Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm Hurt--and Not Just My Ego

One week into this, and already I'm afraid I may have a big problem. 
It's not the diet.  Mostly because that hasn't yet started. Tomorrow, I promise...or soon, at least...
It's not that I don't like to exercise.  I really do!  I've actually had fun running on the treadmill in the garage and have made it through week one of Couch to 5k.  I feel great when I'm done with a session.
Most of me feels great.
And then there's my knees.

Why, oh, why did you runner-type people not warn me that my knees could easily go from perfectly normal, if a little knobbly, to extremely painful in just seven days!?!  I'm talking can't-make-it-up-the-stairs painful after tonight's run.  Not good.
I thought I was doing everything right.  I stretch before and after exercise.  I do a warm up and a cool down.  I alternate jogging and walking, just like C25K yells for me to do into the earbuds of my iPod.
Do I need new shoes?  Did I overextend my knees?  Are they inflamed?  Is this my fibromyalgia?  Am I just getting trail-worn?  Does the universe just want me to stay unhealthy?!?

Already I can see my dreams of running at Disney World going down the drain with my sweaty bathwater, and I am getting really discouraged with each aching moment.  That was my carrot, people.  I was inspired.  And because of one silly race, I was more determined than ever to build endurance and muscle and lose flab and self-doubt.  Now that might not be feasible.

If you have any clue about why my knees are hot and painful, more so with each run, please let me know.  And if you have any ideas about how to make it better, please let me know that, too.  All my frozen veggies are thawing from icing my knees, and they'd be much better in my belly than as a first aid device.

I guess I also need to start considering the fact that my knees might not allow me to run (please, NO), and I also need ideas for other types of low-impact exercise that can still help me achieve my other goal--beach body by May.  So, help. 
And also tell me that things will get better or some other lie along those lines. 

In more McFatty news, my weight is at 138.2 lbs (down 1.8 lbs), but I look absolutely the same.  In fact, the weight loss is probably due to the fact that I didn't get enough groceries before this snowstorm thing hit the south.  Or it might be because I shaved my legs.  I fully expect the weight to return by next week when our cabinets are stocked, though by then they'll be only stocked with healthy items.  And next week my husband will be on board and I'll have extra encouragement, which, let's face it, I need right now.


  1. I'd bet 10-to-1 it's your shoes, Jenn. Everything I've read about running says to make absolutely certain you have good shoes! Since I'm cross-training right now, I'm still wearing...uh...cross-trainers. But once I start stepping it up to the treadmill, I'm going to invest in a good pair of running shoes.

    Sorry your knees are achy!

  2. The exact same thing happened to me a couple of week into training for a 5K. I honestly thought I would never walk right again, my knee only allowed me to drag my leg with me. I thought I was finished running. I went to the Dr and found out it was a soft tissue tear. He gave me some anti-inflammatory meds and told me to take a few days off. I healed up and ran my race ten weeks later! Don't give up!

  3. I ran into the same thing while exercising and instead of stopping I ended up pulling my hamstring and needing a shot. A few things I learned from this experience were:
    1. Ice is your friend, it keeps swelling down which is key to not needing shots!
    2. Most women end up developing some kind of knee problems because of our wider hips. Try to look at how you walk, do you have your toes pointed out? Over time a woman's kneecaps get pulled to the side which causes problems.
    The solution for this is exercises that strengthen the inner thigh and literally pull the kneecap back into place. Also stretching the IT band that runs along the outside of your knee is helpful because it keeps you from pulling the kneecap out.

    Ever since my doctor pointed this out I see it every where. Women walking with their toes at extreme outward pointy angles. I just wanna stop them and help them so they stop killing their knees.

  4. It is more than likely your shoes. You're way too young for problems with knees. Running is really high impact on all our joints. I can't run because I have more metal hardware in my spine than the metal that was used to build the titanic...maybe rest, ice and motrin with help for a few days and then you can try again?
    Also, running on uneven surfaces with affect your joints.

  5. Sounds a lot like what happened to me a couple of years ago. My problem is what LB already commented about--the inner thigh muscle was much weaker than the outer thigh muscle. When I started doing more exercise, the outer thigh muscle would pull my kneecap more to the side than up (like it's supposed to). It was VERY painful--especially going up and down the stairs to my third-floor apartment--and I ended up at the physical therapist about it.

    To know if this is your problem, sit down on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Flex you thighs one by one and watch your kneecap. It should just rise almost straight up. If this is your problem, however, your kneecaps will go more out than up. The doctor had me take 800 mg ibuprofen a day and ice it about 20 minutes 3-4 times a day for 4 or 5 days (to help with swelling). I was told to not do much physical activity (she literally told me that if I was going up one flight of stairs, I should take the elevator, no matter how lazy it made me feel) for a few weeks until I saw noted improvement in my knees.

    The most basic exercise she gave me is to sit on the floor and extend your legs. Using two fingers, press on the upper-inside of one of your thighs (closer to your knee). While firmly pressing, flex your thigh for 10 seconds. Do this 10 times on one leg, then switch. Do 3 sets altogether. She recommended I do this twice a day. She called it "activating" my inner thigh muscle. Simple, but effective.