Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ups and Downs

After my long run on Sunday my left knee was quite sore, but it was similar to what I'd encountered with my right knee so I assumed it would be fine the next day.

But I got up Monday and it was even more painful. Walking to work, I almost turned around after half a block to get my bicycle. I made it to work but it wasn't pleasant.

I have to admit I was pretty bummed out. Obviously, I wasn't going to be running at all with my knee like this. Was something going on more serious than IT band issues?

In a way, I accepted that it was somewhat inevitable. I was going to keep pushing the running until something stopped me. Ideally that would be simple fatigue, but given my history it was more likely to be my knees. So I shouldn't have been surprised. But it had come on more suddenly than my other knee. And I hadn't done anything any different than I'd done the previous two weekends, with no problems. Maybe it was the accumulation, not enough recovery. Who knows.

I limped around at work and by the end of the day it was a bit better, more like uncomfortable than painful. I'd also managed to accept things as they were. If I had to start over, so be it. I could work my way back up from short walks. Barring any permanent damage I'd soon be back to short runs. I could deal with it.

I woke up Tuesday and got out of bed hesitantly, only to find my knee felt normal! That's what I expected Monday, but instead it had got worse. Why was it fine now? Later in the morning I got on the treadmill, just walking. It felt fine. I raised the incline to 15% and the speed to 6 km/hr (a brisk walk). Still fine. I kept it up for 20 minutes. Still fine. Ok, I'd try a slow jog. That didn't feel as good and seemed like it might be reawakening my knee so I went back to walking and did 30 minutes. My knee felt fine. Later in the day I went for a walk outside and even jogged short distances a few times without any ill effects.

Now it's hard to know what to think. Assuming I still feel ok on Thursday I'll try a short, easy run and see how it goes. If I'm lucky I'll be able to do some kind of easy run on the weekend as well.

I should be grateful that it's "only" this weird IT band issues. (Assuming my self diagnosis is correct.) The ups and downs may be frustrating, but at least there's a good chance it'll get better eventually, with patience. If it was my actual knees joints, or hips, or back, that'd be a lot tougher to deal with and a lot less likely to just get better. My sympathies to those of you with more serious problems. I realize my issues are relatively minor in the big picture.

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