What’s wrong with my knees you ask? “What’s not,” feels like the better question to ask. My knees were fine until HTC 3 years ago. Mid-way through my last run something in my right knee started killing me. I knew if I stopped running I’d never start again so I finished my leg and burst into tears at the finish line. Fast forward through that year and visits to trainers, doctors, sports medicine specialists, orthopedic surgeons and physical therapy. Poorly aligned hips and tight hamstrings was the overall diagnosis and with some physical therapy I was able to run Hood to Coast again. Miraculously with no injuries. Awesome.
But wait, on a run a few months after something popped in my knee. More trainers, physical therapy, custom orthotics, pilates and a lot of bike riding and I was able to run Hood to Coast for the 4th time. Mid way through my 1st leg last year I knew I was going to be in trouble. But I kept going. Leg #2 was up a hilly gravel road. Bad, bad, bad for my knees. Absolutely beautiful run in a lot of pain. Ended that run in tears. The pic below is in the van after that run. I made it through my 3rd leg and finished what may turn out to be my last HTC. I was stupid to have run it last year but to me, huge accomplishment to do the whole thing without stopping or walking.
Since August I’ve spent a lot of time and money in Doctor’s offices. The overall issue is still my weak hips and overall leg aligment. If you look at them, my knees are totally rotated in and it’s no wonder I’m in so much pain when I run. I need to make my hips stronger so that they’ll support the rest of my leg muscles pulling everything out. Much easier said than done. Oh and an MRI revealed arthritis in my right knee. Nothing I can do about that but get some joint fluid injections. I’m passing on that for now. Then a chiropractor informed me my left tibia was out of alignment along with my left ankle (thanks to a sprain in Mexico 3 years ago) and I have tons of scar tissue built up where the tibia meets some other bone/muscle… Oh and my right knee was also out of alignment somehow (I honestly can’t remember at this point). The chiro put everything back into place which definitely helped but I really need to continuously do my physical therapy homework. I have tons of it. So many sheets of paper to get through. It’s overwhelming and I tend to skip it because it takes to long. No good.
So for now, I don’t run even though it kills me. I do Pilates because I have amazing teachers who know all about my knees issues and are working with me in every class (tons of my PT is based in pilates so a lot of my daily workouts incorporate hip exercises to help fix me). I ride the spin bike (even though it is so boring) and do the rowing machine (even though it kills my butt after about 20 min). And lately I’ve been able to do sculpt classes as long as I don’t push it too hard. Jumps are questionable. I just need to make sure I keep my knees alinged and over my toes (jumping jacks = good, burpees = sometimes). Squats are usually ok for me as long as I don’t go past 90. Lunges kill me so I need to modify those. I can also tell when I’ve been doing too much. And on those days I do some pilates, ride a bike and take it easy until one day I hope I can get back outside, pounding the pavement.
And there you go. The whole knee story. Drama, that’s for sure. To anyone else out there with knee issues, I feel your pain. It sucks but I’ve learned you can still stay in shape even when your body doesn’t cooperate. It just takes a little more work.