Running Update #8: Grrrr

WTF!!!!

I wish I could just leave it at that and call it a night, but I guess I have to provide an explanation.

After my absolute steller week last week, I was really looking some good running this week, especially with 3 weeks to go. However, I guess the only direction to go after a really good week is down.

Tuesday and Thursday I had pretty good runs. Tuesday I did my normal 5 mile tempo, between 7 and 8 mph. It wasn’t as good as last weeks and I was quite tired during it (I seriously felt like I was going to fall asleep at one point), but it was fine nonetheless. However, that evening, after I left the gym I noticed my left knee was bothering me a bit. Nothing significant (or at least so I thought) and it was gone the next day. Thursday, however, my left knee was bothering me when I started running. The run, however, besides the bit of pain, was really really good and strong. But, once again, by the next day there was nothing. I was prepared to feel a little pain during my Saturday long run, but wasn’t sure how it was going to be.

When Saturday morning rolled around, the sun was shining, it was fairly warm and my knee wasn’t bothering me. I ran up and down the “hallway” a few times, and nothing. I thought I was good to go. I threw on my t-shirt and shorts (!!!! I haven’t run in shorts, besides at the gym, for about 8 months), filled up my fuel belt, stuck on my hat and headed out. I decided to do the same route I did last week because I enjoyed it so much, and the Pope was up by Central Park and I DID NOT want to get caught in that mess up there. Lots of people, lots of baricades, lots of police and security=no very conducive to good running. It was perfect (PERFECT!!) weather outside. About 65 degrees and sunny with a nice breeze. And I was out pretty early, around 8:15, so the path was nice and empty.

I felt pretty good right off the bat. My knee wasn’t bothering me at all, so I though that it might have been some odd fluke that I wouldn’t have to worry about. Little did I know…
Most of the routes around Manhattan, besides Central Park, are really flat, and I was running on a path as flat as a pancake for the entire, except for the Brooklyn Bridge, which goes uphill to flat to downhill (and repeat because I turn around at the end and go back). Well, the downhill on the bridge was when it happened. My knee started hurting soooo badly. For those of you who are curious, the pain was in the lower-front part of the knee and hurt when I pushed off my left food. Anyway, the downhill was so painful that I was running with a limp. When I turned around, going back up the bridge, it stopped hurting as I went uphill and during the flat part. But, once I hit that downhill again, I was in major pain. When I got to the bottom of the bridge, I was basically freaking out. I’ve never had to deal with such pain while I was running. I’ve run with shin splints before but those always stopped bothering me after the first 5 or so minutes. I could tell that this wasn’t going to go away.

So, I had to make a decision. I was in a good location where I could go home easily, or I could continue (on flat terrain) for the rest, which was about 7 miles. I decided to try to keep going, and if after about 2 minutes, if it kept bothering me, I would turn around. If not, continue. And, I felt good again. And I kept on going. This part of the run was fun though. I started running behind a girl when I got back along the path after the bridge and noticed that she was running at my pace. She knew I was behind her, and I continued behind her, about 10 feet behind, or a bit. We passed each other several times and had a lot of fun with it. It was fun being competitive with some random person, and I knew she was having fun too. She made me push myself, and I think i made her push herself too. She passed me for good when I ran into a friend along the West Side Highway. A girl I went to college with who I ALWAYS forget lives in the city was running and I had a nice chat with her and we made plans to get a drink. Hopefully we will! However, this is where it went waaay downhill.

When I started running again after I left Deena (my friend), my knee was hurting. Bad. Like, almost couldn’t run at all bad. And I wasn’t running it off. I thought of one of my best friends who, this past fall, ran through the Marine Corps Marathon with a knee injury and that took me about a mile further, but it really did get to the point where I couldn’t run any further. I was limping as I was running and knew I had no choice. So, I stopped. I have never ever stopped a run early. I knew I had to, but it still, mentally, was really hard to do. I got to the nearest place I could cross off the highway, at 14th street and really almost started crying because I was so disappointed. Ugh!! The walk from 10th ave to 7th ave along 14th st. was one of the worst. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, but I was really quite upset. I did run into Gossip Girl being shot around 9th ave (nope-didn’t see the uber-hot actor that plays Dan) which was fun, but not enough fun.

