Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Miscellany

Knee Problems Persist It turns out that my knee issue wasn’t just a one time, random occurrence as I had hoped. My long run on Saturday was abruptly ended at 14 miles when the pain in my knee became debilitating. Candis doesn’t think that I should run until the pain reaches the point where I would describe it as ‘debilitating’ but what would she know. On the plus side I made it 9 miles further this week before crashing to the ground in crippling pain. If that trend continues I’ll be able to run 23 miles next weekend before the pain kicks in. On the minus side, the pain was a lot worse this time and lasted a lot longer despite breaking open the Advil Liqui-Gels and mainlining that stuff right into my bloodstream.

I could really use some good advice here, and who better to turn to for advice than a group of pseudonymed commenters who seem to enjoy juvenile humor and sarcasm on a running blog. I’m toying with the idea of taking 2 weeks off from running to try and recover fully and then resuming my training. I have only 7 weeks left before the marathon so that would leave me 3 weeks to get ready for it and 2 weeks to taper. I’m really not ready to give up on it yet, but that won’t matter if my knee doesn’t heal up. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll let you know tomorrow who was closest to what a real doctor says, since I have an appointment with one this afternoon. Yeah, that’s how bad it is, I actually made an appointment to go see a doctor.

Podcasting You are probably already aware that the Runner’s Lounge has been putting together some really good podcasts lately. What you might not be aware of is that I was involved in one that was recorded last week. Amy Lawson, Nitmos and I joined RazZDoodle to record our first podcast. Well, it was a first for all of us except Raz, but he certainly performed as though it was his first. The podcast will be available on Wednesday and I’ll no doubt provide a link to it when it’s up, but let’s face it, the title Half-Fast doesn’t just apply to my running but also to my expediency in getting posts up at this wonderful little blog. If you’re really desperate to get your hands on the podcast the second it goes live then you’re better off checking Runner’s Lounge or Running Off at the Mind (Raz’s blog). Whatever you do, don’t miss it because we tackled many of the hard hitting issues that runners face, things like llamas, Fergie, and how to best let your coworkers know that you’re a runner. A couple of days after we recorded the podcast I found the following video at EverymanTri which is another funny way to let your coworkers know that you’re a runner, but not quite as funny or as good as our suggestions in the podcast. Enjoy.

“Think like an athlete...”


  1. Glad to hear you're going to the doctor. Insist on an X-ray.

    Depending on your diagnosis, if it's not extremely serious and something you can work around, they'll probably have you do exercises to strengthen your quads and glutes.

  2. I would recommend drastically reducing the miles or taking a full week totally off. I know it sucks. I know it'll be hard. But if you don't give the knee the rest it needs, then you could seriously injure yourself in the marathon.

    Take hot baths. Do the RICE thing. Baby yourself. And do not run.

    That's my two cents.

  3. Hope the knee's not too serious. I want you to be able to run the marathon in January. Not fair if I run the distance and you don't. The pain needs to be shared.

    The video was great. WTH was up with having subtitles though? It's not like they're speaking Cantonese.

  4. It's not clear from the post but are you running on your knees? If so, that's bad form. Try running on your feet and use the knees just for their natural function.

    Take a week off and/or lower the miles to a comfortable knee level. And start practicing voodoo. Or maybe RazZ is already practicing it.

  5. I was going to be supportive in this comment, but then you knocked my podcasting skillz.

    2 options:
    1) Drop down to the half.
    2) You can be a "running angel" and coach someone else while riding a Segway.

  6. Try the stretching exercises I stated last week, where is the pain localized? Depending on where that it is it can help in diagnosis. Also, if you are still deadset on the marathon, you HAVE to cross train, elliptical, bike, something to get yourself off the pounding of running. Don't run for a while but supplement what you would be running with the cardio work I stated above. It sucks, holy hell does it suck, but it will make running again not a start from scratch. Those are my two cents, I'd also do a lot of balance / stabalizing work and try to get in a weight room to do some four way hip exercises and single leg squats and monster walks and that type of stuff.

  7. Part of me wants to be sympathetic to your pain - however, I am wondering if perhaps this is not just another beginning to a litney of are known for setting up your 'out' long before raceday. :)

  8. I had to do leg lift last year due to my wusie knee. You're probably tougher than me though and can run 1/2 the distance 2x a day so that you can get a bit of recovery in between. Really though, you may have to take it a bit easy and cross train for a while. Good Luck

  9. Awwwhhh man, I'm sorry to hear that you're still having probs Vanilla. If it makes you feel better, I took 2 whole weeks off of running and cross training and was still able to wing the marathon. I'll cross my fingers for you and hope that the Dr gives you some good news.

    Can you do anything else that won't bother the knees? Biking or something?

