Friday, February 3, 2023

Run Recap/Kneecap

I have been really excited about running recently. Over the summer, I was having significant right leg pain and stiffness during and after my runs, but I didn't want to go to my orthopedist because I had a feeling he would just tell me (again) not to run longer than a couple of miles. 

Instead I started going to a physical therapist whom I loved starting on day one because that is when she told me that it is okay to run, but maybe slow to a walk when the pain starts. Things started improving almost immediately and soon I didn't need those walk breaks. I decided to do a run streak of at least one mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, which I successfully completed.

Katie, on stopping running every day on January 2: "That's not how resolutions work."

I ran a ton of races in December, including a 12k, which was my longest in quite a while and signed up for a 10-miler at the end of February. When I told my PT, she was enthusiastic. She was excited to get me back to marathon distances, but then I had to tell her I hadn't run a marathon for at least five years so she suggested a fall half marathon instead. 

A medical professional that is encouraging me to run? Where has this woman been all my life?

I've now moved on from knee work with her to shoulder work because I have no shortage of body parts that don't work like they're supposed to.

Which brings me to my left kneecap, which did something wonky a couple of weeks ago. It was during a cutback week in my training, so I slowed way down on running and just did a couple long runs, but the knee hurt after each run. So I took this week and acted like a grown-ass, responsible adult and didn't run on it at all even though my training plan tells me to. Who even am I? The knee feels awesome right now, so I'm hoping the break is helping. I'm willing to not run my 10-miler if I need more time, but I don't want to back out.

Fortunately, I'm doing more than just resting to help. My PT sent me to a podiatrist. The one she suggested is next door to the PT office and when I arrived for my appointment, I was put in a room with marathon posters on the wall. I mean, come on. I am finally seeing the right doctors.

I also got this fun photo of the inside of my body.

Photo of a screen showing an x-ray of my right foot.
If you're a podiatrist, I bet you can find at least three problems.

I didn't get a single bit of "you shouldn't run" talk, just four options to fix the myriad problems my right foot features, starting with custom orthotics, which I'm pretty sure are going to fix all of my problems and not require steps two, three, and four, at least one of which involves surgery.

I'm breaking in my orthotics now but I can't run in them for two more weeks. However the doctor told me to buy new running shoes immediately because mine were worn down in just the place that causes stress injuries and I was like, "Well, if the doctor says I HAVE to buy new shoes..." and two days later these amazing beauties arrived at my door.

Photo of Hoka running shoes that are blue, pink, and at least two kinds of orange.
Aren't they snazzy?

I haven't run in them yet, because of my status as a responsible grownup, but I have looked at them a lot. They are the exact same model as my disappointingly bland current pair that I loved right up until I opened my shoe box and saw the multi colored version.

Photo of my feet wearing beat-up bright pink Hokas.
They look ready to be replaced. And boring.
I can't wait to try to run. I hope my kneecap likes my new shoes as much as I do!

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