Ok, what I did yesterday wasn’t THAT bad, but I still feel guilty about it. I’m going to keep you hanging on about what I did for a sec.
Look at these pics from when I ran the Virginia 10miler sick with the flu? Aren’t I a picture of health? I don’t remember giving the camera a thumbs up at all and just looking at the second picture makes me feel feverish again. But I crossed the finish line, right?
Back to what I did yesterday. I explained after my last long run that my bad knee (with no cartilage, which you can read all about here) has been progressively getting worse since the beginning of September. I’ve been afraid that the Orthovisc and cortisone shot I got in April was wearing off (the benefits of cortisone last anywhere from 3-5 months). I had a great summer of running with no knee problems at all. In fact, I didn’t even need to ice my knee that often. So I knew something was up when in September my knee wasn’t “bouncing back” as quickly from my long runs. It seemed to have a bit more fluid and would be achy. It progressively got worse. My worst fears had come true: the inflammation in my knee was coming back.
**Please note that running doesn’t necessarily cause any of these problems. The literature on running and and knee cartilage shows there is no correlation between running and osteoarthritis. Many non-runners (and actually many runners themselves) hold the misconception that running can “wear down your knees”. My cartilage injury was caused by playing soccer and running has not made it any worse. In fact running has helped and there is some evidence that running and exercise can help slow the cartilage wear and tear.**
Here is where TIMING is a huge issue. If this marathon happened last month I would be golden! The fact that my knee started getting worse 4-6 weeks before the marathon is just plain bad luck. Sucky.
So I went in to the Dr. yesterday. I actually couldn’t make an appointment with the Dr. I’ve been seeing all along (the head of the UVa running clinic) since he is so incredibly popular and was booked up for over 4 weeks (teaches me not to have kept my ongoing monthly appointments with him). So instead I went back to the Sports Medicine people who initially ordered the MRI over a year ago and helped diagnose the cartilage tear and wearing (severe osteoarthritis) under my knee cap.
I came prepared to ask for a cortisone shot. I didn’t work so damn hard all summer and get so close to running my “comeback” marathon to give up. Here’s the thing about cortisone. It’s not the best idea to have consistent cortisone shots in your joints since cortisone can soften the cartilage further. However, doctors tend to disagree a bit on how many cortisone shots one can get without any negative effects. Popular opinion is that individuals can safely have up to 3 cortisone shots a year. My running doctor, who I have been working with over the past year, is more conservative. He sees cortisone as a last resort or as something that should be used more sparingly and I agree with him. However, let’s go back to the point where I feel like I’ve worked so hard all summer and just really want to run this marathon, which could be my last for awhile (well until NYC 2014 anyways). I’m going to take some time off the marathon distance for awhile after this and probably just run half marathons next year. That, I know, my knee can handle.
So to make a long story short, I decided to get a cortisone shot. It is only the second one I’ve had in a year and a half and I don’t plan on getting another one for a long time. I feel like I’ve done a bad thing even though the Sports Medicine doctor, who is very well known and who works with all of the UVa athletes says it is just fine. The only problem is that the marathon is so close now. Only 12 days away! I might not have any real benefits from this shot since it takes awhile.
I might have a breakdown on the marathon course. I might need to jog slowly and even walk due to some knee pain.
But here is the important thing: I’m going to finish this marathon, dammit, even if that means I will drag my leg behind me.
So I’m not expecting to set any marathon PRs even though I had a great last long run of 24 miles (great for me). But that wasn’t the point all along. I have to go back to my first marathon training post where I reiterated that my goal all along with this “comeback” marathon is to get to the starting line of the marathon. Meaning, don’t get hurt and have to drop out of running the race like I did with the Glass City Marathon in the spring.
So I’m still on track to run MCM but don’t expect a great performance. I plan on resting my knee almost completely until race day so the last runs have gotten the ax.
As you can probably guess I’m a bit down today, so I’m having difficulty thinking of some good questions. Here are some random fun ones
Do you sing in the shower? (I am really guilty of this)
Did you sleep with a blanket/blankie/stuffed animal growing up? Do you still? (me? yes and yes)
What is one thing you love or appreciate about yourself? (so tough to answer! I love that I am able to follow through on most of my commitments to myself and others)