  10. If your Dr. is anything like mine, he will have no specific suggestions except - well if it hurts, do something else...insist upon getting a referral to a physical, preferably one who specializes in sports medicine, not obese people who wonder why their backs hurt...I have a great one that has gotten me back at it three times. The big key is to do exactly what they say - even if it makes you cry like a little baby.

  11. Sorry to hear about your wonky appendage - here's hoping for a speedy recovery and a return to "form"!

  12. Reduced mileage and a Doctors appt if they're appreciative of your efforts rather than just saying, stop running.

  13. Listen to your wife. Listen to the doctor. Listen to me. I think you need to find a happy medium between 2 weeks of rest and just going out and attempting a long run. I would rest for a few days and then try a short easy run. Here's hoping it's nothing a temporary knee sleeve and a few days of rest can't fix. Thanks for the laugh. That's just the kind of obnoxious behavior I try to purge out on my blog, so my friends and colleagues don't kill me.

  14. Vanilla,
    Three letter acronym...MRI.
    X-ray will only tell you that you have bones, but from the rough description your giving...torn ligament is my guess, and no amount of stretching is going to make that any good.
    and see a sports doctor.
    Hopefully it's not your ACL or your PCL but just your body saying enough already.

  15. Well, is pain behind your knee like you previously described, or is it the knee? Your descriptions seem contradictory.

    I'm going with your previous description, and I'm guessing you pulled a hammy, as I said before; if the pain is behind the knee -- that's where the pain is manifested, but is not the trigger point. Additionally, if your pain is behind your knee, it's nothing to do with the joint; that's musculature related.

    Of course, you could also just be making shit up.

  16. I have no suggestions, brother, but I do hope your knee recovers in time for you to run your marathon.

    Good luck!

  17. 1st - buy all your loyal readers a beer just on general principles.

    2nd - for each beer you buy, drink one for yourself. You should therefore be in a state where any pain will be negligible, although navigation of a marathon course could be an issue.

  18. MRI - definitely - and I vote for meniscus injury, cause yours sounds just like mine!

    If you were here in Richmond, VA, I'd have awesome runner doctors for you to see - definitely go to a doctor who is a runner or triathlete as they "get it". I told my doc last week that I'm signed up for the Disney Princess Half, and his response was (first) "When is it", and (second) "you'll be fine. We'll have you on elliptical and bike so you'll keep your base".

    So much better than the non-running docs who say "quit running".

  19. You're still a ways out from the race so I wouldn't worry too much at this point. Seeing the doctor is a smart plan, though. Also, I recommend booze.

  20. Give your knees a break and take 2 weeks off. Walk or spin so you can keep the endurance levels up. You've got time. I had a similar injury (in my calf) and it all worked out fine ~ I had a great 1/2 marathon and the time off didn't effect it at all.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  21. I got one word to say to you, Mr. not-a-pseudonym-honestly Vanilla:

    Yes, those exclamation points were necessary.

  22. For that matter, I've got five backup words to say to you:
    heated swimming pool for therapy

  23. Rest is the only thing that helped my knee when it was acting crazy. But I'm glad you're seeing a doctor. Have you thought of resting and not-tapering? Your body won't be so stressed b/c of your rest period so tapering won't be as necessary.

  24. Awww, I really feel for ya. I've been battling an IT band injury. Had to drop out of the Space Coast marathon (for this weekend, actually...sob, sob) LUCKY for me, I got the flu last week and have not been able to try to run, thereby resting like I shoulda been. Feels better. Ed Hammerbeck gave you some great advice.

    Feel better soon!!!!

  25. I vote for rest. I ran through quad pain for about 6 weeks and ended up in pt for it. It's better to rest now.

  26. I'm sure you already know, but just watch the advil and running thing. Data out there suggests it is not the best combination for your health.

    Sucks to be taking off time to an injury, but with your base, you should be able to jump right back in.

  27. I vote for rest also!!! You will only be that much stronger in 2 weeks dude!!

    Great video!! How true is that!???

  28. do not mess with a knee injury. i mean I can put together a shin or a foot myself but a knee? do you know how many parts make up a knee??

    i took 2 weeks off during marathon training to drink a lot of beer a week before spring break and during it and ehhh I still did fine

    good luck!!

  29. Rest rest rest! Knees are not messing around.

  30. Hey Vanilla. All of the above suggestions sound good. Two additional thoughts:

    - Do you have a good massage therapist? There's just no way to type that without sounding lewd, but there it is. A lot of my runner friends really count on a good massage therapist to see them through their training schedule.

    - Do you need new shoes? There's no way to type THAT without sounding gear-happy but there you go. My knees sometimes ache when my shoes are nearing the end of their lifespan. Not the kind of pain that you're describing but a little retain therapy never hurt anyone...

    Hope you're feeling better soon.


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