing with knee pain at the first annual gathering of Team Can-Am, – aka Kellie, Nicole, Lisa, and Rae.  There is just too much shenanigan-making to be done.

shenanigans

So this is my plea to cyberworld:  if you’ve ever found yourself in a position like mine, please feel free to enlighten me as to how you managed to get through it – if you did – and how you managed to not completely lose your mind in the process.  If you did.  If mind-loss is just a mandatory part of it, then at least I’ll know, right?

Girlfriend ain't got no time fo this!

Go away Knobby.  Just GO AWAY.

 

Enjoy the ride.

Have you suffered an injury or condition that prevented you from running for any considerable length of time?  Were you able to get back to it?  How long did it take?  Any advice to keep from going completely out my mind?

Progress. I Think.

Ten months in the gym and I haven’t smacked anyone yet.  Now that’s what I call progress!Gym Bitch

Okay well, there IS that.  But other than annoying non-weight rackers, the weird-distracting-arm-circles-while-on-the-bike-guy, stinky chic, and the insufferable WHY CAN’T YOU JUST WIPE OFF THE FREAKIN’ MACHINE WHEN YOU’RE DONE SWEATING ALL OVER KINGDOM COME people, my return to gymdom has actually been pretty enjoyable.  Now that’s not to say I haven’t had some downer moments, especially lately, but I’m doing my best to keep a good attitude.  After all, at least I still CAN work out.  Just like this guy.

funny-puppy-gym-weights

Yes, fuzzy butt. I do.

Ever notice how much time you spend bending your knees, especially when you can’t?  Per doctor’s orders, no bending the patellas more than 90 degrees, and especially, no more than 30 degrees when doing leg extensions.  Talk about actually having to pay attention to what you’re doing.  And if you know me at all, then you know my attention span doesn’t exactly fall in the spectacular department.  But as long as I can still work up a sweat and feel like I’m accomplishing SOMETHING, then I’m happy with that.  Accomplish that something without actually dropping a weight on an irritating, self-absorbed gym rat? Now that’s what I call a WIN.

Victory-is-mine-294x300

And really.  Who can be irritated when after more than FOUR YEARS, the hubby has been able to consistently run WITHOUT FOOT PAIN?  Yes, that’s right, NO FOOT PAIN.  Let me say it again in case you didn’t get it the first ten times – NO FOOT PAIN!  Seriously peoples, you have no idea how big a marvelous, stupendous, spectacular deal that is.  Even the achy legs he has after running outside yesterday is worth every bit of lactic acid buildup.  (Between you and me, I think it may have had something to do with the fancy new shoes he got on sale at Shoebuy for $75.)

Ed's Brooks

Ooooooooh, pretty.

Did I mention I spent half an hour on the phone the other day with The Man’s nurse?  Let me tell ya, that woman is a plethora of all things knee knowledge.  She spent all that time explaining to me why we’re traversing the road of conservatism with my knees.  In a nutshell, I need to alleviate the inflammation.  Then – and stick with me here a minute – I need to actually INFLAME them all over again, but at a more “manageable” level.  Remember I told you the back of my patellas were all chewed up and ripping up the cartilage behind them?  Well, I actually need to let them do that.  Why in the name of all that is ibuprofen, do you need to DO that Black Dog, you may ask?  Because.  If I let my body “plane out” the cartilage/patella naturally – instead of surgically – then it will do that to the specific angles that it needs, whereas a surgeon might not be able to do so.  Basically, surgery would be a best guess scenario versus Mother Nature knows what she’s doing kind of deal.

Yeah I got this.  And this lynx too.

Yeah I got this. And this lynx too.

Patience is called for in this scenario.  E-GADS.  I’m more of an immediate gratification kind of gal.  (That’s why I can almost get on board with Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping.  Almost.)  I need these knees to be fixed YESTERDAY.  Hear that, Mama of All Things Wise and Furry?  YES-TER-DAY.  I promise not to over-water the plants, under-water the flowers, or stomp out any bugs.  Except the roaches.  All bets are off with those nasty, nuclear-holocaust-surviving-creepers-of-ick.  Just get these suckers better.  Fast.  And feel free to take out a few of these ick monsters along the way.

