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.

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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.

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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

But I Will Run Again

I can’t run.

It’s not that the doctor has told me not to run, or that I am deciding to take some time off. Or even that I’m too busy or don’t want to run.

I can not run.

The pain in my knee and calf is too severe. My walk is a limp most of the time. I try to run and it’s at best a fast limpy convulsion that doesn’t really resemble running.

I saw an orthopedic doctor last week who said my knee pain stumped him, because structurally, my knee is fine.  He gave me a cortisone shot in my hip, because occasionally children present with knee pain that stems from a hip problem.  I was skeptical, but willing to try, because the pain has gotten that severe. Over the course of the day after my shot, my knee pain subsided, and by the time I woke up the next morning, I had 75% pain reduction.

I was elated! It was working!  As the day wore on, all the pain seeped back into my knee, and now I am in the same pain I was in before the shot. To say I was disheartened and frustrated would be an understatement. I sobbed to my mom, to a wonderful woman at work, to my family, to Chris…

I can’t run.

I tried to run yesterday, slow – painfully slow. I made it a half mile before honestly could not run another single step. I stood on the street corner and stretched and pleaded for my knee to just work.  I choked back a few tears, and I continued on, but at a walk.  I limped/walked another 4.5 miles, determined to at least get in a considerable amount of steps and try to keep my heart rate up enough to get something out of it.

The thoughts don’t stop. Will I ever be able to run again? Will the knee pain ever go away? Why doesn’t anyone seem to know what the problem is, so I can work to fix it? What if I can’t ever run again? Who am I if I don’t have running? How will I get in shape and lose some weight so my knee has less pressure, if I can’t run? What if I need surgery? What I I get surgery and it doesn’t fix it? What if I can never run again?

I’m determined to find an answer. I hate how expensive going to doctors is, especially when they don’t know what’s wrong, ordering tests and trying injections and so on.  But I’m not going to live with this pain and the inability to move.

I can’t run.

Right now.

But I will run again.

Running will always be there for me, even if I have to take a few months off.  Time to heal, time to strengthen, time to rebuild.  This scares me beyond measure because I am scared it is unfixable.

But I will run again.

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Perspective

My post the other day, about my knee, was a pretty big pity party.  Though I am still very frustrated with the entire situation, I’ve had some changes in my perspective.

I am thankful that structurally, my knee is in tact.

I am thankful to have good, knowledgable doctors, who are committed to finding the root of my issues and helping me fix them.  I am thankful that I have good insurance.

I am thankful that I am otherwise healthy, and able to work toward fixing what is wrong with my back, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and knee.  I am ready to put in the work to ensure my muscles and joints are engaging and working as they should be.

I am excited to use this injury as an opportunity for growth and improvement.  I am thankful that things are about to change in an important way.

I am trying to not think too far into the future.  I don’t know what is going to happen with my three half marathons this spring and first full marathon this fall that I’ve signed up for.  I don’t know if I will be able to run them, walk them, or have to downsize them to shorter races.  Those are issues for another time.  I don’t know about my goals for 2016, they may have to change – it’s too soon to tell.  And if they change, so be it; it’s not the end of the world.  For now, I’m going to do the exercises and stretches that my chiropractor prescribed, and when I’m released to run again, I’m not going to worry about miles or speed; I’m going go in inch by inch.

I know the road will be bumpy, and windy, and slow going, but I’m glad I am on the road to begin with.  I’m thankful for an amazing support system of family, friends, readers, and running buddies.  I know that my situation could be much worse, and I’m embracing my opportunities.

I am still frustrated, don’t get me wrong, but I am tired of being sorry for myself about it.  I am ready to get better, to be stronger and happier and healthier than before, and to run again without pain.

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