Weekly Recap- Runner’s Knee

I went away for the weekend. My wife and I went to a Casino\Resort near San Diego, California to go see Jim Gaffigan. He was hilarious. This year we didn’t really get to take a vacation so I figured I’d splurge a little and get the Suite. It was nice.

It was about a two hour drive and when I got out of the car my knee was a little stiff. Following my ten mile run on Friday, I had iced it on and off all night. I woke up feeling better on Saturday but found that my left knee was hurting a little when I would climb in and out of the car. We went to a birthday party Saturday afternoon before leaving for the casino and my knee was giving me a little discomfort but nothing too bad. It wasn’t until we got out of the car at the casino’s parking structure and decided to take the stairs down to the lobby instead of the elevator that I noticed that both my knees were hurting and that stairs are not my friend. Jim Gaffigan would later make a joke about how when he checks into a hotel and the clerk says, “the elevator is right there if you want to take that instead of the stairs,” and he replies, “if? what, have I all of a sudden shunned convenience?” Although, normally I don’t mind taking the stairs and burning a few extra calories that way, I made sure to only take elevators the rest of the trip. Thank God for convenience. Following the show, I took advantage of the whirlpool tub in the room. It felt great and my legs got a nice massage. I felt like a king.

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The view from the tub wasn’t bad either:

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When I got back home I did an internet search of what might be up with my knees. The diagnosis seems to be runner’s knee. I’d like to point out that I AM NOT A DOCTOR NOR DID I GO TO THE DOCTOR and I only looked it up on the internet and landed on a bunch of other running websites that say that runner’s knee is one of the most common running injuries. A description of the symptoms fit my situation pretty much exactly. Some of the reasons why runners encounter knee problems could be from suddenly increasing time and\or distance to their runs. I went from running ZERO miles a week to running 20-40 miles a week. Check. Other reasons include being overweight. Check. Another reason is a lack of strength training\conditioning. Over the last month I have increased my weekly running mileage but have neglected going to the gym so I’m gonna go ahead and check this one off too.

Ways to treat runner’s knee include rest and icing. This week I will hold back on the running and get back into the gym. I know I’ll have to take it easy on leg day but I’m hoping that by strengthening my leg muscles I’ll reduce risk of future injuries. For cardio this week I’ll stick to the elliptical machine.

Injuries suck. The last thing anybody needs when training for upcoming events is to be sidelined by injuries. That’s why it’s important to approach training intelligently. I may have overestimated my running ability by taking on such extreme weekly mileage. Going forward, I will take a page out of my brother’s training book and keep my running short throughout the week or stick to the elliptical machine to keep the cardio up, and save the long runs for the weekend and gradually increase the mileage. Most importantly, I can’t neglect the strength training. Get stronger to run longer.

1 week until weight loss contest ends at work (have dropped 15lbs since the beginning of the contest)

16 weeks until Tough Mudder

23 weeks until Born to Run 100 mile ultramarathon

45 weeks until EC100 (100 mile race from Norco, Ca to Santa Monica, Ca)

Have a great week!