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So I went to the Physical Trainer today to get my knee looked at after having a doctors appointment yesterday. As I’ve stated before, I’m not big on going to doctors. There’s no reason for it, but I feel they charge you for things you can figure out on your own. But this situation was different. The pain was going on for far too long.

It turns out that it’s a hamstring injury (yes, even at the point behind that little ball on the side of the knee). The therapist said that it could have originated as a IT-band injury and it had somehow moved to the back of that area. The reason it’s hard to say if that’s the case is because when it first started, it was very difficult to localize — all I felt was a generic, “side of my knee area.” So it’s possible that it was IT-band. But after all the tests, she determined it cannot be the case.

So what I got was this large band-aid looking thing that delivers electric pulses and therefore some medication to the area. I have to keep it on for 24 hours. Afterwards, I’m supposed to ice, ibuprofen, and stretch often. What surprised me about the therapist is that she was actually against not running. She said I have two choices at this point: I can run somewhat “normal” injury mileage (~4 – 5 miles) several days a week, or I can run everyday but keep the mileage low (~2 miles or so). But if I run, I MUST ice after the run. If not, I can get by with icing once a day. Moreover, when I start feeling the pain (on a scale of 1 — 10) at about 3, walk and let the inflammation subside.

I think I’m gonna get about three more sessions of this electric pulse band-aid. I don’t feel anything, but if I let the leg rest, I can feel the pain in the area. Not terribly, but nevertheless feel it. I sure hope this will take care of the pain. I’m tired of the pain and my inability to run. I hate having to do low-mileage runs, but if it’ll make me feel better in the long run, then I’m all for it. I believe the hardest part will be to actually run those low miles. I tend to think, “Well, I feel good, so I’ll just go another half mile.” As you all know, a half mile turns into 5 miles. 🙂

I may head out to RFP with Lisa tomorrow morning for a short walk/light run. She’ll run while I do my light thing. I think it’ll hurt tomorrow, but I’m willing to take her advice and go easy, if for any reason, to see how it feels and behaves.

Hope you’re all well and strong.

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Well, I went out as planned yesterday for another run at RFP. It wasn’t a great as the day before, but it was nice. Got in a little over 5 miles at a slower pace than the day before, but I’m not too concerned with speed at this point. I just need to fully heal up. Needless to say, the pain more-or-less returned (not that it was ever fully gone)

I’ve decided I’m gonna see a doctor this week. I need to. I mean, this problem has been with me for far too long and I’m honestly starting to even reconsider whether it’s actually an IT-band problem. I’m sorta pinpointed the problem. If you place your thumb on the ball of the knee (on the side of your leg), slowly wrap your thumb around it until you get to the back of that ball, and press, that’s where my pain is located. So the actual pain is not on the side, but rather in the back of that small ball area of the knee. It’s hard to tell what goes on in that area, but it can be painful as anything else. When I arrived home from that run yesterday, I took off my right shoe and actually fell over from the intense pain. My knee just gave out from the pain. It was a sudden thing that came out of nowhere. This incident, I believe, put the final nail in the coffin in my decision to go get it checked out. But I must admit the pain is not as bad as it had been in the past several weeks. So there’s progress. I just wish it were better and faster progress.

I’ll post when I find out what the docs diagnose it as.

Two things today. One, after a long debate with myself, I’ve decided to change the name of the blog. Life changes, therefore things associated with me and my life also have to follow suit. There’s no way around that. Of course this isn’t anything drastic or life-changing, but it was something that had to be done for personal reasons. To me, it’s no different than changing the layout of a blog; sometimes you are feeling one layout, and other days you just feel a change or shift in your thoughts and beliefs or whatever else is moving you. Therefore, change must happen. Anywho, suffering in silence is the way a lot of us ultra runners operate. Sure, people whine when pain becomes almost unbearable, but for the majority of the time we suffer in silence. The way it’s supposed to be. It’s your own journey, so who needs to hear about your crying and whining about a decision you made to run?

The other thing: I believe my knee pain is finally subsiding! I was able to run a relatively fast-paced 7.75 miles yesterday at a really easy trail here in Lawrence (River Front Park). Because it’s so easy and non-technical, I believe it helps my knee and at the same time allows me to continue running. I can’t express how wonderful it felt to finally get a run in longer than 3.5 miles. Too good to express with beautiful words. In fact, I wanna get out there again today for a run as long as my body allows me to go — nothing exaggerated, but maybe another 7-8 miles.

I think I will continue running RFP until I feel I’ve healed completely and then I’ll head back to something more technical like Clinton Lake. Until then, I wish everyone well and hope summer’s treating everyone fairly (with great weather, of course).

Some pretty decent/good news. On Sunday I was able to run 3.5 miles with relatively no pain in my knee/IT-band area! I did, however, take it pretty easy just in case the pain would become aggravated. I don’t wanna mess around at this point. Moreover, I took my XT Wings out of retirement, so perhaps that helped as well. The cushioning on those shoes are just amazing for my feet. I’ll continue running with them.

It felt good to get out there and run again on the trails; it really did. I can feel I’ve lost a little bit of my “oomph” factor, but it’s not terrible. I mean, I knew it would happen, no questions. I just don’t wanna lose too much of what I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

All that said, I think I’m gonna take it easy this summer and not race at all. The Fall may be the first time I race again. I also want to do Rocky Raccoon 100 in February, so training for that can slowly start this summer. But I think with all this time off from “real running,” it’d be silly of me to try to sign up for a race this summer, even a 50k. Although it would be totally doable for one in July, I don’t wanna push it. Besides, I don’t like rushing these things.

Thank you for everyone’s support during my time of struggles. It sucks, but I’ll be back soon enough. Until then, I hope everyone’s training is going as planned.