Saturday, November 8, 2008

Silver lining?

This knee injury of mine has given me quite the roller coaster ride. I've had this injury for over a month now, but the ups and downs have mostly come today.

I don't even know what is wrong with it. It's not very painful at all, but the discomfort I feel never stays in one place. It started out on the outside of my knee, and since then, I have felt discomfort all the way around the knee cap. But never all at once. At first I thought it was my ITB causing trouble, then I started wondering about a stress fracture, then maybe it was a damaged ligament. I'm just not sure.

This week has been great for running though. The knee had seemed to be getting better, so I tried running on Tuesday, and I had a tremendous run. No pain at all. Getting back to my routine, I went for another run on Thursday. It felt a little sore for the first half mile, but after that it felt totally fine. Later that day, it felt a little sore, though. Today, I went for a really easy jog with Lani and our girls. There wasn't any real pain, but it just doesn't feel right.

While we were running, I started thinking about my running plans. I was thinking about a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving weekend, and the LA Marathon in February. Those are both likely out of the question as I will now be giving myself some more time off. As much as I want to run that marathon, I also want to run a marathon when I'm 80, and I don't want to jeopardize my future running life. I need to take care of this body as it's the only one I've got.

I started feeling a little depressed when I logged my run this morning. I guess it was sinking in that I won't be doing much running for a while. Winter is the best time to run in Arizona, and I will have to miss a good chunk of it.

While Lani and I were cooking dinner tonight, I tried thinking positively about this injury. I've always wanted to do a triathlon, but I love running too much to take time away to ride a bike or swim. Maybe this injury will cause me to pick up these other sports. I'm likely to go crazy if I can't run, so I'll need to have something to focus my energy on. And maybe when I do start running again, I'll be more likely to cross train on my non-running days, which will in turn improve my running.

I got one of those Marathon Pace Bands from the Runner's Lounge in the mail the other day. Turns out the wrong one was sent to me (if you are one of the other winners, let me know if you got the wrong one, and we can make an exchange). However, the quote on it is very relevant, and helped me see the bright side.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." ~Albert Einstein.
Pretty good timing, huh?

The other night, I was talking to Lani about what I'd like to accomplish next summer. I want to focus on my speed again. I'd like to break 5 minutes in the mile again, and then aim for 2 miles in under 11 minutes. Heck, if I'm doing that, it's just another 6 minute mile for a sub 17 minute 5k. That seems pretty doable when I look at it that way. Maybe this time off and cross training will make this more likely, and then next fall/winter I can kick out my 3 hour marathon.


Jenn said...

You may have already been down this route or gotten this advice but have you tried wearing a patella band under your knee? I used to have some serious knee pain that sidetracked my running for some time when one was recommended for me and it made an incredible difference. You can find patella bands at most sport stores (definitely Fleet Feet or a running store), and all over the place online. There are several brands and styles, you just need to find the one that fits you most comfortably. I love mine and won't run without it now. It's amazing how a tiny bit of pressure in just the right spot can considerably ease the pain. Good luck getting back into things!

Vava said...

Reid, you know a lot more about running than I ever will, but your knee issues sure sounds a lot like what I went through twice this year. In both cases the cause was not diagnosed in the knee, but rather in the strength of my hop flexors and glutes. Once I took some time off, did some strengthening of those muscles, and started back running easy the knee issues went away. I think the best cross-training activity one can do to help knee pain is inline skating. That exercise is like the muscular mirror image of running, and definitely helped me. Don't know if you can skate, but if you can give it a try and good luck!

Brianna said...

A marathon at 80 is totally worth the wait now! And taking a break to let your body heal is important for you to model for your daughters, too. You'll want them cheering for you (or even running beside you!) at that finish line when you're 80 - and if they learn to take care of themselves the way you are, they'll be set too.

Amazing how words we need to hear just magically appear when we least expect them. I don't think it was an accident.

nwgdc said...

Great approach. I can't wait to be the oldest finisher in some event some day.

If it helps, just pretend you live where I live, where it's freezing, and this morning's run involved mittens, a hat, a headlamp, three layers of underarmour, and wool socks. Just don't get dressed up like that and then go running in AZ. That could be disastrous. I would rather suggest thinking about how COLD it is in WI, and deciding, in my honor, you're not going to run that particular day. That should help.

SuperDave said...

I've been thinking about tri's myself. Since they are crosstraining workouts, it gives the body a chance to heal.

bill carter said...

Hi Reid

For being such a young guy, you sure are smart. Too many runners so get caught up in getting in their mileage (and I am almost certainly guilty of this) that they end up getting burned out or hurting themselves.

Take care of that knee and I am looking forward to that sub 11 2 miler.

Best of luck.


Michelle J said...

Hi Reid,
Just wanted to say hello! I think you are so doing the right thing by taking some time off to heal. You are the smart runner. I have to learn from you dude!!

Be well and take it easy!! Then run like the wind!!!

The Happy Runner said...

I'm going to echo the others and say you are very smart to take some time off and make sure your knee heals up well. Looking at the big picture is often hard to do, but very worth it. The 80 year old you will thank the young you when he's crossing that marathon finish line!

Yaktrax said...

Hope this finds you well, and I am sorry about your knee injury. I work with Sof Sole ( and am looking for runners like you to try out some of our new products and offer reviews for us via your blog, There are no gimmicks or strings attached, just send me your shoe size and mailing address and I'll send some of our latest products to you (or if you have a special request for a product on our website, just let me know—you know what would help your running better than I would :o) . Sof Sole and its parent company, Implus Footcare, are leaders in the below-the-ankle fashion and the company prides itself on creating products that enhance the natural pleasure of running. Getting customer feedback like this is one of the best ways for us to keep our products in check.

I do hope you'll be interested in testing a few items for us, and I look forward to hearing back from you soon!


Reid said...

Rachel, I would love to try out some of your products! The only problem is I don't know how to contact you! If you happen to see this, please contact me again so we have work it out. Thanks!

Yaktrax said...

Hi Reid,

It's the Sof Sole girl :) Please email me at and we'll get your shoe size and mailing address info.

Thanks for your interest, Reid!