Knee-ding a Break

Apologies for the quietness around here this week. I haven’t been running lately due to a twisted knee. I twisted it last week and immediately felt some pain on the medial side of my knee. The pain subsided after a couple of days so I decided to try jogging a week ago. I made it about 2.5 miles before the pain forced me to cut my run short, and I haven’t run since then. I’ve done some stationary cycling at the gym, but that’s about it. I tried using an elliptical machine earlier this week and only made it about a quarter of a mile before I had to cut that short and switch to the bike. I haven’t noticed any bruising or swelling, and I have full range of motion. I don’t know if it’s an MCL sprain, a tear of the medial meniscus, or something else…and I don’t trust myself to self diagnose. If it doesn’t heal in the next week or so, I’ll probably have to bite the bullet and get it checked out. Walking has mostly been OK, but it still bothers me quite a bit when I put any additional pressure on it. It has been frustrating, and I hope it heals soon. In the meantime, I’ve gained a much greater appreciation for runners who deal with injuries, especially serious and/or lingering injuries – and, most importantly, for people who can’t run at all. Not being able to run for the past week has been driving me crazy – I can only imagine how difficult it is for people who have to take a month, six months, a year, or even more time off from running. And it’s a great reminder that one of the primary reasons I run is because I can. Many people aren’t nearly as fortunate, and I try to never lose sight of that or take a single mile for granted.

On a totally unrelated note, I enjoy reading race recaps no matter whether they’re small or large races, short or long distances, or in nearby or distant cities. No race is perfect, but from the reviews I’ve read of a recent 15K in Washington, D.C., it sounds like it was an awful experience for pretty much everyone involved. I’m very happy and lucky that I haven’t had a race experience that was anywhere close to being this bad. Wow. Here are a few of the reviews I’ve read…I’m sure there are many more out there, but these should give you the basic idea:

DC Rainmaker’s DC Hot Chocolate 15K 2011 Race Report (Alternate Title: How not to organize a race)

Run or Die Chick – Hot Chocolate (15-0.4)K

Runner’s World Race Finder Review

It sounds like it was a total mess, and I’m very glad that each of the races I’ve run so far has been much better organized than that debacle! In keeping with my thoughts from the first paragraph of this post, I’m very grateful to be able to run even the most poorly organized race…but that kind of a race experience would’ve been pretty frustrating for me. I feel bad for the participants, especially those who traveled a long distance to run that race, and I hope it’s a big learning experience for the race organizers.

I won’t be running this weekend, but I might try to spend some time on an exercise bike and/or lift some weights. We’re also celebrating birthdays for a couple of my nieces, and it’ll be fun to see several of my family members. My dad and I have been considering going to a football game this weekend, but it’s a pretty long drive for him and it might conflict with the birthday party. There’s a somewhat local 5K/10K this weekend – Run Like the Dickens – that I’ve heard very good things about, but I haven’t run it yet and wouldn’t have been able to this year even without my knee injury. My wife and I hope to run it one of these years, though. I wish the best of luck to all of my friends racing in the Run Like the Dickens, as well to anyone else racing this weekend! Have a great weekend, and happy running…

Questions:
Are you racing or running this weekend? If so, how far?

Have you ever been sidelined by an injury? If so, what kind of injury, for how long were you sidelined, and did you cross train in the meantime? Did you go to a doctor or physical therapist to get it checked out, or did you just take time off and let it heal on its own?

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4 Responses to Knee-ding a Break

  1. Ali Mc says:

    OH no Matt! hopefully your knee has a quick and speedy recovery …hopefully you can still cross train :(

    I am recovering from an ankle hurt – not injury. I have been good thus far and stop running before anything gets too terrible. I will try running tonight!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Ali – I appreciate it. I probably shouldn’t have tried that test run last week after it had felt OK for a couple of days, but hindsight is 20/20. :/ I hope you were able to run tonight, and that it went well and was pain free. I hope your ankle is fully recovered very soon!

  2. Erika says:

    I hope you are starting to feel better. Knees are tough because they take for ever to heal!
    Bike or swimming is great while you can’t run…before you know it you will be training for an ironman!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks, Erika! It finally just started to feel noticeably better over the last couple of days. I think I’m going to take it pretty easy for the next few days and wait to try anything more than easy biking or walking until I have about a week’s worth of consecutive days without pain (I hope that’ll be long enough). It’d be awesome to try an Ironman some day, but I have a very long way to go before even starting to think about doing one of those. You and your fellow triathletes rock!!

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