August 11, 2008

Why I’m not posting an 8 on the 8th report

I headed out yesterday with Garmin in tow planning to do my 8 on the 10th (not quite as cool, I know, but Friday was a busy day for me). I was excited to be able to use my Garmin to ensure that I ran exactly 8 miles for the “race”, and I hung out in the little park across from my building for a few minutes with my wrist held above my head, waiting to pick up the signal so I could start. After looking like a dork for 3 minutes and 22 seconds (the length of Tim McGraw’s “Where the Green Grass Grows”), I was finally ready to go. I headed out at a fairly sluggish pace – had been out drinking the night before until 4 AM, and so I was pretty tired when I woke up at 10 AM. I had set up my Garmin to automatically put splits at every mile, and I noticed something interesting: my pace was usually showing around 12-15 minutes/mile, yet every mile at the split it would announce a 9:25 time! Odd. I suppose I’ll just chalk it up to Garmin sucking in NYC though, because it worked just fine in San Francisco. You know you’re a crazy marathoner if you consider moving cities to one with better Garmin satellite connectivity.

The run was fairly uneventful – it wasn’t too hot, and it was overcast, but was slightly humid. I tried to think of things to write in my race report when I finished, but I realized I’d probably have a fairly boring report. So to spice things up, I decided to injure myself!

Just kidding – this was not on purpose. But at mile 6.85, I started feeling a cramp in my right knee. It honestly felt like a cramp, not an injury – as if I hadn’t been getting some nutrient from my diet. I paused Garmin and slowed to a walk, and also tried to shake my leg out, all to no avail. It wasn’t really painful, just slightly, and I probably could have run through it, but I know that with knees you don’t take any chances, so I walked the last mile home, resulting in a DNF for the race. On the bright side, my pace was much slower than I would have liked, so I was kind of glad not to have to compete with it 🙂 I figured that after I ate and rested up at home, maybe I’d go out again or hit the treadmill to finish my last two miles.

Lap 1 – 0:09:25
Lap 2 – 0:09:25
Lap 3 – 0:09:39
Lap 4 – 0:09:52
Lap 5 – 0:10:10
Lap 6 – 0:10:01
Lap 7 – 0:09:00 for 0.85 miles

But the question is… what’s wrong? I got home and had a few glasses of water (in case the alcohol had dehydrated me and that was the problem), as well as a plum and some vegetable soup. My knee felt better for a while, but then when out doing errands later, I was walking home and it got really bad – way worse than on my run. It still felt like a cramp rather than an injury, but this time it was enough to make me limp instead of walk normally. No chance of finishing the last two miles that I had skipped out on earlier – I just stayed home and tried to take it easy on my leg. The cramp is right around the knee and just below it – not above it, like I think ITB problems would be. I looked up some potential causes online, and dehydration as well as lack of potassium were listed, so I tried to bump up the water intake (but didn’t try that hard – I need to get on that today) and also threw a banana into my cereal this morning.

Anyone have any advice or thoughts on what this could be? My knee is still sore today, but it doesn’t feel as much like a cramp – now it feels like actual injury soreness, though not enough to affect my gait. I’m pretty worried though – I need it to get better for next weekend’s marathon!

This post was supposed to be a part of Nancy’s 8 on the 8th virtual race to celebrate the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Sadly, I failed. Or rather my knee failed. That’s right, knee, I’m blaming you!


17 thoughts on “Why I’m not posting an 8 on the 8th report”

  1. Where on your knee does it hurt? It could be problems with your IT band… I’ve dealt with that before and it sounds like what I experienced. It can be an overuse injury or a result from a lack of stretching. Once I decided that’s what mine was, I did stretches I found online and took it easy for a bit and it cleared right up. Do some research on that and see if maybe it’s what you’re dealing with.

  2. Hmmmmmmmmmm…I’d ask the same thing about where it hurts. It apparently matters whether or not it hurts on the inside, outside, top, or bottom of your knee. Also, check and see if any place in NYC offers free injury screenings. There are PT places in Chicago that do.

  3. Yesterday it was cramping on the front bottom of my knee – almost into the calf (but obviously not the calf since it was on the front of my leg). Today it’s sore just kind of all over the front of my kneecap.

  4. Sounds patella-ish… check out this article.

    There is a little band thingie you can use to help stop the patella from rubbing so bad whilst running (or walking if it’s irritating you that bad).

    Little ice and careful consideration while running and you’ll be fine if that’s it. I learned that if I watch my foot strike and make sure I’m not rolling so much off my toes I’m fine.

    Good luck sweetie. I hope you’re alright!

  5. You knee issues may be related to tendonitis, which you can usually feel in the front of the knee. I would get some rest, ice it and stretch some. You have been doing a lot of running, try and take it easy.

  6. oh no!!! i hope it gets better soon 🙁 i somehow hurt my foot (post to come) saturday after my run and am limping around right now too. it SUCKS.

  7. Your knee problems sounds exactly what i was feeling last week and the week before that. I iced it and rested and cut back on mileage slightly. Get some rest and I am sure it will get better.

  8. Hard to diagnose. My IT soreness was on the outer edge of my leg on the outside of the knee not below it though.

    Good luck with that. You might need to pull back a little. Might be running into some overuse type problems. You’ve been a running maniac lately!

  9. I’m with Nitmos – guessing the pain is a function of overuse. In Bob Glover’s running book he suggests not doing a second marathon any earlier than 6 months after your first. Not sure how much training mileage you’re doing but all the marathons might just be too much.

  10. The post-boozing injury strikes again! I had the same problem in March after a trip to Blackout Island. I think mine was ITB. RICE it up! I wish you a speedy recovery.

  11. Oh no! My IT band issues have plagued me all over the knee area. The first time I experienced it, it hurt below the knee–apparently what happens is the band gets tight and pulls your knee cap over the thigh bone, which rubs bone on bone and hurts like hell. I’m not sure exactly what you’re feeling, but I know the band can be very tricky. No matter what it is, rest it, stretch, and ice. Best of luck!!

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