Every runner says they have knee pain. I get that. But if you read my blog, you already know that I’m all about intense workouts and no excuses. So when I say I have knee pain, I mean, a cry-for-your-mommy, crippling type pain.
So I went to a sports doctor and physical therapy, only to be told that my knees “look fine”. So I tried a sports acupuncturist (yeah, they have those!) and although it seems to be helping, the pain isn’t going away completely.
While I wait for my MRI appointment to hopefully tell me what the heck is going on in there, I continue to do my own research and experimentation. I recently discovered that my knees seem to expire after a certain amount of time, not mileage. So I decided to try a new approach in yesterday’s Race to The Row 5-mile event: bust out of the gates fast, cover the most miles before my knees give out and then walk the rest.
Sure enough, after that first 20 minutes of maintaining a 7-minute mile pace and passing the masses, the knees started to ache. By the 25-minute mark, they were screaming. But my time was amazing and my heart rate was in check. I had so much more steam! I just couldn’t bring myself to walk it.
So I did what every sports doctor would tell me not to do (and what my husband keeps telling me not to do…): I ran through the pain. Even with stopping every 1/2 mile or so to massage my knees and calves as the pain pulsed through every part of both lower legs, I crossed the finish line with a new Personal Best of 44:08 — beating my previous 5-mile PB by over seven minutes.
As soon as I stopped running, the pain went away (as it always does) so I made the rookie mistake of thinking I was fine and after showering, went out to run a few errands. Then I got out of the car and nearly fell on my face in the middle of a parking lot. A moment after that, as I hobbled down the sidewalk trying not to cry and wondering if I should call my husband to come save me, a white-haired little lady with a cane actually passed me. Seriously.
Like I said: heart of a cheetah, knees of a grandma.