I went into this training knowing that that it would be hard and that I would be tested, so it comes at no surprise that in week 4 of my training, I have already hit a hurdle.
In my last post I mentioned some knee issues, which unfortunately didn't go away after some ice and rest rather the knee pain would continue to come back during all my long runs. Like clock work, after mile 3 I would start to feel my knee tighten up and a slow ache start to run down my leg and by mile 5, I was struggling to even keep moving. Needless to say, this hurdle has caused me great frustration and has set me back a few miles in my training plan. When you start something like marathon training and you have so much motivation and energy to log in the miles, an injury really dampens your spirit and causes you to pause and ask yourself "Is this really all worth it?"
Well, yes, of course it is worth it! Not because I want to cross a finish line and collect a finishers medal, but because I made a promise to myself that I would start this and end this by finishing a marathon. If you can't keep a promise to yourself, who can you keep a promise to?
So away I went, icing the knee and doing my research about running and knee pain. There is a TON of information out there about "runners knee", which seems to describe my situation pretty accurately. Basically, along with the other typical running injuries for beginner runners, runners knee can happens when:
- there is overuse and repeated bending of the knee that can irritate the nerves of the knee cap
- direct trauma to the knee
- misalignment of any bones (like your kneecap slightly out of position)
- flat feet causing the arches of your foot to collapse
- Weak thigh muscles
So while I am not 100% confident which of the causes above is causing my knee pain, I am encouraged that many of the causes can be remedied by professional attention, strength training and rest!
After all my reading and studying of information about runner's knee, I emailed my Crossfit coach at CrossFit South Arlington for his expert opinion and got the following response: