I will always remember November 16, 2014 as a day of great success, and a day of great sadness. On this day I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas, NV. The weather was perfectly cool, the course was flat, and I succeeded in reaching my goal of completing the race in 1:45:12. At that moment I was unaware that this would likely be the last half marathon I would ever run.
Feeling as though I was owed a break after my success in Las Vegas, YAY ME!, I took it easy. I took a few days, maybe weeks, off from running to rest. When I was ready to hit the pavement and start training for my next half marathon I quickly realized it wasn’t going to be as simple as slipping on my running gear and placing one foot in front of the other. I began to experience pain, sharp and stabbing pain, behind my knee cap. Ironically enough the pain didn’t occur while I was running, but rather when I stopped running. Once the pain had my attention it was relentless. When I went down the stairs, there it was. When I stood up from a seated position, oh hi there! Something was wrong, that much was clear.
My first trip to the doctor was about as productive as I had expected. Physical exam, x-rays, poking, prodding, and a million questions. After zero progress was made I was sent for an MRI and referred to an orthopedic specialist. My MRI revealed an uneven wearing in my cartilage. I was told little else and sent away with a prescription for physical therapy.
Physical therapy did help, really it did. I went once a week and was diligent with my home exercises. My legs got stronger and the tracking of my knee cap improved. Sweet, back to running!
The last run I did was a 5k on November 12, 2016. The course was small and treacherous and had one monster hill we were required to run up twice. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hill run but my knee was in no shape for this type of abuse, I just didn’t realize it at the time. With the run complete and my third place award waiting for me I mad a quick pit stop and headed in for my beer.
As soon as I stood up that sharp, stabbing pain behind my knee was back with a vengeance. I enjoyed my beer, collected my winners water bottle and enjoyed Red Robin with the family. After arriving back home I completed some outstanding tasks around the house, one of which involved kneeling. I didn’t think much of my knee pain, or the kneeling, and proceeded with my so called life.
The Tuesday after that run is when things spiraled a bit out of control. I remember being at work and getting up to use the bathroom. As I was walking to the bathroom I began to experience pain in my knee and it was painful to walk. More rest, all I needed was more rest. By the time I woke up on Wednesday morning I was in so much pain I could barely walk. A sweet co-worker of mine with MS let me borrow one of her canes and I made the first available appointment with my orthopedic doctor. When Thursday came around I upgraded my cane for crutches. I hobbled around and prayed I would have some answers at my appointment the following day.
When I arrived at my appointment on Friday I was actually feeling better, a lot better. I didn’t need the crutches, or the cane, and was walking normally. I was again poked and prodded and sent for another MRI.