Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The knees

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to start training for a 5K. Running is something that has intrigued me since our days in Northern Kentucky. A friend there did the Flying Pig Marathon. Hearing her talk about the training (on our way to eat Fried chicken) totally piqued my interest. I looked at it but realized it was something my knees would never let me do. I've had significant knee/leg issues since junior high. From 7th grade through college, I regularly saw a rhumetologist and orthopaedic doctor. I had bone scans and MRIs. I was just born with terrible knees. Nothing I could do about it.

Over the past few years, they have been better. I've been able to do things I never could before. So, after being inspired by my friend Jenny, I decided to do this whole 5K thing. I was really more motivated than I have ever been. Thanks in part to my trusty Iphone, the Runkeeper App and the Couch to 5K app, I set out on my first run and loved it. I loved the weather, the feeling I got from running, the music blaring through my phone, the alone time, the wonder of God's creation, the sense of accomplishment, the waving at neighbors I've never seen before, etc. Seriously, I really did love it.

On my second night of running, I convinced Dan he should do it too. I mean, come on, how much fun would it be to do the 5K together? He (not so happily) obliged and set off on his own journey that night when I returned. We have to go at different times so someone can be here with the boys. As soon as I got in each night, I checked my time, speed, pace and distance on Runkeeper. I was extremely motivated. So much so that all day last Wednesday, I tried to figure out who I could ask to come stay with the boys so I could go run earlier in the day. I didn't call anyone so I just went when I got home from church.

Within in minutes of starting the run that night, my legs just felt different. Each pound of the pavement caused a little pain in my knees. I decided to just push through it. I mean, we all know the saying, no pain, no gain, right? By the time I got home and showered, I felt okay. I decided it was just the adjustment period that all "runners" go through. Yeah, not so much. Within a couple of hours, each step I took hurt. That was last Wednesday.

The pain has gotten progressively worse with each day. I tried two different knee braces without good results. At 8:00 a.m. yesterday, I was calling the local group of Orthopaedic doctors for an appointment. They were able to get me in this morning. It appears I have stress fractures in both knees. He did an xray but told me before the xray that stress fractures don't show up in xrays until they begin to heal. Therefore, after seeing the xray, he would do a bone scan. So, that is what I'm waiting for now. I'm supposed to hear from them tomorrow to know when to go.

For some reason, I don't feel sure that is the correct diagnosis. First of all, the doctor kept calling me an athlete. HAHAHAHAHA! I'm far from an athlete. Every time he said that word when referring to me, I couldn't help but giggle. Seriously, 2 weeks of running and I'm an athlete??? I think I'll say I'm training for a triathlon just so someone will call me a Triathlete! How awesome would that be???

His advice to me: "I know this might go against all you are but stop running and don't even jog until this clears up!' Ummmm, first of all, I could not run OR jog right now if my life depended on it. Didn't you see me holding on to the wall as I walked in here? I can barely hold myself up, much less run or jog. And second of all, "go against all I am??" HAHAHAHAHA! This was by far the most entertaining doctors visit I have ever had. I guess when I wrote "RUNNING" on the line that asked how I hurt myself, I gave him some false sense of identity.

While I'm very concerned about my knees and hopeful for the best outcome, I'm so bummed. I'm bummed about having to quit what I was so determined to do. I'm bummed because my knees (especially the left one) hurt really bad. I'm bummed because it is hard for me to carry my 10 week old baby because I'm so wobbly. I'm bummed because my husband or none of my friends were there to hear a doctor call me an athlete!

So, for now I just wait. He advised me to go home and rest. He told me to stay off my feet and do as little as possible. That sounds great, you know, in an alternate world where I don't have kids, meals to cook, laundry to do, a preschooler to pick up from school, etc. Hopefully the bone scan will give me some sort of concrete reason I'm in so much pain. Until then, I'll be looking online for a bumper sticker that says "ATHLETE ON BOARD!"


winstead family said...

i. am. so. bummed. out! :*(
although, your sense of humor and sarcastic approach to this had me in stitches. i STILL laugh when people say my name and the word "athlete" in the same sentence!

praying for a GREAT outcome nicki, and you need to make a quick trip to a shoe store like fleet feet, and get fitted for the proper shoe asap. it can make ALL the difference in the world on not just your feet, but your knees as well. seriously.

keep us posted on those knees.

rob h said...

Don't get too discouraged...you're a new runner, these things happen. When I first started running (back before I lapsed horribly), I battled shin splints for the better part of a year.

One of my friends from high school was a several-time state champion distance runner in high school and junior college. He stopped running for several years, then when he started back, he got stress fractures in his legs and was on crutches for a while.

You'll still run a 5K...maybe not the specific one you were thinking about, but follow the doc's advice, and keep at it, and you'll get there.

Malinda said...

Well, I guess I have no excuse to come visit you now. I was so gonna come cheer you on in a 5K. Does Reagan need to come whip you up something tasty to make you feel a little better?

Penny said...

Love this post~ for the comedy only. Sorry you hurt yourself and hope it heals quickly.
Now, if you could just get the six or seven digit income that comes with the title of "athlete".... you could buy new knees. :)


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