Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Learning from Past Mistakes

I like to believe life is largely about learning. Every day you learn something new to apply in the future, whether you'll admit it or not. Although, sometimes even the smartest of us are thick skulled and refuse to learn the most basic things, no matter how long they hammer away at our heads.

Remember my hip injury? That hammered away at my head for three months "don't over do it!", "shoulda just taken a few days off!", "don't be afraid to take a short break, to avoid a long one!", "stop picking on your sister!", "don't forget to turn off the oven!"

Okay... maybe it didn't cause all of those, but the first few definitely got drilled into my head. And damnit, I'm going to listen. I do need to realize I'm not invincible. I should just take a few days off if something hurts. Short breaks won't cause the sky to cave in.

Now, you being the smart people that you are, have probably realized I'm talking about this for a reason. A good reason. An inflamed reason.

Stupid right knee.

After this weekend it's been feeling a little bit off, although I didn't want to call it injured until yesterday after my run. I haven't felt any stabbing pain, but something is wrong with it, without a doubt. Something in my knee is inflamed, and I'm not sure how else to describe it. I'm sure you know the feeling.

Rather than push it until it's serious, I'm going to be cautious about it. No running (that caused it), no biking (that irritates it), and no swimming (that, somehow, hurts it). I'm taking a few days off from everything except the activity that comes straight from the bowels of hell. The only activity I would rank as shittier than running on a treadmill. And you know how I feel about running on a treadmill.

Yes, thats right. Water running. It is, undoubtedly, the most boring thing I have ever done in my life. Right down there with watching paint dry. I despise it. I can't even listen to music to make the time go faster, or gauge how much work I'm doing to at least tell me it's worthwhile. It's almost impossible to get my heart rate up, too.

But I'm going to do it, because it's the only thing I CAN do. It does massage my knee. It maintains my range of motion. It doesn't do any damage. It will be worthwhile. I won't have to do it for long, so long as I'm not stupid about anything.

As with all injuries, there has to be a cause. With my hip, it was a matter of having an intensive speed workout followed by a long run two days later. In this case, I have it narrowed down to a few things. First, I got a blister on my right foot (same knee). I've just been running through it, BUT more than likely I've subconsciously changed how I land on my foot to avoid the blister which could cause my knee to move slightly differently.

Second, I ran faster than usual at the 5k this weekend which could easily cause a lot of damage.

Third, my right shoe has a "leak" in it. The sealed area that uses air for cushioning got popped, somehow. It squeaks when it gets wet and is blowing out the air, so I know my right foot doesn't have as much padding as it's used to.

So here's what I'm going to do about it. First, I'm taking a few days off and doing some water running. I'm also doing the RICE routine and trying to let this blister heal. When I start running again, nothing fast. Just low key running with my HR around 150 bpm. If none of that works, I'm going to go buy new shoes even though I'm not due for another 100 miles.

So there's the game plan. Nothing left to do now but execute it!

Oh. And I got into the PhD program today! :)


Stuart said...

Bad news good news!

Take some ice out of that knee pack and drop it into your celebration martini!

Nibbles said...


Personally--and it's just my opinion--I would urge you to see a doctor or PT now, rather than later. If Kentucky law allows patients to see a PT without a doctor's prescription, I would consider making an appointment.

Nitmos said...

Maybe just need some rest? Sounds like you've been going hard lately. If the pain is "behind" the knee cap, could just be a case of Runner's Knee and in need of some rest and possibly PT. Water running, while mind numbingly boring, at least will keep you in shape. Good luck with that. Hopefully, just minor, temporary irritation.

As I said, my knees would disintegrate after breaking 18 minutes in a 5k so, congratulations that yours didn't.

Jess said...

Congrats on the PhD admission!! Love how you were all casual about it and waited to drop it in at the last moment :)

Run For Life said...

First, CONGRATS!!! That's awesome news! :D

It's ridiculous that everyone's knees seem to be going wonky lately. Boo to that! I hope it gets better quickly.

Have you tried water running with an instructor? I find that much more bearable. Check with your uni's pool - it might be free. If not, perhaps bringing some champagne to celebrate will make it better. :P (jk)