This is not how week 3 of my half-marathon training was supposed to go. It was supposed to include beautiful runs in the cool October air, some hill training, speed work and the slow start of my mileage increase. Instead it includes ice packs, limping and more than a few tears.
The good news is that I set my half-marathon training plan at 24 weeks, 4 weeks longer than even the Couch-to-Half training plans that you can find online. With the Fool’s Run not being until April 2017, I knew I had the time, so why not use it? And with training over the winter, I figured I would likely lose weeks to bad, icy weather, or illness, so I liked having a buffer. I just didn’t expect to start losing weeks so early on.
My injury is not serious, and hopefully I can recover from it quickly. I have what is commonly known as runner’s knee. It started last Wednesday, the day after I did my speed work. It felt fine while I was running and that whole evening, but something happened and then the pain started. I had an instance of this once before, brought on by doing hill repeats this summer so I know that the best cure is resting it.
I didn’t run for a couple of days, iced it, elevated it and it felt better. So I went for a run on Friday. That was a bad idea.
I didn’t run for a couple more days, iced it, elevated it and it felt better. So I went for run on Monday. That was a worse idea.
I made it a whole km before admitting defeat and limping my way home in tears. The tears were 10% from pain and 90% from frustration. I let my mind go down the road of defeat – I was NEVER going to be able to run the half marathon that is FIVE MONTHS AWAY. I had my pity party, hung out in the shower for a while and with Hilary’s words of encouragement, I came to my senses.
Yes I am injured right now. No, I won’t always be injured, especially if I ACTUALLY rest my leg for more than 48 hours. There is still plenty of time to train for the Fool’s Run (a whole 20 weeks in fact…..). My world is not collapsing.
The plan now is to REST my knee. I won’t even consider running again for a minimum of one week, and only then if I am pain free while walking. I’m going to continue to ice and elevate as needed. More importantly though I’m going to work on cross training and hip strengthening exercises. Runner’s knee is commonly believed to be caused more by hip issues than actual problems with the knee itself. I have free weights in my office for working on my arms and shoulders (did I mention my shoulder is injured too? It doesn’t actually interfere with running except that I can’t put on my sports bra by myself…..) and a yoga mat at the ready to do clamshells, leg raises, bridges and more.
Maybe this is all a blessing in disguise and this injury will help me become stronger overall in the end.