Runfessions of a sidelined runner

Today I’m linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice for her monthly Runfessions linkup.  Be sure to check out her blog and those of the other great bloggers linking up.

My primary topic? The first injury that has kept me from running.

Yep, I ran through plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonosis. This knee pain that I think/hope is just a big IT band flare is impossible to run through. I got in a mile on Sunday but couldn’t get more than a few feet on Tuesday. Hopefully by Friday afternoon I’ll have an answer as to whether it’s ITB, or something else and a course of treatment. ETA: Confirmed, IT Band and Patellafemoral Pain Syndrome. Back to PT on 1/6, but home exercises in the mean time. I <3 my orthopedist. As he ran the ultrasound on my knee: I promise, your knee isn’t pregnant.

Hopefully, because not running is driving me nuts. I know it has been a great release for me, but I really, really missed it over the holidays. I runfess that If I physically could without pain, I would. But I’m listening to my body. While at mom’s I stretched as much as I could and when I got home tonight I foam rolled for about an hour. Hurts so good.

It’s super confusing as I have no idea why it started hurting. I ran last Wednesday and the only memorable event was catching my foot on uneven sidewalk. I didn’t think anything of the knee when it started to hurt as that sometimes happens. But then it got worse or at the very least didn’t get any better. The good news is, walking is less painful and stairs are fine. I could take Advil and make it “better”, but I hate relying on that.

I runfess that this week of being sidelined has put a damper on my 2020 goal planning. I wasn’t likely to be able to run on Jan 1 anyway as I’m going to be out of town, but I wanted to have a plan for running into the new year, and I can’t do that as I don’t know when I’ll be able to run pain free. So I’m ostriching. Not making 2020 plans and not thinking about the races I’ve registered for, but (might) not be able to run.

I runfess that I know it will ultimately be fine. I’m in a city of world class doctors, I know a great physical therapist and I’m lucky to have excellent health insurance. But I’m very disappointed to end the year hobbled and possibly not be able to mark my running anniversary running.

Lest it sound like all is bad, it isn’t. I had an amazing holiday with my family. I’m looking forward to New Years with a dear friend and her kids. I just wish my knee wasn’t so painful.

What do you have to runfess?

Ever dealt with IT Band or other knee issues?

33 comments to this article

  1. Kim at Running on the Fly

    on December 26, 2019 at 23:22 - Reply

    Oh NO! I Hope the IT (or whatever it winds up being) is healed and your knee is all better soon. Thankfully, IT band has never been an issue for me (or my knees…other than that freak staph infection).

    • cari

      on December 28, 2019 at 21:27 - Reply

      I thought of you when the ortho did an ultrasound and declared no bursitis – from my recollection that was your original diagnosis?

  2. Marcia

    on December 27, 2019 at 06:45 - Reply

    Oh no! ITB was my first running injury and it flared up about a month after my first marathon. Of course you’ll get expert advice and care but I’d start strengthening those hips now. I hope this fades as quickly as it came on.

    • cari

      on December 28, 2019 at 21:27 - Reply

      Oh wow, what weird timing. Mine was closer to six weeks, but assuming it was brewing before I felt it. Me too!

  3. Wendy

    on December 27, 2019 at 06:50 - Reply

    UGH. That ITB can sneak up on you and its a b–ch to get rid of. I agree with Marcia’s advice. Bring on the clamshells!

    • cari

      on December 28, 2019 at 21:30 - Reply

      Started yesterday. I put a $20 Jackrabbit coupon to good use for a new set of bands

  4. Darlene

    on December 27, 2019 at 07:10 - Reply

    I hate this post. Just substitute foot for knee and it’s me.

    I stopped running and I had to start up again or I’d go insane. My pain is bearable.

    Mine I think is a neuroma and that won’t go away. Ugh.

    • cari

      on December 28, 2019 at 22:07 - Reply

      Hope yo get an answer at your next appt.
      I can row. that’s keeping me sane-r

      • Darlene

        on December 29, 2019 at 07:17 - Reply

        I’ve been running. Whether or not I should. And biking. Glad to hear you not going insane. Lol

  5. Deborah Brooks

    on December 27, 2019 at 07:41 - Reply

    Well you know I am kind of in the same boat. I did not run for 7 weeks. I am slowly making my way back now.Every running injury seems to come down to weak hips and glutes. Would not hurt to start doing some hip bridges. Hope you get back on your feet soon. So many of us seem to have injuries at the moment

    • cari

      on January 4, 2020 at 19:48 - Reply

      I didn’t realize you were down that long — likely because I’m usually playing catchup.
      I’ve been all about the bridges all week – you’re absolutely right on the hips & glutes. Dem bones indeed.
      May we all have a healthier 2020

  6. Coco

    on December 27, 2019 at 08:37 - Reply

    Oh, no! What a bummer! You may have tweaked your knee avoiding that stumble more than you realized. Foam rolling your calves and ITB is a good idea. I don’t take Advil muich either, but when you’re injured it can help relieve the inflammation and promote recovery. I think it can be beneficial to relieve the pain as long as you’re not using it to mask the pain so you can endure a run. ;-).

    • cari

      on January 3, 2020 at 22:11 - Reply

      and you hit my Advil avoidance on the head.
      He gave me the OK to take it for a couple of weeks, but I haven’t taken it. Part of me thinks I should — it would lessen the inflammation which is what causing the pain. But I don’t think it’s bad enough to warrant it.

  7. Birchwood Pie

    on December 27, 2019 at 09:12 - Reply

    Hey Cari, I hope you’re better soon. Yes, we know everything will be OK but we all know how much it sucks when we cannot run. Here’s to a healthy 2020!

    • cari

      on January 3, 2020 at 22:08 - Reply

      Thank you!

