Saturday, December 03, 2005

from "plodding" to "running" to... stop

A while ago I made a decision to change how I talk about running; that is... to stop saying "plodding" and call it "running".

This was not due to a change in pace. In fact, with the revised running program I had in November, my pace got slower, as I was targeting lower heart rate ranges.

It was a change in thinking.

I figured that if I changed the word, then I might start to think and act like a runner. I might even "feel" like one. (And wouldn't that impress the trainer, if I actually felt something?)

Well, sadly, I did start to feel something. My knee. At first, I don't think it registered. Then it registered and I kind of ignored it.

Then I figured that now's as good a time as any to try to start to pay attention to my body and what it tells me through signals of pain... So I did my best to tune in.

Three weeks later I was able to identify where exactly it hurt.

And I made an appointment with the doctor.

During our visit, I learned a new term: medial collateral ligament.

"Could you write that down for me?" I asked her.

She did. Then she left the office and came back with a model of a knee and showed me where this ligament is. The model was very cool and I "got it" immediately.

Turns out my "medial collateral ligament" (or "MCL", as it's shortened to by people who know what they're talking about) on both knees is injured.

So, I'm barred from running for the next little while. Must ice and use anti-inflammatory cream. And go to physio.

How did this happen? We're not sure. Is it bad? Not really... I'm sure there's much worse... There were days when climbing stairs was a bit nasty, but no days where I couldn't actually walk.

I've been told it is a good thing I was actually able to pay attention to my body and get treatment while it's still in the early stages. That made me feel good... Trying to be gentle with this body as a I learn to push it to its limits... which means... not that far at this point!

So for now... no more running for Sarah.



kt said...

oh my dear sarah...i wonder if your pain was like mine? i read everything i could get my hands on and i was of the impression the mcl was mostly an outer knee thing or over the top...whereas mine went down the inside-leg part of the knee (not the inside of the knee...the inner leg side of the knee) and more to do w/ 'cambered' road surfaces, concrete, wrong shoes, too much weight, adding too many miles too soon.

and you are WONDERFUL to go to the doc. i think you guys have diff health care there, am i right? or are you under the university? what about physical it free for students? or maybe you have an excellent plan. well, i never went to the doc. and as long as i stay on LOW LOW miles...for now...i 've been having little to no pain.

BTW: amber updated her blog...did a post about the 'thon. read it!

love ya
ps: you are a great inspiration to me! thx for all your encouragement! God Bless you!

Turtle Guy said...

I seem to recall some good advice once given me...

Patience. You are wise to be good to you while testing and exceeding your current boundaries. You too will win the race!

In terms of testing, pushing and exceeding boundaries I really think everyone experiences some of the same things emotionally. We just have different "triggers". For me right now it's the management of resources - for you it's physical training - for someone else it may be completely different "stuff" going on. The common denominator is emotion, don't you think?

Sarah Elaine said...

KT - sounds like the pain is in - or near - the same place for both of us. Yes, we do have *quite* a different health care system from you in the U.S., I think! A visit to the doctor is not a big deal here. And my student insurance will cover 100% of my physio - thank goodness!

Turtle - Not sure how the emotions relate to the knee? But then again, "feelings" are not my strong point! As for patience, it is simply a matter of being pragmatic a the moment. I can be patient for a little while now, or I can make this injury worse - and for a longer time. HHhhmmm.... seems like a pretty clear choice, no?

Turtle Guy said...

Sarah - Perhaps I wasn't clear where the emotions meet the knee. I tend to go through processes in my head and not write *all* of them down... hence it can look a little weird if you missed the step I took mentally. I understood you to be frustrated with the process of "plodding to running to stop". Perhaps it IS just a process, however I would probably feel somewhat disheartened at the prospect of having to break momentum.

Sarah Elaine said...

TG - Understood. :-)

Yes, yes... breaking a good momentum is never fun, is it? (hee hee!)

Amber said...

Oh man Sarah ... that is a bummer. Did they say how long you will have to abstain from running? Here's praying that your knee heals quickly and that you are hitting the roads (or track) again soon!!!