Runner’s Knee, Raffles, and Races

Yesterday I went to the sports doctor to get my knee checked out. Final diagnosis: I have Chondromalacia Patella (Patella Femoral) Syndrome, (aka “runners knee”). The doctor taped me up to see if it helped, and referred me to a physical therapist.

It’s actually not such a bad thing. It just means I need to strengthen my hip muscles so that my kneecap will be better aligned when I run. And, the special bonus benefit is that I could use to do some hip toning anyway, so maybe it will help for bathing suit season! Also, the doctor says I can still run, “using pain as my guide.” If I’m running and the pain increases, or if I start to limp or adjust my gait, I have to stop. Otherwise I can keep going.

The biggest issue for me is that the result of “taking it easy” (= being lazy) lately, is that I’m also very quickly falling out of shape. It’s so frustrating how long it takes to get into shape, but how easily you can lose it all.

I had my Six Series run tonight, so I tried out a 3 mile run with my taped knee. It was a lot less painful than in weeks past, although there was a little bit of pain on my walk home. The shocking thing, however, was how out of breath I felt during the run, when not all that long ago, I was comfortably running miles of 10 or more.

Ironically, at the post-run raffle, I ended up winning a free entry into the CARA Lakefront 10 Miler┬áin April. I was just talking about how I wanted to make sure to find an April race to run but that I was not allowed to register for anything until my knee got sorted out. Now, I haven’t broken my rule, but I need to find a way to train for a 10-miler in 7 weeks. Normally I’d be super excited, since I love the 10-mile distance, and a free race entry is pretty awesome. I just hope I can get both my knee and my lungs back in shape to do it!

Cross your fingers that PT helps!