Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When life hands you lemons...

...make lemonade, but don't pee in the pool.
(I promise this will make sense later)

Happy New Year!! Here we are, 4 days into 2011 and this is my first post.

Running into the New Year!
The Holidays were fun for us and it was really nice to have hubby around for a few days. It was also really nice to have my buddy Dawn around-she was on vacation so we were able to get a couple training days in together.
Dawn and I actually got in a beautiful New Years Day 6 mile run together. It was in the 50's!! That is rare in Maine in January!!
I got to run in my favorite things! My pink Kinvara's, my Punk Rock Racing tech tee, my beautiful argyle arm warmers that Dawn gave me for Christmas!!
Dawn got to run in some of her new gear too! Arm warmers and compression socks with shorts! Yes, shorts! That is how nice it was here in Maine in New Years Day!

Sunday I got out for my scheduled long run. The Rx was Base Building 101: 10 miles in Zone 2, keep the pace between 8:45 and 9:15. I was psyched to get out on another "balmy" day in Maine (43 degrees when I left) and I was feeling great on this run. I ran one of my regular routes all along the beach and through some beautiful, quite neighborhoods with gently rolling hills and winding roads. I was feeling so good, I decided to up the mileage just a wee bit and go for 12ish. At mile 7.35- while climbing one of these gently rolling hills - I felt this quick, stabbing pain directly under the top part of my right kneecap.
Deep breath.
Walk for a moment...
Alright, it's ok.
Start running again~slowly easing into a steady pace and after a few minutes all is well. I backed off the pace for a bit and all was well with the world again. At this point I know I am about 3 miles from home if I loop it back towards the house vs. heading towards Kennebunkport so this is in the back of my mind. I'm feeling good so it's back to normal. Run.Run.Run. Ahhhh-look, a bunch of turkeys on the side of the road. How cool is that? Then at mile 9 another small hill.
That pain.
This time it really stopped me. I walked for a bit. Feeling scared, worried, anxious. I was in more mental pain than physical pain. Questions swirling through my head. What?? Oh no. But then, just as sudden as the pain came on, it was gone. Start jogging slowly, slowly...12 minute pace, 11 minute pace. Alright, I'm feeling good again but I think it's time to head back home and call it 10 miles today. But I am feeling good,  SO good that I pick up the pace for the last leg of the run finishing the last 1/2 mile in the low 7's.
I'm feeling good~and then about an hour or so later, I am walking up the stairs at the house and
pain again. Now I am really concerned and do a little Internet research.
My self diagnosis??

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or simply "runner's knee," is the most common overuse injury among runners. It occurs when a mistracking kneecap (patella) irritates the femoral groove in which it rests on the thighbone (femur)... Tight hamstring and calf muscles put pressure on the knee, and weak quadriceps muscles can cause the patella to track out of alignment. Just the repetitive force of a normal running stride alone can be enough to provoke an attack. Symptoms include tenderness behind or around the patella, usually toward its center. You may feel pain toward the back of the knee, a sense of cracking or that the knee's giving out. Steps, hills, and uneven terrain can aggravate PFPS.

So far all that I am reading falls in line with the symptoms I am having so my plan is to actually rest. No running or biking for at least a week and I will evaluate the situation once again and see if real medical professionals need to be involved. In hind site, I wish I had iced the knee immediately upon my return home.
I am going to keep a positive outlook and chalk this up to the Universe once again speaking to me~
Jen, get your butt in the pool!!
I have been wanting to get more time in the pool but somehow running, biking, kettlebells, weight training all seem to fall above SWIMMING on my workout priority list...even though swimming is my weakest discipline and therefore, should be sitting right at the top!!
So here's my lemonade.
All week I am going to focus on my swim.
And next week too if need be. and the week after that...
So bottom's up! I'm drinking this big ole glass of lemonade and I promise not to pee in the pool.
ps-I still have to announce the winner of my SPIbelt giveaway! Coming soon!!


Jason said...

Love the attitude. Meant to email you last night about strengthening quads for this type of pain. My experience with knee pain that is not torn tendonsa has been weak quads. The quad keeps the kneecap from moving. I always get upset at my coach when we are not doing two days of strength training weekly b/c I am nervous about that.

Rest should be good, but be sure to include strength training as well. If you want my weight training plan let me know and I will send over. Takes me about 30 minutes to get through the entire workout so not long, but effective.

My Life said...

Such a bummer about the knee pain! Sounds like you're on top of it though. The ET & more bike time might help too? And a wee bit envious of your runs around Kennebunkport. We recently drove up there for the first time & thought the area was so beautiful!

Melissa Cunningham said...

oh,i hate to hear about that knee! my first bout of PFPS happened in college,and my coach put me in the pool and on the stationary bike for a full 2 weeks!!! i thought i had an easy out of all the hard practices,but man was i ever wrong!!! my coach worked me so hard in the pool,that i never missed a beat when i raced again-and i was even 12 seconds faster!!!!
so you never know,this little glass of lemonade may be just what you need!
heres to a lots of pool time and a speedy recovery!!!

KovasP said...

Swimming sounds good, self-diagnosis can be tricky, though. :)

Unknown said...

Knee pain is horrible! You might want to have a doctor check it out too... you wouldn't want an injury lingering. I think it's smart that you are hitting the pool a lot though and resting up. Keep us updated!

Relentless Forward Commotion said...

oh girl I FEEL your pain!!! But like you said, get your butt in the pool!! Blessing in disguise, forced swim time :) These breaks only make us stronger, believe me! *hugs*

Cait said...

Well way to see the positive in a tough situation. In Crossfit we frequently say "if you hate an exercise or its your least favorite, its likely the one you need the most work on". I have tried to adopt this idea, and work on my "goats", but its challenging. It has paid off though. Enjoy your pool time!!

Unknown said...

I just started back up with running after a LONG hiatus and I am having knee pain too. I was having knee pain a few months ago when doing squats, lunges, or the leg press and my sports med doctor said it is patellar tendonitis. How to fix it? Ice, relaxation, and stretching. So now I am trying to ease back into running rather than going full force, so maybe I will switch to swimming for a while too! Hope you enjoy it!

Chick 9 Clothing

Kate said...

Hopefully some rest and pool time and do the trick! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!!

Alex said...

aw, jen, get better soon...

But way to go with an awesome swim!

Lisa said...

Cute pic of you and your friend! Sorry about your knee, but I love your attitude! So smart. Surely you'll be running again soon.