Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Should I Quit?

(So I guess I'm merging all three of my blogs now because I don't have the desire to keep three blogs up to date.)

I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon.  It's September 18.  But it's not looking good.  My knees hurt when I run.  I have a high tolerance for pain and I know I can push through it.  But I don't want to risk seriously injuring myself and then making it so that I can't do anything because my knees are damaged.  

A few years ago, I was prescribed orthotics because I have low arches.  I'd injured my foot and it was still full of fluid months after the pain was gone.  So I went to the podiatrist who said I had flat feet and fitted me for some orthotics.  (The podiatrist never did get to the root of the fluid which I still have in the foot.  I recently learned from a friend of mine who is a massage therapist that I probably damaged one of my lymph ducts and that the lymphatic fluid is not being properly reabsorbed so it's just pooling in my foot.  She is going to drain it for me and then show me how to wrap to encourage healing).  

I'd been running in the orthotics and it was fine in the winter when I was running with thick wool socks on.  As soon as it got warm and I started running with thinner cotton socks, my feet were slipping around too much in my Aasics 2150s so I quit the orthotics.  I'm not sure if that's why I'm experiencing so much pain when I run now.  My ten-mile Sunday run was really brutal and one day of complete rest did not help today: it still hurt while I was doing a 50 minute easy run.  

I've been icing my knees after running and also foam rolling to try to minimize the damage.  Up until I asked for advice on my situation on a running message board, I hadn't even considered quitting.  Like I said, I can deal with pain.  But I really do have to think long and hard about this and I need to make a decision.
My current plan is to go for my speed interval run on Thursday wearing the orthotics (and 2 pairs of socks).  If it's still painful, I will withdraw from the race and make the slow transition to running in my Vibram Five Fingers (which many folks have testified eliminated the knee pain since running barefoot forces the body to assume correct form).  I'd only been using the Vibrams to lift and to otherwise cross train (floor aerobics a la BodyRock style and exercise bike) and I love how they feel on my feet.  I already knew from one solitary and painful try, that running on pavement in them was not a great idea and that's why till now, I've been hesitant to run in the Vibram's at all even though it might be the key to solving my running woes.  You know the compromises we make as moms to fit it all in . . . I don't have any trails nearby and it's just more convenient and saves more time to run in the neighborhood.  So I've been faithful to the Aasics and I feel like maybe now it's time to pay the piper.  (((sigh)) It was also suggested that I go see a physical therapist to assess my gait and so I think if I can find one covered by my health insurance I will do that too.  Right after I make the ob/gym appointment I've been putting off for months.  

I'm really bummed that I have to think about not doing this race.  It was really nice to have this as my focus and I have been enjoying training (except for the pain).  Psychologically, it's been great to be doing something different (than heavy lifting).  I hope I can get to the bottom of the pain so that I can continue to run for years pain free. 

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