Two weeks ago I was finishing up the cool down of my run after a hard workout, and out of the blue my right knee started hurting me. It was a burning pain, on the inside just below the kneecap. A sharp signal from my body, demanding a change. Demanding that I STOP running. I felt that instant rock-in-the-throat feeling. What. Is. This. Really, we can be fine one moment, in fact we can feel amazing, and then in the next – BOOM – not fine. I stopped immediately, massaged and stretched and walked a little. The pain went away like magic, but returned the second I tried to run again. The run was over. I cut it short. It is not ever worth it to me to run in pain like that.
Could training really just be totally side-swiped like this? I mean, I have been dedicated to all the things – daily Pilates and PT work, daily foam rolling, dedication to a pre-run activation routine … I eat and sleep and rest as best I can while still feeling like I have a pretty healthy balance. I acknowledge that there is room for improvement, but this was such a blow. I held my head up high and walked back to my car. On the way, I started googling this knee pain because it didn’t seem familiar to me and typically I have not been one to have joint issues thus far in my life. I wanted to solve it on my own and understand what was going on here. Was it my calf? My hamstring? My psoas? Ugh. I called my PT before I even made it to my car and got on his calendar for the next morning. Decided to rest. And hope for the best.
The next day I saw my PT Lee and he explained that it isn’t actually my knee that is hurting. It’s a bursa called the PES ANSERINE. A couple of the hamstring muscles and a quad muscle all kind of intersect there and that area was inflamed. It was good I stopped running when I did. He gave me some needles and taped me up and told me not to worry too much, that I would be ok. Since then, it has whispered to me but not screamed, and I am being mindful to tend to it with exercises, stretching, rolling and just listening to my body. I thankfully haven’t had to modify my training at all so far because of it, but I have felt less confident at times. It shook me. At the same time I do feel empowered by this happening because I am now even more in tune with my body and am more purposeful with strengthening the areas that need extra help.
This happening really is a reminder that we just have to be in the moment. If we worry about “what-ifs” too much, we definitely aren’t enjoying the here and now and can ruin our experience. I have to keep trusting in myself and my path – and that if for some reason my body can’t hold up to the load I am asking of it, I will know how to adjust and take care of myself and keep my priorities in check. Because I just really want to have a great race in Indy in 7 weeks and that will first and foremost require being heathy and durable. I truly have been enjoying this training so much. Feeling strong and hopeful. Man, I wanna RACE that marathon!! It’s been so long since I have felt this good and I so want to celebrate it with a strong race on November 9th!!