I really didn’t want to walk all the way home, so I stretched pretty intensely at 7th ave., and started running again. I almost didn’t care how much it hurt, I just wanted to get home. It hurt ALOT at first, but pretty much went way, and I jogged pretty easily all the way home (the run ended up being a little over 11 miles). When I got there, my younger sister was there (she was staying with me) and I’m glad. I think that if I was one my own, I probably would have completely broken down. The frustration of getting an injury, whether temorary or something more serious (of which I’m not sure which this is yet) was overwhelming, especially because I only have 2 weeks till the half marathon. She talked me through it and made me feel a little better. One of the worst parts, however, was that besides the knee problems, my run was wonderful and I felt great. When I stopped, I could have gone on for much longer, I had alot of gas left in me.

The rest of the day, however, my knee was quite stiff and I was walking quite slowly and man-was I grouchy (sorry Maggie!!!!). Today, it felt a tad bit better, but every once in a while, I would step on a weird angle and the knee would kill. Also, it hurts to go down stairs. And all I could think of was how this is going to effect my race and whether this is serious and something that a little rest and ice can’t fix. But, the only was I can know that is through time.

So, for the next week, no running at all. I know I’m going to really want to, but I know it will make it worse and that is the last thing I want to do. But, I’m bummed and pissed and upset. I think grrrr really sums it up. Grrrrr.

16 Responses to “Running Update #8: Grrrr”


  1. 1 Erika April 21, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Noooo!! I really don’t want to bring any bad predictions, but the area that you’re describing on your knee + the downhill pain is usually signs of ITB promblems =[ It sidelined me when I was a sophomore in high school, and I was out for two big meets.

    If you can – get it checked out. If you can’t – DON’T push it! (and it sounds like you’re not.) I really hope it’s nothing serious.. but seriously, take it easy. I’ll be thinkin about ya.

  2. 2 FELLOW NYC RUNNER April 21, 2008 at 1:30 am

    KNEE PAIN= TIGHT ITB!!! THE MOST EFFECTIVE (AND REALLY ONLY CURE THERE IS, IS TO ICE TO REDUCE SWELLING, REST TO LET THE INFLAMATION HEAL, AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS GET YOURSELF TO A FOAM ROLLER–DAILY. I AM SURE YOU HAVE SEEN THESE AT YOUR GYM, AND YES, IT WILL BE PAINFUL, VERY PAINFUL, BUT LAY DOWN ON YOUR SIDE ON THE ROLLAR AND USE YOUR BODY WEIGHT TO APPLY PRESSURE ALONG THE SIDE OF YOUR LEG FROM YOUR HIP TO YOUR KNEE. KEEP THIS UP FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK AND FOR AT LEAST 15-20 A DAY IF NOT MORE. ICE MORE FREQUENTLY, AND REST. YOU WILL NOT LOSE RUNNING FITNESS IF YOU REST HIS WEEK, BUT YOU WILL MISS OUT ON THE RACE IF YOU DON’T (TRUST ME, I SUFFERED THROUGH THE PAIN AND ENDED UP HAVING TO PULL OUT OF THE NYC MARATHON AT MILE 19 BECAUSE THE PAIN BECAME INCAPACITATING😦 I WISH YOU THE BEST AND I WILL LOOK FOR YOU IN THE PARK IN THE FUTURE🙂 OR YOU CAN LOOK FOR AT THE nyc RUNINNG CO. ( IN KNOW YOU ARE A JACK RABBIT JUNKIE, BUT WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE TOO!!!) GOOD LUCK AND KEEP ME POSTED WITH YOUR PROGRESS

  3. 3 lindzakins921 April 21, 2008 at 4:42 am

    I dont have any experience w/ knee issues but honestly that doesnt sound too pretty😦 Good idea taking the week off from running… it’s best to heal instead of doing further damage😉

  4. 4 VeggieGirl April 21, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry that your runs were interrupted by so much knee pain!! Yikes!! :0( Definitely take a “running break” this week, so that your knee can heal – hang in there, Betsy!!

  5. 5 katheats April 21, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Sorry about your knee Betsy. As someone who battled foot problems for over 4 years, I can say “I feel your pain” (pun intended) truthfully. What was always most effective for me was ice. Rest is good, ice + rest is 10x better. Get out some cubes and suck it up 2-3 times a day. It’s cold, but worth it.

    I LOVE running and have to keep my runs to no more than twice a week – maybe forever – because of my foot surgery. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that running through pain one day is not worth no running for the two weeks following.

    Hope it gets better!

  6. 6 Alex April 21, 2008 at 7:16 am

    That sucks something awful. I know exactly how you feel. I started getting Achilles tendinitis about 3 weeks before my last marathon, and even though I tried to rest it, no luck. During the race, the pain started at mile 3. But by mile 8 or so it was numb! Ha.😉

    Anyway, I think you’re making the right decision to not run for the week. I should have rested more. Since I didn’t and it hurt so much during the race, I have now been on a self-imposed running hiatus for the last 3 weeks and it depresses the crap out of me, especially when I read your blog and think, Oh that sounds fun! I miss running!

