If only those new shoes made everything better…

I may have gotten a little overly ambitious on March 20th when I signed up for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half-Marathon.  (In my defense, Kyle was right there with me encouraging me to do it, so it wasn’t a rash decision…)

If you didn’t read my last post, you should start there.  It gives you a little history about my recent knee problem.

Long story short: I’m doing Physical Therapy 2 days a week right now.  There isn’t a real diagnosis except that I have pretty poor tracking in my kneecaps (with too much lateral movement to the outside of my knee).  So, any type of repetitive activities (i.e. walking, biking, running, being on a machine at the gym, doing workout videos – in other words, ALL of the things I do to stay active and healthy) have a tendency to cause inflammation and pain in my knee(s). (It’s my  left knee that was really giving me problems, but the right knee isn’t exactly a perfect specimen, either.)

The exercises they have me doing will help improve stability and strengthen the muscles in the inside of my knee to help pull the patella in/up instead of out to the side.

When I first arrive for my appointments, they do some ultrasound to heat up the tissue around my knee.  Then the therapist does some stretching of my kneecap – inwards, to sort of train it to go the right direction – and then I get taped up and look like this:

I do my PT exercises with the tape, which is, when first applied, pulling my kneecaps tightly in towards the center of my knees.  The tape stays on for a couple of days, so it feels pretty weird.  Not to mention, as the days goes on and the tape shimmies around a bit, it reveals the sticky residue on my skin, which then collects all of the fuzzies from the inside of my pants.

I’m really glad that I took the initiative to call my doctor and see if he thought I should go to PT for this, because it’s obvious that I need a trained individual to help me make gains.  But I’ll tell ya….it is SOOOOO hard to not be able to do all of the things I normally do.

Right now, I’m restricted to only using the bike at the gym and at a really low resistance.  (Like…3.)  The rule of thumb is that I’m only allowed to work myself hard enough to the point where I feel a very faint dull ache with no real pain.  The point – as I understand it –  is to build up the body memory in my tissues and ligaments and stuff so my body knows what repetitive motion for a long period of time feels like.  Then, slowly, I can add resistance (and I imagine more types of machines and outdoor exercise) as I can tolerate it with zero pain.

I’m not even allowed to take a long “exercise” walk outside right now.  It was recommended that I try only 30 minutes.  And, maybe do that with a brace, with superfeet inside my new “good” shoes, ONLY on flat services.  (No trails.)  (Personally, I think I can handle walking farther, longer, and without all those supports right now, but, I’m a rule follower and would have a hard time NOT taking the advice of my Physical Therapist.)  So, instead, I’ll just complain about it. 🙂

This is REALLY hard for me to take.  Plus, there’s the REALLY BIG chance that I wouldn’t actually be able to run the half-marathon this summer, which in case you didn’t peruse the website in great depth to find this out, is a non-refundable, non-transferable registration.  So, it feels like I jumped the gun in paying the big bucks to participate.  I know that if nothing else, I think  would be able to walk it.  (Or maybe run/walk???)

Anyone out there have an encouraging story of healing quickly from an injury??  I’d love to have a positive anchor to hold onto during my slow-going therapy.

I just keep thinking, “If only those new shoes made everything better….”