Not a chance scumhead.

Not a chance scumhead.

So if patience is what I need to have, then patient I will be.  I almost sound like I mean that, don’t I?  In the meantime, please feel free to keep me distracted/entertained/pinned down and beaten until the parts have decided to forgive me for years of punishment.  After all, what does one do once one has healed but start the beat-down all over again?  Hmmm, sounds curiously like the definition of runner…

 

Enjoy the ride.

Ever find being patient more difficult than long runs or speed work?  Are you a killer of all things green?  When is the last time you felt the urge to throw a dumb bell at someone?

Cruella de ITBS

Exactly what I was mumbling under my breath at mile 6.5 of my 11 miler yesterday.  The 11 miler that I couldn’t finish because my f*&^%ing ITBS decided to make an appearance.  A BIG one.  After not making an appearance since this.  9 BLASTED MONTHS AGO.

Donald

There’s something, shall we say – dehumanizing – when you have to admit to yourself that all the stretching, twisting, smacking the side of your knee, swearing, ignoring, and pretending that the pain you’re feeling is all in your head, just isn’t working.  You give in,  admit defeat, and throw in the towel.  And if it wasn’t for the fact that you’re 3 miles from home, don’t have a phone, and pretty much can’t think straight, you would just sit down and cry where you stand.  But you don’t.  You recognize the pain  for what it is.  You cry yourself home, maybe stopping just once to tell your troubles to the friendly neighborhood peacock, who really is more interested in whether or not you have something he can eat.

peacock

Okay, maybe not this guy in particular, but you get my drift.

All kinds of craziness start flying around, filling your head space with everything from, “this is just a temporary setback”, to “why NOW, when I have Wine and Dine in a MONTH?!”, to “I’ll never be able to get through a full marathon when I can’t even get through 7 FREAKIN’ MILES!!!”.  And I can tell you, having all this crap taking up said head space is not a good thing.  But since you have no choice, you put one foot in front of the other and trudge your way home.  And as you round the last corner, you see this guy…

Who loves ya baby?

Who loves ya baby?

…running towards you as fast as he can on his gimpy foot, with the biggest, silliest grin on his face, because he’s just happy that you’re safely home once again.  And as he gets to you, the waterworks go into overdrive.  And he does what he does best – holds you, tells you we will figure out what’s wrong, and either fix it, or chop off your leg.  Okay, maybe not so much that last part.  But he lets you have your pity party, and then makes you move on.  Because that’s what an awesome pit crew chief does.  And we all know there is NO way we can continue to do what we do without them and all of their glorious awesomeness.

MK1

Like so many of my ramblings, they start of with an idea in mind, and so often they end up taking a path of their own.  Such is the fate of my game show dollar machine brain.  This was going to be all about how debilitating ITBS can be to a runner, and a reaching out to see what who’s suffered with it, and how you get/got through it.  But somewhere along the way, the fingers took a 90 degree turn on the keyboard and…well…here we are.

So as I sit here with compression calf sleeves on, and an ice pack on my knee for the second time today, my mind once again wanders.  Will I EVER get past this pain?  It HAS been two BLASTED years now, for crying out loud.  When is enough enough?  Was it too much to attempt after the last distance run being a 10 miler 3 weeks ago?   Is there more I could be doing to prevent it?  Of course there is Black Dog, but have you been DOING IT???  #RUNNERFAIL

I'm an incompetent idiot.

I’m an incompetent idiot.

Maybe we all just need a reality punch up side the head and this is mine.  I’ve been lax on the gym and lax on my therapy exercises.  AND THIS IS WHAT I GET.  So from here on out, it’s game on.  No more giving up the gym for laps in the pool, because that’s not gonna cut it.  No more excuses, no more whining that I’m tired, and no more nonsense.  It’s well past time to GET TO WORK.  AGAIN.  Because THIS girl, needs to get find her mojo again.  Quick.

Ta daaaaaa!

Ta daaaaaa!

Enjoy the ride.

Ever been sidelined by an injury and didn’t know what to do about it?  How long was it before you could run again?  Any words of wisdom?