That's the official word. "Pes planus with pronation - PFS left knee" to be precise. My prescription is for physiotherapy, custom orthotics...and time off running. (I'm not sure about the splint part...it's not checked off but it's included in the comments section...hmmm)
As I told the nice doctor (as she rotated my lower leg in mid-air) was that I'd been feeling this pressure in my knee for months. I first noticed it at the very, very end of my marathon. I assumed that the end of a marathon was not supposed to feel amazing physically, so I kicked it across the finish line and forgot about it. It wasn't pain, after all, so I was okay.
Okay, so maybe there was some pain.
And some scrapes. Some swelling too.
But my on-course acrobatics were a big hit.
However, that's another story...
On my next few long distance training runs, I felt it again. But a few seconds of walking - just enough to toss down some water and glance at my watch - seemed to fix it, and I set off again. I really felt it again at the end of the Niagara half marathon I did at the end of October, so I applied the same three second walk strategy a few times to fix it.
In November, my races for the year were mostly up, and I switched my focus to strength training. I kept up 5-10k runs without issue, and I thought maybe I'd just pushed it a little too hard. But by the start of this month, I was itching to go again. Not just in the pool with my fellow Koalas, but outside! And longer runs! After all, I wanted to take advantage of my free time and fill it with training, training and more training!
But hitting the pavement for longer than an hour was causing me grief. On each of the three 10k+ runs I did this month, I felt the pressure again. And I felt it more intensely: like my kneecap had been replaced with a balloon, and that every stride was bringing it closer to bursting. I tried pulling my intensity back, I tried issuing verbal challenges to myself to overcome it, I tried walking for a little longer. But the pressure kept returning.
So finally, fearfully, I made an appointment. As nervous as I was, the doctor was awesome. She reminded me, along with my bff and Koach later on, that now is not the worst time to have a running injury. And I have to agree with that, because:
1) I have no races for a couple of months.
2) It's the holidays and I had a full year of running approximately 5x a week, plus lots of fitness classes, cycling, yoga, swimming and p90x. Which leads me to...
3) Koach and the doc think my body could use a bit of a breather to come back stronger and even more energized for 2011.
4) I don't have to stop cycling or swimming, and if I can find an elliptical, I'm pretty sure that's allowed too. Could this be an opportunity in disguise to work on some of my weaker areas?
5) It's not permanent. In fact, with orthotics and physio, I should have "no problem" (says the doc!) of making my races this year. Win.
Immediately after the appointment I hit the pool with Koach and had a terrific swim. I really slowed down my pace to work on my form, and discovered something pretty amazing: comfort. Not only was I able to do 3x400 drills nonstop, but my heart was not hammering out of my chest and I never once felt out of breath. Perhaps what I was doing before was sprinting through the water? Today just felt totally different. But in a really good way. It was just what I needed.
Tomorrow I have the assessment for the orthotics (wish me luck!), then running around for a few last minute gifts and finally heading home for the holidays. I'm sooo excited to reunite with tiny awesome sister and see the fam!!
Me with tiny awesome sister, Christmas 2008.
Are you ready for Christmas? Have you had a running injury and if yes, how did you cope?