Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hips Don't Lie (Nor do Knees)

If you're a runner who has never been injured, I salute you. I'm also very envious. When I started running nine years ago, injury wasn't something that would've occurred to me. This is despite the fact that I'd never run more than two miles, and I decided to sign up for a marathon. You know how most people start with a 5k and build up? Nope...not me. I went right for a marathon having never run any race distance. It was all going well until I got to my 8-mile training run. I felt a twinge in my knee that continues to twinge to this day. It is an IT band injury that also has recurring hip pain. Any time I tell my husband that my hip is hurting his response is, "You know what they say: hips don't lie." He's annoying, and unfortunately he's right (although his meaning is different from the Shakira song.)

A few years ago I wrote a blog describing my repeated trips to physical therapy since I started running. The IT band (the tendon that basically runs from your knee to your hip) struggle is real. It was the first running injury that began plaguing me early in my running life and continues to be the injury I struggle with on every run.

I've been on a bit of a hiatus from running the last few months given some health issues and crazy schedule. I've still been running once or twice a week, but it's been mostly slow and short. My hips and knee have appreciated the time off, although even without regular running the IT band pain persists.

Then, last week, I got a severe pain in my right knee. All of my IT band pain has always been singularly focused on my left side, so I was immediately worried by the pain on my right knee. It's been extremely painful in particular when I squat down or bend the knee. I ran yesterday, and running didn't feel terrible. It's the bending that is really giving me trouble.

I am trying to enjoy the fact that I'm not training for anything, so I can let the sore knee rest while I cross train. I don't have a race coming up until the Ann Arbor Half Marathon at the end of March. I have plenty of time to let the knee heal, and an appointment with my sports medicine doctor next week. 

I'll be easing back into hard core running over the next few months. The Ann Arbor Half is the only race I'm currently registered for; however, I'm considering running the Fifth Third Riverbank Run in Grand Rapids in May. I've committed to another triathlon in August, and then I'll run the New York Marathon in November after my disappointed deferral in 2014.

Despite knee and hip pain, running is worth it. It's my sanity, my biggest way of pushing myself, and how I work through life's problems. Hips and knees don't lie, but I don't like to listen to them. But this time I will - for a while at least. Besides it's 9 degrees outside. It seems like the perfect time to listen to my body for once. 


1 comment:

  1. Ah, the price we pay for participating in an extra curricular activity that we love. I sympathize with what you are going through. Although I participate in a different sport, basketball, I have also found myself struggling with chronic knee pains. As you stated, when looking back at the joy I've had from the sport, it was well worth it.

    Madalyn Oconnell @ Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver