What do you do when you get sick or injured and don’t have health insurance? You go to the internet and diagnose yourself! I know this is not the recommended approach to health care or treatment, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

After my 14 mile run this weekend, I started to feel pain in my right knee. It didn’t hurt to put pressure on it, but move when I moved it or changed positions. It hurt throughout the night on Saturday night as I tossed and turned in bed.

I have been icing it, which really helps, but it still hurts. If I pick my leg up off the ground (i.e. to put pants on), it really hurts – almost like whatever supports my knee is no longer there. The pain is on the inside of my knee, so I ruled out ITBS and am going with Runner’s Knee. From what I have read, it seems like the most accurate and obvious choice. Here’s some info I have found on the condition:

  • PFPS can affect one or both knees.
  • It strikes mostly younger, recreational runners and twice as many women as men
  • It could be a biomechanical problem–the patella may be larger on the outside than it is on the inside, it may sit too high in the femoral groove, or it may dislocate easily.
  • Also, worn cartilage in the knee joint reduces shock absorption, high-arched feet provide less cushioning, and flat feet or knees that turn in or out excessively can pull the patella sideways.
  • Tight hamstring and calf muscles put pressure on the knee, and weak quadriceps muscles can cause the patella to track out of alignment.

I am thinking my neglect of stretching (I try, but just fail over and over) and lack of strength training may be the issue. Plus, I am running more miles than I ever have in my life, so that can’t help. What that means is that I should be taking extra-good care of myself.

This morning I had a 3 mile easy run on my calendar and I decided to skip it and rest. I didn’t think 3 miles was worth making it worse. Instead, I slept an extra 30 minutes and then did some upper body strength and iced my knee. I have been pretty upset all day thinking about what a knee injury would do to me. My spirits are down just thinking about the possibility of not being able to run.

Here is my plan of attack:

  • REST! Not running scares me because I have a freaking marathon to train for! But, pushing through pain only to not be able to run the marathon is way worse. My training might have to get adjusted, and I might not get all my scheduled long runs in, but showing up on race day and crossing the finish line if my ultimate goal!
  • Ice. I will continue to ice as much as possible – Stretch. Yesterday’s yoga class actually made my knee feel better, so I will continue my twice a week plan for hot yoga and really focus on stretching every morning and every night – no excuses! I may even increase my yoga attendance depending on how much I reduce my mileage by.
  • Strengthen my muscles. I have been meaning to focus more on strength training the last few weeks. I really like strength training, and know it will improve my training overall. If it can also help take the pressure off my knees, then that is even better.
  • Stay positive. The power of positive thinking can be pretty powerful!

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