So, remember that knee pain I mentioned a couple of weeks ago?
Well, in the last 3+ weeks, I have run a total of TWICE and both of those runs ended less than 15 mins in, because of aforementioned knee pain (and, more specifically, IT band pain, on the right side of my knee).
I had diligently taken almost two weeks off from running to rest it (note: this problem ONLY occurs when I run and only after I have run for at least 10-15 mins. Not when I walk. Not when I teach or take barre n9ne classes and not when I do non-impact things, like spinning. Thank God for that!) and attempted another run last weekend. I – for once – happily hopped on that treadmill and was almost giddy to be running again (not that two weeks is a LONG time not to run, but it felt far longer!). My legs were happy. My breathing was actually okay, despite still recovering from a cold, then, bam. Pain. So bad that I literally had to stop completely. There was no pushing through it (not that THAT would have been smart anyway!).
After much hemming and hawing (lol – insert my dramatic overthinking brain here!), and discussing with a few ‘blends’ (blog friends at their finest!) – Meaghan and Naomi, to name a few (Naomi wrote an awesome post on IT Band Syndrome – which is what I think I may have, just today), I begrudgingly made a doctor’s appointment in hopes of a prescription for a physical therapist. That appointment was today. And I again tested my knee for two reasons – a half-hearted last-ditch ‘maybe it went away’ effort and also to *make* it hurt again so I could accurately show the doctor where the pain is (seemed logical to me, perhaps not). Again, I hopped on happily and ran happy, for all of 13 mins before the pain occurred yet again. To my surprise (no really, I had convinced myself it had gone away since it literally does not hurt ever otherwise!). Sad face.
Long story short, I now sit here with a prescription for a PT for 2-3 days a week for a month. I have never been injured. Luckily. Happily. I have typically been a smart runner, adding mileage gradually when I do add mileage, spacing out my runs, not running too much too soon etc., so to have something happen that now inhibits my running…kinda sucks.
Okay, it sucks a lot. And it makes me realize how impatient I am at injury resolution. And waiting. And patience, generally.
It’s also a massive dose of perspective to eat my words a little bit. To all of those friends I have supported and provided words of hope when they had to stop running…‘your body will remember,’ ‘no, you won’t get fat from NOT running,’ ‘you can do other cardio in the meantime, at least, that’s good!’ ‘our bodies need a break sometimes too.’
Blah, blah, blah. YES, all of this is true. YES, all of it is helpful to hear and believe in myself. But does it make it any easier to quell the run-games that go through my mind, anyway? Not really. I hate to even admit that, because I have tried so hard to quell my overthinking ways and to be kind to myself, but it is just a reminder that this is always going to be an area I need to continue to work on: self love and NOT diving head-first into the overthinking ‘rat hole’ as I like to call it.
What else does this little injury remind me? How much I actually LOVE running. Surprise, surprise. I tend to have a love-hate relationship with running sometimes, because it frustrates me when my breathing is off, or my legs are lead, or the run just doesn’t come to me. But now, in the absence of running, I realize how much I DO love it, despite those things. And how nothing truly compares to that feeling, cardio-wise.
But it also motivates me. To BE patient. To BE obedient (as a patient!). To stretch. To foam roll. To heal.
I vow to use this time wisely. To explore other cross training options, like spinning (which I do love!) and even hill intervals *but walking* to strengthen my hamstrings. And anything else I can think of.
So, I guess this is me, owning up to needing some perspective sometimes too, and kicking my own ass a little in allowing myself to get too down about it. Because at the end of the day, I am healthy, I am (mostly) able bodied, and I am happy. A little off time from running shouldn’t and won’t ruin that.