Keepin’ it Real

I don’t want to delude anyone or say everything’s happy slappy when it really isn’t. So here it goes: my knee is killing me. My good knee. The one that wasn’t cut open and operated on last year. It’s the knee that stood strong after its partner was disabled and carried me solidly through the finish line of my half marathon in April without a twinge. Until this past month. It started after a random run in mid-June. A stabby-ache started ust under the kneecap and I would baby it when I wasn’t running, but still the pain returned.

photo 2Getting real tired of your shit, legs.
It finally became a thing last week. A hard run early in the week, excruciating pain while walking downstairs at work in platform sandals the next day, and the ankle roll on Friday all culminated into a very bad, no good long run that didn’t pan out this past weekend when I went up to Packanack Lake to join my “marathon machine” friend (I’m sorry if you don’t like the name, Tina, but I’m not changing it) because our long runs were the same distance. In case the knee gave me hell, I brought my bike along. And it’s a good thing I did. Because give me hell it did.
photo 3Thank goodness the view was nice.
As we got to the parking lot at the end of the first 2.5 mile lap, I tapped out and hopped on my bike. My knee felt much better, but as I struggled up one last hill to start lap 3 on the bike, I hopped onto the downward spiral:
I had 8 miles on the schedule and I didn’t do it. I failed at a long run. And my knee would probably prevent me from getting one in this week. What if it really was injured and I had to skip running for a week or more to let it heal? How would I recover from that in time to run a marathon? Would I have to defer? How humiliating would that be?!! If I talked it up for months and then had to drop out? What a failure. I can’t even train for a marathon right. Millions of people do it every damn year and I can’t even train for 2 months properly without having to quit. Typical, I can’t see anything through to the end…
As I was about to finish 5 miles on the bike, I told myself to suck it up and tried running Tina in as she finished. Instead my knee gave out on me and I hobbled with her back to the car. We chatted for a while, took some selfies on a pretty bridge:
photo 4Why is my head so huge? The world may never know.
Then she took me out for a great post-run Starbucks trip, after which I drove myself home and cried for the. Whole. Hour. In the car. It was not my proudest moment. I just couldn’t help getting caught up in the fear that it was happening all over again and that I was doing everything wrong. So I got home and cried some more, went to lunch with mom for her birthday, and resolved to call the orthopedist the next day. And that’s basically where I’m at right now. Waiting for an appointment to see where this knee takes me and resting in the meantime. I haven’t run since Sunday and it’s still a bit tender. I’m hoping that a few more days of rest will help it get back to normal and that I’ll be smarter about the rest of my training (I’m even looking into a local running clinic to work on my form), and I’m grateful for everyone who’s offered me encouragement and advice these past few days.
I posted this photo with a little caption about my knee pain on Instagram and was so overwhelmed with positivity from my virtual friends that I cried.
photo 5The running community is seriously the best.
So keep checking back as I post more about how this knee feels, how my training goes, and everything else that’s knocking around in my brain – in the meantime, how’s your training going? Tell me everything and let me run vicariously through you in the comments! 🙂

5 thoughts on “Keepin’ it Real

  1. Oh my god, Jess! I’m so sorry about your knee. First of all though, if you have to defer the marathon to run it another time, that does NOT mean you are a failure in the least bit. Your physical health and wellbeing is much more important than completing the marathon THIS year. It may be a smarter choice to build up to the marathon distance over a longer period of time and you know what? That’s totally fine and other runners (and friends) should commend you for that!

    All in all, listen to what the doctor says and if it makes more sense to train more long-term, work on building up a good base in the meantime. Sending lots of hugs and good luck your way!!

    • Thank you so much Charissa – it means so much to see how much you care! You’re right, I’m definitely going to listen to the doc, he won’t steer me wrong. It’ll be interesting to see where this takes me, that’s for sure! In the meantime I’m going to keep getting as strong as I can in every other way so I’m ready to go as soon as I get the all clear from mr. orthopedist! 🙂

  2. I’m so sorry to read about this! Just get your tushie to the doctor and see what he/she has to say. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and you’ll be back out there soon.

    And by the way, you’re not a failure if you have to defer your marathon–it’s called taking care of yourself, and it means that when you do get around to running a marathon, you’ll be strong and healthy and you’ll be able to finish and be proud of your accomplishment. Sending good vibes your way!

    • thank you so much sweetie!! I’m all set to listen to the ortho, I know whatever he says will be in my best interests so I won’t go against him. It’s sobering to think of the possibilities but like you say, it’s better to take care of myself than injure myself any further. I really appreciate your kind words, thank you so much for your good vibes and positivity! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Race Recap: NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K | Jess Runs Happy

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