Almost three years ago in 2010, I decided I wanted to add running to my fitness repertoire. I started with a typical couch to 5k program and ran in my first 5k race not too far away from where I live. It was great, and I was so proud to run for 30 minutes at a time. Then, later in 2010, I ran my first 10k in a big Veteran’s Day race here in DC. Again, I was feeling great and loved that I my endurance was improving and my mile time was under 10 minutes. Over that time, I would sometimes have some discomfort in my left knee. I googled it, and found that my discomfort –runner’s knee — was very common among runners, especially women. I then bought a knee band from a local running store to stop the pain, and it worked wonders…and I thought I was cured!
Until I ran a 10 mile race in April 2011. I hadn’t trained that well, but could run 5 miles easily, so I didn’t think 10 miles would be a big deal. About half way to two-thirds through the race, my right thigh started to kill me. A pain from my hip to my knee. I finished the race in about 2 hours (including a bathroom break and some walking due to the pain!), and was really sore the next day. I asked a running expert at another local running store about this pain, who told me that I hurt my IT band (another typical injury), and should take it easy for awhile and strength train my legs more. Surprisingly, I was going to weekly yoga sessions at the time, and it completely cured my IT band issue. However, my runner’s knee in my left knee remained an issue. It just wouldn’t go away. I dealt with this off and on for at least another year and a half…until I finally decided to see a chiropractor in Fall 2012 after running in a mud race. Well, Dr. Liu changed my life in about 8 sessions. He would manipulate and massage my knee with some menthol gel, and would crack my hips because I was literally out of whack – completely uneven and out of alignment – which was a big part of the cause of my pain.
It is now about five months after I stopped seeing Dr. Liu, and my left knee has been great. He told me I may need to come every once in awhile for a quick realignment and I think I’m due. My knee hurt for the FIRST TIME while I was running a couple weeks ago. But, I thoroughly stretched afterward and it hasn’t bothered me since.
My whole point in telling this story is to let you all know that because of my knee issues, I’ve decided to only run 3 miles at a time. Forever as of now. Not only do women typically get these knee issues (thanks to those child-bearing hips), my Dad was a runner for years and had to stop running altogether because he had knee problems! And, he just had knee replacement surgery! My older sister also had knee surgery when she was a teen! We must take care of our bodies and choose exercises that challenge us, but are also within the limits of our bodies. I never would have expected this. And it took some time to get over. So, for now, I’m a soft-core runner. And I’m OK with it. 🙂