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Runners Knee

June 15, 2011
My Snap Crackle Pop Knees

My Snap Crackle Pop Knees

What is it with my joints and repetitive stress injuries? Sure I spent 13 years of my life competitively flipping myself out (physically not metaphorically- ok maybe metaphorically but I am focusing on physical :)) and 16 years jamming things up with grace and ballet. All this meant I used to sing the Toes-Ankles-Knees-and-Toes-Knees-and-Toes song while cracking each of those joints (plus many more that scare a goodly dose of people) on command. To this day when I bend down it is like those little gnomes Snap, Crackle, and Pop took up residence in my joints… But still why??

So the fact that I get IT-band friction syndrome, or tennis elbow from tumbling as an adult or have had ankles with enough scar tissue in them that a cortisone injection burnt through only tissue in the impingement or now runners knee… Shouldn’t be any big surprise. Still the comedic timing right before my race, that is only one of those “No Tink only you…” components of my life.

The Bees Knees

The Bees Knees

I am pretty sure with my erratic running training… Taking a week off and then running what turned out to be 19.1 mi in a week (yes I only now realized that…) the most I have done in all the training. Yeah, it might have blasted the whole no more than 10% increase so that there is no injury holy grail. Which when added to running outdoors with hills… Plus not stretching much after the race… I am guessing probably didn’t help my cause.

I thought I was OK though. I have been over protective through out most of my training. I hit the treadmill to protect my ankles and knees. I had no pain all day Saturday or Sunday. Not even muscle soreness. Lactic acid be gone! It wasn’t until a few minutes before bed that I squatted down to pick something up and lightning before my eyes. Sharp pain around my knee cap with some bruise like tenderness. If I had thought things through I would have started icing then and there. Instead I took some Vitamin I thinking it would calm itself down while I slept. Ummm negative ghost rider.

Insides Are On The Inside For A Reason... I Am Not Interested In Nor Meant To See Them

Insides Are On The Inside For A Reason... I Am Not Interested In Nor Meant To See Them: Image Source

I know my knees. I know this isn’t a big problem or “true” injury. It is a cantankerous joint with a nice case of irritated inflammation thanks to weak muscles. And thanks to the power of Google I have info! Medically it is called/known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PPFS). The pain is caused by tracking issues with the knee cap (HA! did I mention I used to have floating ones and get fluid removed from underneath when I was a teenager- seriously why am I even pretending to feign any surprise at this??) that irritate the bony groove the knee cap actually sits in. This annoying and common problem most often strikes newbies (present and accounted for), it is most often caused by tight hamstrings and calves (so did you talk to my PT specialist?) coupled with weak quads (oh yeah them…).

One of those dichotomies of running is that the same muscular legs that run me 10 miles, are also pretty freaking weak, and yet they are “muscular looking.” I am an enigma wrapped in a Spanish tortilla, and my quads need help. Not for the strength in the sense of leg-press my weight plus, no in the sense of doing that more than a few of those. Oh magic ball- I see more wall sits in my future. And if I am going to keep up with the whole running thing (which I am surprisingly thinking Yes to more and more) a true regime of strength training is on order.

Randomness... But I Think It Is Time To Get Me Some Running Headphones...

Randomness... But I Think It Is Time To Get Me Some Running Headphones...

I am relatively hopeful that this will self heal (at least to the only annoyed level) quickly. My body despite all I put it through or my age, is pretty damn healthy and resilient if I am respectful of it. And a few days of laying low, trying to eat better, walking funny up and down the stairs and some acupuncture later this week isn’t going to kill me. In the meantime and despite my half-marathon concerns (it is the 25th and that is like 10 days away!), I have a few rest/recovery days ahead of me. Not to mention a few cool and hot dates with my new beau ACE and his competition for my love and attention Arnica Gel. All while mainlining of Vitamin I. RICE it’s not just what’s for dinner!

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