2017: May Running

27 miles. That’s all I managed to run in May.  The theme of the month is knee pain and frustration with the knee pain.

After seeing the orthopedic doctor and my chiropractor several times, I am in less pain now than I started May with, however I also have not had a run in a week and a half, and I haven’t had a substantial run in over 2 weeks. =/  I ran 27 miles in May.  I did other things in May though; I went to 3 cycle classes, a handful of strength classes, and had several walks too.  You can read about my previous months recaps here:  JanuaryFebruaryMarch, and April.

Photo May 30, 8 56 09 PM.jpg

I don’t know how long my running break will be. I’m trying to give my knee the rest it needs, but it’s hard to not run.  All I want to do is run without my knee aching beyond measure.  I’m trying to stay positive and keep believing it will all work out and be okay.

Photo May 30, 8 58 14 PM.jpg

Looking forward to June: I have the Hospital Hill 10k this Saturday, and no other races scheduled. I actually have no races scheduled until September! I’m going to focus on getting my knee healthy and try to be as active as I can while it rehabs.

May stats:
Running:  7 runs, totaling 27 miles.
Biking: 3 cycle classes and 1 bike ride in Hays, totaling 47 miles.
Longest Run: 7 miles, May 13, in Hays, with Kristen, Mom, and Chris
Races: None

The May Run Down

Happy June, Friends!

May is over, and I ran 102 miles last month.  I didn’t cycle too much, but got in 43.5 miles in the saddle.  For the year, I’m at 411 running miles and 422.5 biking miles.  My running is feeling pretty good at the moment.  My knee is better than it was, but still bothers me during and after running.  May started off with 8 hard and humid miles with Amy. I had two 8 mile runs in May, my longest two training runs for the month.

Photo May 08, 11 38 17 AM

I had one race in May, the Running with the Cows Half Marathon.  It was a really neat race, in the countryside south of Kansas City.  I didn’t have the greatest race, after starting out too quickly I burnt out with 4-5 miles to go.  Kristen had flown in, and Mom and Dad drove down for the race.  It was a really fun weekend.  Running with the Cows was my only race in May.  I ended up walking a decent part of it at the end, and finished with my third fastest half marathon time.

Photo May 14, 10 32 28 AM

The Sunday after the race, Mom, Dad, Kristen and I went to Shawnee Mission Park to run, bike, and explore.  It was a nice way to shake out the legs and see some really pretty scenery.  Plus, Kristen had to run 8 miles, so it was nice to bike around while she ran.

Photo May 15, 12 56 49 PM

I ran with the KC Running Co. groupies 4 times in May.  I need to get to more Groupie runs! After Hospital Hill (this coming weekend), Amy and I are going to try to get to more Tuesday night speed nights with the groupies.

Photo May 22, 5 40 14 PM

I also had my birthday in May! I turned 30, and started off my birthday by running 3 miles on the treadmills with Amy. It had been raining and storming and very windy overnight, so we opted for an indoor run instead of risking getting caught in a thunderstorm.  In all the runs Amy and I have had together, it was our very first treadmill run together!

Photo May 25, 6 05 32 AM

I went home for Memorial Day, and was able to get in 3 runs with Mom!  Shay puppy has an injured leg, so she couldn’t run with us, but we went on a couple short walks after Mom and I ran.

Photo May 28, 10 54 06 AM

For our Memorial Day Run, Mom and I ran a beautiful 4 mile loop which included seeing some horses, running on the bypass, and seeing a lovely little family of geese.  Mom also massaged around my knee a bit while I was home, and it felt really good.  My goal for June is to spend 10+ minutes every day stretching.

Photo May 30, 10 53 13 AM

Looking forward to June, I am running the Hospital Hill Half Marathon on June 4.  I’m flying up to Milwaukee to visit Kristen and Thayne, and will run my first quarter marathon (6.55 miles) while I’m there.  I am also looking forward to having a bit of a break from the half marathons, after having one each in April, May, and June.

May Run-Down:
Running: 21 runs, totaling 102 miles.
Cycling: 3 cycling classes, 3 hours, and a couple bike rides, totaling 43.5 miles.
Longest Run: 8 miles, May 1 and May 22
Races: Running with the Cows Half Marathon

The Road to Progress

I’ve had several people ask me about my knee, and my progress with it lately.  I guess that means it’s time for a little update post!

My [left] knee (and my right glute, for that matter) have been doing so much better since January.  To recap very quickly, I went to the orthopedic doctor the first week of January, and was instructed to take 2 weeks off running, I received a cortisone shot in my knee, and was sent home with a diagnosis of a torn meniscus.  When I ran again, 2 weeks later, the pain was back.  At the beginning of February, and an MRI later, it was determined my knee was structurally sound, no tears in my meniscus, or elsewhere.  I was given 2 more cortisone shots in different parts of my knee.  I was frustrated and upset, and after several more visits to my chiropractor, he gave me a series of stretches that have diminished the pain so much that it is all but gone.

I don’t know how much the pain diminished due to the shots, and how much the chiropractic stretches and needlings and adjustments have attributed to it.  I also stopped wearing my Hokas (they were about worn out anyway) and switched to my Altra Lone Peaks.  The change in shoes, chiropractic stretches, and cortisone shots all happened within about 2 weeks, during which, my knee felt 60-80% better.

Photo Mar 23, 8 43 16 PM

I continue to do my knee stretches every other day or so, and I’d venture a guess that the pain is 85% gone.  I get twinges behind my knee on the lateral side every now and then, and I can tell if I’m not doing my stretches for a couple days, because it gets worse and I get back to stretching.  My glute is also doing so much better, due to stretches loosening up my lower back, taking the pressure off a disc or two that are unhappy.

Overall, I’m very happy, but also kind of waiting for the pain to come back.  I’m so hopeful that the stretches are doing the trick, and it’s not the shots that made the pain go away, because once the shots wear off, I don’t want the pain to come back!

I’ve been running 20-25 miles per week now for 4-5 weeks, mostly pain free, or at least a heck of a lot less pain than before.  I’m also cycling about 30-40 miles per week, either on the cycle bikes at the gym in class or on my own beautiful little bike around home.  I know cycling is helping strengthen my legs, which definitely helps my knee, and is also helping me run stronger.

Photo Mar 23, 8 42 44 PM

I feel like I’ve stumbled onto some kind of magic formula… I don’t want to change my shoes.  I don’t want to stop running or cycling.  I don’t want to stop my stretches.  I feel like I’m balancing and hanging on and don’t want to chance anything!  I’ve re-evaluated my goals, and for now, I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing, and hopefully I will continue to be pain free, or at least mostly pain free while I’m at it!

I’m happy, and I’m working on getting healthy, and having my knee on board sure helps!  The real test will be the three half marathons I have coming up, one each in April, May, and June.  I’m confident that I’ll get through them, one step at a time, my knee, hopefully, on board with me!