My Unruly Hammy

As I’ve mentioned a few times here, I’ve had some nagging pain in my left knee for the past few months. It really started after my it’s-way-too-freaking-hot-to-run hiatus at the end of July/beginning of August. The pain is actually in the back of my knee and feels muscular, not boney. I did some research and actually think it’s a very low hamstring sprain/strain/overuse injury. It originally hurt really bad when I was running on hard surfaces – namely sidewalks (concrete). I found it hurt less when I ran around the reservoir, which is loose gravel. It was even OK on asphalt, and it definitely didn’t hurt when I ran on the rubbery track around the high school football field in Marietta. But I got bored running loops on the track and around the reservoir, so I tried to end my runs at the reservoir rather than spending the whole time there.That seems to have helped, but the pain was pretty relentless for 48 solid hours after my 10-mile run last weekend. The worst

That seems to have helped, but the pain was pretty relentless for 48 solid hours after my 10-mile run last weekend. The worst is when I’m walking down the stairs. The pain even starts to radiate 360° around my knee. I am ashamed to admit that I actually broke down and took a leftover Percocet from my sinus surgery last weekend to take the edge off. It did help (in combination with rest, icing, elevation, etc) but I forgot how much I hate the way that stuff makes me feel. It wasn’t worth it.

Needless to say, I’m pretty worried about what my pain level is going to be like after the Half this weekend, especially the next day. I finally broke down and called my primary care doctor to explain the symptoms, told her I was running the Half on October 9 and training for the Boston Marathon in April, and asked for a referral to either orthopedics or physical therapy or both. She put in a referral for both, and PT called me the next morning to schedule an appointment but I felt it best to see ortho first. Sure enough, they called me a day later and guess when their first opening is? Yup, October 10 – the day after the Half.

Here in New England, we still get Columbus Day off from school/work, and I am also taking Friday (my birthday) and Tuesday off – so I get a 5-day weekend! I knew I’d be hurting and exhausted, but I didn’t know I’d be going to the doctor, too. It works out perfectly. Had their next available appointment been sometime this week, I would’ve had to make an excuse because they’d likely tell me not to run the Half if it hurts.

I’m thinking the absolute worst case scenario could be 2 months of recovery. That still gets me to the first day of official DFMC team training, which is December 12. Obviously I could still work on core and upper body strength, and eating better. As much as I loathe paying for a gym membership, I know it’s a necessary evil while training for a marathon during a New England winter. And, it will encourage me to do more strength- and cross-training.

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