  8. kookyrunner

    on December 27, 2019 at 10:53 - Reply

    Oh man, I’m sorry to hear this 🙁 I have also been sidelined with an IT band injury for a few weeks but PT really helped out!

    • cari

      on December 27, 2019 at 23:09 - Reply

      Thank you. I am optimistic it will help – seeing same PT I saw in Feb/March and he was a wiz. I think/hope I have a better understanding of how dem bones work

  9. runswithpugs

    on December 27, 2019 at 11:58 - Reply

    Ugh. I’m so sorry you’re sidelined. I’ve never had an issue with my knees or the IT band, but it sounds awful. I’m down recovering from a broken leg and surgery, so I totally get how frustrating it is to be down and out. I hope you are able to get back out there soon!

    • cari

      on December 27, 2019 at 21:22 - Reply

      I’m behind – but didn’t think I was *that* behind. Off to read what happened to you. I was thinking of you when I was in Florida last week and that I’d wave when we passed driving down. Hope you’re on the mend soon.

  10. Katie

    on December 27, 2019 at 13:00 - Reply

    Sounds like ITB and I have had it… you’re right, the pain just gets worse and worse within the first 1/2 mile and there’s no way you can run through it. For me, 2 cortisone shots 6 weeks apart fixed it.

    • cari

      on December 27, 2019 at 22:47 - Reply

      Ugh. Glad you found a solution. I had a cortisone shot for a different issue in this knee a few years ago, and it’s (painful) magic. I was able to walk further today than I had in a week, so that was good

  11. Chocolaterunsjudy

    on December 27, 2019 at 13:17 - Reply

    I have dealt with IT, but it doesn’t sound like that to me. It can come out of the blue, but my bet is that it’s something else. That was the only injury that sidelined me for a while. I ran a half with IT issues (didn’t know enough at the time to no what it was) and it was a HUGE mistake. So listening to your body is good.

    I usually do our New Year’s Day race, but I most likely won’t be here. Perhaps I’ll run at my mom’s. Remains to be seen. No big plans for 2020 yet. Though we had one race nailed down, but then I had an idea while on the run today.

    I hope you get good news tomorrow. BTW, IF it’s IT — what really made the difference for me was taping my knees. I rarely have to do it these days (mostly due to such low mileage, LOL!) but I probably would have given up running if I hadn’t found tape.

    • cari

      on December 27, 2019 at 21:20 - Reply

      When I was telling Darlene about my knee over text, she told me you swore by taping. I’ll ask my PT for the pattern as that’s going to be easier than you trying to explain in words. It is indeed the IT band and patella-femoral pain syndrome. I’m optimistic, and trying to walk more as it doesn’t get worse.

      • Chocolaterunsjudy

        on December 28, 2019 at 14:55 - Reply

        Yes, explaining it would be difficult, but then again, there are plenty of videos online (which is how I learned).

        PT might tell you something different. Granted, you also want to work on strengthening the muscles around the knee, but for me, the problem was I never quite knew when the pain would start.

        I tried knee braces & while they helped, I really didn’t like them. I don’t tape often know, but I swear, if something is bothering me I slap some tape on it & it’s often all I need.

        Of course the other thing to keep in mind is it’s an overuse injury. I’m kind of surprised, because you’re really good at listening to your body, but it can happen to the best of us, unfortunately.

        You’re lucky that you got right at it. I never even got PT for it (again, this was quite some time ago for me, and I didn’t have the support team I do now). PT should help a lot.

        Sorry that you’re going through this. 🙁

        • cari

          on January 3, 2020 at 22:08 - Reply

          I’m pretty sure I know how & why it happened. Not much running the week of 12/2, followed by a 15K on 12/7. Then every other day from 12/10-12/18. It wasn’t too much too soon, but not enough stretching at any point in the cycle.
          I started the prePT this week and touch wood, I’m seeing improvement. I cycled today for a half hour without pain and will try to run tomorrow or Sunday ahead of Monday’s PT. Determined to use this as a way to truly learn my body

          • Chocolaterunsjudy

            on January 4, 2020 at 08:08 - Reply

            That’s great that you’re already seeing improvement! You really are very in touch with your body, and that’s a great thing.

            We all do things that in hindsight we know were the wrong choices.

            Oh yeah, btw, let your SIL know about the cat yoga next Wednesday!

            • cari

              on January 4, 2020 at 19:39 - Reply

              Will do! I saw it on FB but think I forgot

    • cari

      on December 29, 2019 at 20:48 - Reply

      Thanks! I plan to have fun in Bermuda regardless of the knee, but hope to run all of it

  12. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    on December 28, 2019 at 21:02 - Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear about your IT Band and knee issues! I have had had runner’s knee in the past and it’s definitely frustrating. That’s great that you have a good therapy plan and good doctors to work with. I hope you recover soon!

    • cari

      on December 29, 2019 at 19:56 - Reply

      Thanks. Part of me is surprised I haven’t had knee issues before given this knee’s issues

  13. Liz Dexter

    on December 29, 2019 at 14:35 - Reply

    I’m sorry! I think you know that I had IT Band issues, oh, years ago – I did run a half with knee taping on but with my physio’s blessing. I did the rolling (owwww) and the stretching and I still do the stretching and should do the rolling and it’s never come back. Lots of love and patience sent your way!

    • cari

      on December 29, 2019 at 19:52 - Reply

      Thank you.
      I didn’t know/remember that. Glad it hasn’t come back. I won’t run the Half if I’m still in pain – TBD if I will run it if I’m off running for more than another week. I’m determined to use this as a way to come back a stronger runner.
      I need the PT to show one of the exercises, but I’ve incorporated a couple. Rolling is definitely hurts so good territory

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