I haven’t written much about my own running since the Summerfest 10K. So I thought I was about time for a little training update, which in reality is more of an injury update. Even though I experienced no knee pain during the race or immediately after I did in the weeks leading up to the race. My knee would be fine one run and then twingy and achy the next. [This would be an obvious sign that the injury is NOT resolved.] I was fully aware that my knee wasn’t really “better” and that prepping for the race and then running the race would delay any kind of healing. I decided to do it anyway. I am still glad I did.
It became obvious in the week after the race that it was time to stop pretending that the discomfort is just going to “go away.” And the PT confirmed that in my appointment the Friday after the race. My diagnosis: tendonitis of popliteus and plantaris muscles. Though muscles in the calf, these two have their origin in and around the back of the knee and when injured show up as pain in the back of the knee.
His suggestion was to back-off of pushing the distance for a while and go back to those short little two mile runs “for a time” and continue with exercises that will help strengthen and rehab the popliteaus muscle
I don’t do well with vague instructions (perhaps I should inform my PT of this fact). Without strict guidelines I push…and push…and push until I can’t anymore. “For a time” isn’t really helpful, because I interpret that as “until tomorrow morning.” So I turned to my sister-in-law for advice. She is a highly skilled PT and knows me well; she knows my penchant for pushing past ill-defined limitations. So she outlined for me a very distinct and clear road map for the next six weeks. [I am so grateful that she knows me and has best interest in mind:)]
Here are my recovery guidelines:
- No racing for 6 weeks
- Reduce overall training load (re-asses after 3 weeks and consider adding a second run of 3 miles in addition to a run of 3-4 miles to begin building mileage)
- Runs of no more than 3-4 miles at a time
- Avoid downhill running
- Do not run on uneven terrain
- Wear compression socks, perform kinesio taping and ice following runs
- Continue with all PT exercises prescribed for the area
- Continue with speed training (within the 4 mi limit)
I am one week into this and thanks to our beach vacation last week I was able to run on completely level ground for all my runs. I’ve experienced no pain or discomfort on any of my runs, but I’m going to continue on this conservative track and resist the temptation to run longer and “see if the pain is gone”.
Here’s how my running stacked up last week:
Monday: Three easy miles along the beach.
Tuesday: Cross training and PT exercises.
Wednesday: I kind of broke the rules on Wednesday. I ran a ten minute warm up and then ran 2x7min hard, 3 min easy by the time I finished the second recovery run I was at four miles and still a mile from home. So I ran-walked the last mile.
Thursday: Three easy miles
Friday: Four easy miles
Saturday: Cross training and PT exercises. I also attempted to ride our recumbent bike, but after about five minutes I could feel a dull sensation where I feel pain in the back of the knee. I decided that the biking was aggravating it a little and stopped.
Sunday: Four easy miles.
At this point almost three months post-marathon, I’m getting to the end of some of that deep fitness I’d gained by running 60+ miles a week. It’s unlikely that I’ll be able to get “back up there” before the CHaD Hero Half Marathon in October which may mean that racing for a big PR is now not really an option. And I’m kind of OK with that. The remainder of this season my focus may shift from running for big break-through times to running simply because I can.
Congratulations to Sarah E. and Allie C-B. who are the winners in the Dr. Cool Wrap Giveaway. You both won a Recovery-on-the-go-Wrap from Dr. Cool! Please contact me via email by 8/19 to claim your prize. Alternative winners will be chosen after 8/19.
Do you need hard and fast recovery guidelines? Or do you have more restraint than I?
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com
Daily Mile: dailymile.com/people/scanney