I am Frustrated

I am frustrated. There is really no other nice way, or way at all, to say it.

My knee pain is back.

I’ve talked about my stupid knee a few times now, including a post I perhaps prematurely called Knee Surgery Success. Long story short, I started having sharp pain in my knee while running over a year ago. After physical therapy, RICE, X-rays, an MRI, cortisone injection and finally a knee arthroscopy, I thought I had finally put the sharp, stabbing pain behind me.

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Then, on a PT-prescribed run on Saturday, it came back. I’ve been following the rules, only going for what could barely be considered runs… level one was repeating (walk 3 minutes, jog 2 minutes) three times. I was able to get through three pain free runs, but it seems that every time I bump up to “level 2” the pain comes back. And level 2 is only repeating (walk 2 minutes, jog 3 minutes) four times. Twenty minutes of activity, only 12 of it actually running, has my knee pain right back. That’s hardly going to get me back into races.

Admittedly, it hasn’t been bothering me as much these last few weeks because we have been spending so much time on the bikes. With RAGBRAI coming up, we’re trying to get as many miles and hills in as possible. But I know that once cycling season is over, my brain will automatically switch to running and I need my body to keep up. Plus, it is incredibly frustrating that my knee feels ZERO pain with cycling over 200 miles in one week, yet with less than 2 miles of running, I’m walking home with a limp.

I didn’t quite mean for this post to turn into a whine-fest, but this whole challenge really has me down. It would be easiest to just say “no more running” and switch to biking, strength, etc., but if there are any runners out there reading, you understand that telling a runner not to run is like telling a fish not to swim. I am many, many things, but a runner is one of them. And it’s high on the list of ways I identify myself and of things that make me thrive.

Here’s to hoping I find some answers. My PT has a few more things she wants to try, and she also wants me to get back in to see my surgeon so he’s aware the surgery did not resolve the pain. I’m frustrated, but hopeful that there is an answer and a solution out there somewhere. I want to get back on the road!