Training Day: 66
Miles: None/rest day
When I hurt my knee about a decade ago I went to physical therapy. This was a Navy physical therapist at the naval hospital. I find this a key part of my story because Navy doctors aren’t always known for being the best (no offense to the good ones out there!).
They told me I needed to strengthen my quads and other muscles surrounding my knee to support the knee. They claimed that would fix my knee pain. At the time I had been running about 35-40 miles a week, biking 200-250 miles a week and going to two spin classes a week. Yet somehow I didn’t doubt that the problem was my leg strength.
After eight weeks of PT my knee still hurt. The doc’s solution? Stop working out, running and cycling. What. The. Fuck?! Although I didn’t like his answer, I just assumed that meant my knee problem couldn’t be fixed. I also assumed that if I exercised while it was in pain I would make it worse.
A couple years later my knee was still bothering me. I started doing yoga, and my knee pain went away. The following year I Thru hiked the Appalachian Trail, and my knee held up. I could hike 2,200 miles, but any time I started running again my knee would give me grief. It never occurred to me to try going back to physical therapy.
This time, my desire to run a 100-miler was so strong I went back to physical therapy. Thank the stars I did because my knee problem ended up being such a simple fix. Now I feel like I was robbed of a decade of running.
Had the Navy PT been worth a shit, he could have fixed my knee problem. At the same time, I could have gone back to physical therapy at any time and probably gotten a proper diagnosis and treatment. Regardless, I’m a wee bitter towards that first PT doc and myself.
The good news is, now I can run. I also learned that most of the time you can still run or exercise with knee pain without making the problem worse. Now to make up for lost time!
Endlessly seeking adventure.