Thursday, May 10, 2012

A plea for my knees

For those runners out there who read this, I apologize for what I'm about to say.

Most runners are idiots.  At least I am.  I rarely listen to my body ... I rarely take a break to repair whatever damage has been done during a run.  My knees have been bothering me all week ... from using over-mileage shoes and over-doing it with the running last week, in an attempt to a) get out of the house and b) lose baby weight.  

I tried to take some time off but assumed I would be ready today to start running again (less than one week off from running, and almost no time off from walking).

Guess what ... my knees are definitely not ready and hurt really bad.  Why I thought I should run today is beyond me.  Why I kept running after the first twinge of pain is also a mystery.  But I continued on and jogged for 5 minutes today, just to see what would happen.  Know what happened?  My legs are now propped up on a chair while I type this to give them the rest they deserve.

My work out partner didn't seem the least bit interested in my blunder this morning.  And yes he's all bundled up during what seems like the summer because the weather in Charlotte is super confusing lately.  When we headed out for our walk/mistaken jog it was in the high 50's.  

Our daily adventure took us to the grocery store.  Very exciting things happen in my life now that I'm a mom.
After being gone for 4 days Ryan is finally on his way home and requested pasta for dinner.  Pasta is something I always have stored away in the pantry ... Italian chicken sausage and some tomato sauce I was out of.  Nothing that a quick walk to the grocery store couldn't fix.

Back to my knees ... after some extensive online research I've come up with the following:
Symptoms include tenderness behind or around the patella, usually toward its center. You may feel pain toward the back of the knee, a sense of cracking or that the knee's giving out. Steps, hills, and uneven terrain can aggravate PFPS.

To prevent PFPS, run on softer surfaces, keep mileage increases less than 10 percent per week, and gradually increase hill work in your program. Visit a specialty running shop to make sure you're wearing the
proper shoes for your foot type and gait. Also, strengthening your quadriceps will improve patellar tracking, and stretching your hamstrings and calves will prevent overpronation. (Try the exercises below from Pribut.)

At the first sign of pain, cut back your mileage. The sooner you lessen the knee's workload, the faster healing begins, says Pribut. Avoid knee-bending activities, canted surfaces, and downward stairs and slopes until the pain subsides. As you rebuild mileage, use a smaller stride on hills. Consider orthotics if new shoes don't fix the problem. "If your feet have good form, your knees will follow," says Pribut. See a doctor if the pain persists, to rule out another condition.

Let's see if I can keep my legs rested for a few days instead of jumping back into running so quickly.  I'll let Mason down gently; I know how much he loves riding around in the BOB jogging stroller.

In addition to walking/jogging 1.82 miles today, I did 50 sit ups, 25 reverse crunches, and 1 minute plank.

Day #20 of my work out streak!

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