Last week began with some pain that I haven’t experienced since my freshmen year of high school – major knee pain. In middle school I experienced a lot of knee pain, but my doctors kept telling me it was just growing pains. Then as a freshman at McAuley I joined the swim team. Now, every doctor will tell you that swimming is a great form of exercise if you have joint issues. Well, apparently my body is ass-backwards because swimming actually exacerbated my knee problems. I mean to the point that both my knees would swell to the size of bowling balls. Finally, my doctors acknowledged that something wasn’t right and then referred me to a othropedist and then to a Physical Therapist. I spent months in PT to strengthen the muscles surrounding my knees. In nutshell I had patellofemoral pain syndrome, which is common in young girls undergoing puberty. As the hips widen it tugs on the muscles surrounding and supporting the knee join causing pain. As the muscles surrounding my knee strengthen the pain went away and I haven’t really had a problems since.
The problems I have been having in the past couple of years surround my hip. My right hip gets out-of-place and my pelvis will twist. Mostly the problem affects my piriformis (that evil little deep butt muscle that I would just like to evict!) and I have a tendency to get plantar fasciitis in my feet as a result too. I see an awesome chiropractor that keeps things at bay. My hips have been quite good for many months until now.
Last week I started getting some pain in my right knee. I knew my hip was out and I had an appointment with my chiropractor as soon as she returned from vacation. By last Wednesday I was in quite a bit of pain and as soon as I walked into my chiropractor’s office she knew something was wrong because I was limping about. She put my hip back in place and worked her magical skills, aka, Graston, and worked out some tightness in the piriformis and the adductors. My knee was quite sore for the rest of the day, but my knee did feel better on Friday.
I decided for once in my life that I would follow my own advice and play things safe. I told my coach that I was going to skip my long run on Saturday. Normally I would just trudge through my workouts and just deal with the pain, but I am thinking long-term now. Missing a long run now to avoid further knee problems is more beneficial to my Ironman training then doing the long run and causing more pain and risking possible injury. Instead I rode my bike on the trainer. Sunday I did my 3-hour long ride with no knee problems, but the 20 minute transition run afterwards was quite painful. I managed to run 15 minutes and then walked the last 5 minutes. Again, not risking injury. Be smart Katelyn for once in your life…
I am scheduled to race my first triathlon on Saturday. Unfortunately, I can’t defer the registration to another race in June so I am still planning on racing. And by racing I mean I will race the swim and bike to the best of my abilities and then play the run by ear (or should I say knee?). I will see how the knee is feeling. If it feels good then I am going for it. If it doesn’t feel good then I will try my best. If it feels like shit then I will just DNF after the bike and not risk the potential injury.
I want to be smart. As much as I want to race and kick butt this weekend, the race doesn’t mean much in the big picture. My goal this year is to become an Ironman. In order to become one then I need my knee to run (run/walk?) the 26.2 miles of the race. I’m going to continue to play things safe this week and I am currently crossing my fingers that this little glitch in training will go away very soon. I’d really like my knee back please…
~ Happy Training!