Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Patellofemoral Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011:

The Woodbury Runners were reduced to just four today by a competing 3M Club picnic, as many of the Woodbury Runners are also 3M employees. Rich and I ran behind Pete and Mark, WAY behind actually, completing a 5.8-mile loop in 1:01:51, for a pace of 10:40. I could have sworn it was faster, actually, because I was working mighty hard to keep up with Rich, but that’s a hilly course and I guess we did OK. Patellofemoral (PFS) pain in the right knee was minor!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011:

I had my first therapy session today, and the therapist, also a runner, definitely agreed with the doctor’s diagnosis of patellofemoral syndrome (PFS). When I objected that the pain strikes very suddenly, in one stride, she explained that the kneecap (patella) can suddenly slip sideways off the groove in which it is supposed to ride. It may occur in runners with tight ligaments or muscles, imbalanced muscle pull, or an incorrect angle of knee alignment.

The therapist diagnosed both tight muscles/ligaments and imbalanced muscle pull (weak muscles), and prescribed five different core-strengthening exercises to be done along with my usual runner’s stretches. Three more sessions are scheduled, and at least one will include an evaluation of my running form. Hey, I’m interested.

The good news is: In my case, I can run with PFS pain without concern about further injuring the knee. If I can stand the pain, I can run, except, of course, pain means that the PFS will not heal as quickly. See - that’s why you want a runner as your therapist or trainer. Anyone else would just say “stop running,” but a runner understands what a sacrifice that is and will explain the tradeoff. OK, I get it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011:

Six miles on the grass/gravel/dirt trails in the park, almost all running, very intense. I decided to see if the patellofemoral pain would appear, on the morning just before the first therapy session. It only barely showed up, and the pain felt like it was higher in the kneecap than on prior occasions. It seems to show up a little less when running on dirt than on pavement, and it actually disappeared as I ran, even though I did as little walking as possible.

6.24 miles in 1:12:27, pace 11:37. I can do better than THAT on those trails, but I was bushed today from yesterday’s yard work, which included hours of chain-sawing a nephew’s tornado-downed trees, and more. It’s good to be tired from physical exertion, though, makes for excellent sleep.

Saturday, May 21, 2011:

The world didn’t end today. Good thing, too, because otherwise our trip down to Mayo Clinic would have been a huge waste of time. We heard an acclaimed doctor discuss new treatments for myeloma, very interesting to me but only of future value.

Gateway trail today, I did the walk/run, 30 seconds and 30 seconds, and experienced very little pain. This was a good run - it’s a masterpiece.

Splits: 11:37, 11:14, 11:57, 11:40, 11:33, 11:43, 11:59, total 1:21:46, seven miles, pace 11:41.

A breakfast that doesn't leave you hungry by 10:00 am:

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