Another Year, Same Old Injury

soreknee_001Ever since I ran (some of) the Manhattan Half-Marathon, my knee has been acting up again. Early last year I experienced some discomfort in and around my left patella that turned out to be a case of patellar tendonitis. I had to take some time off in between the NYC and Brooklyn Half-Marathon’s to rehab the knee and rebuild strength in the muscles around the patella. After the rest and rehab my knee stood up well to the punishment, including an 18 week marathon training program. However, following a layoff over the new year and a reduced workload in the through the first few weeks of the year, the problem has resurfaced with the same symptoms. I’ve tried short bursts of rest between training runs, but that doesn’t really help. My guess is that I need to take an extended break and seek some professional help otherwise I’ll be self-diagnosising and treating the same thing this time next year and probably making it a whole lot worse.

The timing of the injury is pretty bad (when are they ever convenient?), with two races coming up in the next month including the NYC Half-Marathon. The fact that this is the same injury as before worries me, and points to the slow erosion in health of my knee which could lead to more serious problems in the future. Despite the recurrence, I want to get through the next two races before taking any time off from running. I have a decent break after the NYC Half, with the Brooklyn Half coming eight weeks out. It’s probably not the best course of action, but I’m loathe to miss one of the biggest races of the year. With a modified training plan and a modest goal of two hours, I believe I can complete the race with minimal additional damage to the knee. I’ll work with my doctor to setup an MRI (last year’s x-ray showed nothing unusual) to see if we can get a better idea of what the problem is and how best to treat it.

Between now and the NYC Half, I’ll modify my training plan and stick to the stationary bicycle to maintain stamina and strength and minimize the impact effect on my knee. This is probably not a typical preparation for a half-marathon, but it will be interesting to see how it effects my performance on the day and how my fitness and stamina levels are after the decreased workload.

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