    One thing that has helped, though, is something I read in Runner’s World last month: When you’re debating/rationalizing the pain away, ask yourself, “Would I rather run tomorrow? Or would I rather run for the rest of my life?”

    I hope it gets better! Best of luck in the race!

  7. 7 Cara April 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

    awwww I am sorry!! I hope it gets better soon!!

  8. 8 chandra April 21, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Awe, Betsy, I’m so sorry to hear about your knee pain! 😦 You’re making the right move though by resting for the week – especially with the race so close! My biggest fear is always getting injured right before a race. You’re a strong person and I’m sure you will heal up in no time! 🙂 Best of luck to you for a full, speedy recovery!

    (On a side note, when I was typing ‘best of luck’ I actually typed ‘best of lunch’ ha.. maybe I’m hungry? 🙂 )

  9. 9 Alice (in Veganland) April 21, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Grrr, I’m so sorry… Rest, and I’m sure everything will be all right for the race. I have to have faith in it, because I really think you deserve it!

  10. 10 RhodeyGirl April 21, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Betsy! I am so sorry to hear about your knee pain… I can relate in some way as I have had really bad ankle pain before… you are making a really smart decision by resting this week- I suggest you ice your knee as well! Icing really does help alleviate the pain!

    You know, I have found that as my HM gets closer I tend to have one really amazing run followed by one stinking horrible run. Why does that happen? On Saturday I was supposed to run 9 but I hadn’t had ANY water (I never got thirsty before as it was SO cold usually) and I was wearing pants because that was all I brought to Philly and it was like 80 degrees! Needless to say I was so dehydrated by mile 6 that I had to stop and walk the rest. I kept trying to start up again and I thought I was actually going to pass out (which used to happen to me when skiing and swimming when I was in high school/college). I finally just gave in and walked. It felt terrible, but I kept reminding myself it is better than if I had passed out!

    Keep strong, ice your knee and rest, and know that you are going to rock at the half! 12 days away baby!

  11. 11 ChocolateCoveredVegan April 21, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Oh no! Tell that knee to get better soon!!! Hopefully you will be up and at ’em again in no time!

  12. 12 Maggie April 21, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I’m glass I helpd you through it. I didn’t know you ran to the Brooklyn Bridge, frankly Betsy, that is IMPRESSIVE!!!! I still had fun with you although your knee was hurting, plus I got some cute tops, plus, next time I come to the city I want to enjoy that store with you and actually shop around, (only going for chopsticks….seriously….you really never should have told me that). What is the name of the J. Crew’s new store, I was telling Khaki about and she wanted to know the name.
    Good luch with your run next week. If your knee continues to hurt, either ice it or put heat on it frequently. When I dislocated my knee cap I put so much ice on it, but it helped. And on the bright side you didn’t do that….or tear/ strain your ACL (a friend from Bates just did so). Get better soon!
    Love and miss you!

  13. 13 trustmyintuition April 21, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your knee. I think you should definitely take it easy though. I used to dance and tore my meniscus. I had a national competition in a couple of months, so I delayed the surgery until after. It was shredded by then, and they had to cut it out instead of repair it. I know the thought of not being able to do what you love most is an awful one. You’ll get through it, though. Get better!!

  14. 14 Chrissy April 21, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Hey – I’m so sorry to hear about your knee, and I agree with the above poster who said it sounded like your IT band. Mine presents like that sometimes, although it usually ends up in my hip – but stretching it is SO essential either way. Try getting into a lunge position with your back knee down, and then raising up your torso to vertical and straightening up/leaning back. You should feel the stretch through your hip and (hopefully) it’ll free things up a bit.

    Feel better soon!

  15. 15 rebecca April 22, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Hey – I’m so sorry about that! It is sooo hard to rest, especially when you have something to train for (the same thing happened to me when I hurt my knee doing a stupid ski maneuver). Just remember the pain is your body’s way of telling you to take it easy and that sometimes rest is as important to good health as eating veggies or sleeping. And you’ve been doing such great long runs that I’m sure you’ll be great and rejuvenated for your half.

  16. 16 glidingcalm April 22, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Betsy! Yikes! That sounds so painful! I would have stopped immediately…but I’m pretty lazy! I really hope it feels better soon, because having an injury that prevents you from doing the sport/exercise you love…is well…AWFUL! : ( Ice & rest? Take care! And thanks for the comment on my picture! It made me really happy!


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