Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dealing with Runner’s Knee

I was given a medical discharge from the US Army in 2000 due to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS, or runner’s knee).  Before being discharge I went through about a year of on and off physical therapy to almost no effect.  They tried stretching, heat/ice, ultrasound massage, and I had to go to the Bureau of Silly Walks.  The last was a doctor who was convinced that all of us grunts who were running 4 days a week and road marching the 5th were being injured because we didn’t walk properly.

I continued to have pain when walking or running, particularly up stairs for years.  I gave up on even trying to run for about 8 years.  Then, I just couldn’t take it any more, I needed to get back out on the road, so I just started running.  It didn’t take long for my knees to start hurting again.  I took it slow and stopped running anytime they hurt.  Then I ran across an article that mentioned that the Gluteus Medius and other abductor muscles were most often the cause of this problem.  I found the Exercise and Muscle Directory web site to be very helpful in finding exercises that specifically targeted these muscles.

Doing a combination of side leg lifts, squats, and other exercises I have been able to run nearly without knee pain.  I have found that as I push my distance I will sometimes run into the limit of my abductor muscles strength/endurance and my pain will come back.  But, it is a great relief to have a method for overcoming this really painful condition, one that does not include never running again.

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Where I’m At

I’ve been back at running now for about a year and a half.  Last Fall I had gotten my long run up to 20 miles.  Then I had an unfortunate accident while on a church youth retreat.  I stepped onto a very large rock in the middle of the night barefoot and really messed my foot up.  It took almost two months to recover and get back to running.  It’s been very difficult to start back seeing as we have had a very cold, snowy/icy winter for South Carolina.  In order to help myself get motivated I always need a goal, even if it’s just to run a little further or faster.  But, I’ve decided to throw down the gauntlet for myself.  I’ve decided to run the Chattooga 50K Trail Run.

One of the reasons I decided to take up running, as opposed to road biking or anything else, is that it’s pretty darn cheap.  I’ve been struggling with unemployment or underemployment for two years now.  You know your financial situation is bad when you worry that you can’t afford the 3,000+ calories a day you need when training.  But, I need a physical challenge in my life and can’t afford adventure racing, which I would love to do, I’m just going to go after one event, endurance running, and see just how far I can push myself.   So, Ultra’s it is.


Getting Started

After having this blog account for four years I’m finally getting started on writing something. Just getting the formatting and settings together right now. Should have a substantive post up in a couple days.


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