No News Is Knee News

For those of you that are new to RER let me catch ya up…

I ran the Walt Disney Marathon in January. You can read my recap here. disney finish line

I had just moved to Maryland when I signed up for the race and it took me a long time to get used to training in a new climate and new terrain. The cold weather really threw me for a loop and I missed too many training runs.

This isn’t exactly how I was used to dressing for runs in California…IMG_4625 

I completed the race, but a few days later I was on a short recovery run and my knee started to hurt. On the next run it hurt more. And then more on the run after that. Until I realized – I was injured :(

I made an appointment with my doctor and got an MRI taken of my knee. Finally the diagnosis was made – ITB Syndrome aka Illitobial Band Syndrome. Basically, my IT band was pulling on my knee cap and causing knee pain. IMG_5428 

This was caused by a couple factors including weak hips,  muscles being too tight and  not enough training. I also think being a heavier runner contributed to this since I had previously felt knee pain on long runs.

Here are some posts from that time:

Playing it by Knee (where I assume it’s ITB)

Getting an MRI

My Doctor’s  Diagnosis

My First PT Appt – Told to stop running for 8 weeks.

I went to a Physical Therapist and was given strict orders to not run for 8 weeks. I freaked out. No running for 2 months?! How would I survive? How would I avoid gaining the 32 pounds I’m sure I would put on without running? It was not good.IMG_5456

But, I knew that more than anything else I wanted to be able to run again and I wanted to get better. So I listened. I went to PT appointments and did Spinning instead of running. I even discovered a new love – Kick Boxing.

Finally, I was cleared to start running a little bit at a time. One mile, then two and so on. For a long while after my return to running I did not run 2 days in a row. I made sure to take every other day off. I really think it’s better to be overly-cautious with your body and injuries.

Surprisingly I didn’t lose too much fitness on my time off. I was harder to run, but it wasn’t like I was starting from Day 1.

I had to learn patience.

I had to learn how to be gentle with my body.

I had to learn how to deal with missing runs without taking it out on Ben.

And you know what?

I got through it.

I was super upset at first. “The sky is falling!!!” was regularly heard from my mouth. But, the sky didn’t fall and I didn’t stay injured forever.

In the end, I had to take about 6 to 8 weeks off running. They told me 8, but I think I cut it short a bit. I had to build back up slowly and listen very carefully to my body when it said to stop or slow down.

Now I do feel my knee bother me on very long runs, but it’s more of a “tired pain”. And when I feel that I slow down. I also make sure to ice my knee if it’s feeling bad. And I would STOP IMMEDIATELY if I were to ever feel that same kind of pain I felt when I first got injured.

It is not worth it to run through pain if you want to run tomorrow or the day after that. Stop if you feel injured and live to run another day :) IMG_0047 To be honest, I am worried about how my knee will feel on race day. I haven’t ran anything over 20 miles since the marathon that I believe initiated my injury. I know races are harder on your body than training runs because you run faster and longer. But, all I can do is train well and play it by ear on the day of race! I will do a race report after Long Beach and let ya know what happens.

If you have any more questions feel free to leave them in the comments or email me.

Question: Have you ever had a running injury?

What was it and how did you recover?


  1. says

    Hi! Can’t remember if I’ve commented before, but I read your blog regularly – love your style and honesty. I’ve been dealing with running injuries since my marathon in 2007. It’s a long story but I had an issue with my pelvic alignment and lower back that caused ALL sorts of problems. Physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic therapy have all played a huge part in my recovery. The biggest thing I’ve learned is (like you pointed out in your post) to listen to my body, take it slow, and don’t over do it. I’ve learned that sometimes I just need a break – physically and/or mentally. And I’ve been trying to listen to that. I’m back to running, and even though it’s a lot less than I used to do, I’m just so dang happy to be able to run. Crap, this comment is ginormous, sorry. Good luck on your race! You inspire me with your dedication and ability, and I’m sure you’ll do great.

  2. ida says

    Injuries are the worst! I had a stress fracture and it was 4 months off. Keep doing all the PT stuff. It was the weak muscles and tightness that played a big part in the injury and you can prevent that.

  3. says

    There’s nothing like not being able to run to make you realise how much you actually love running! Good luck, hope it all goes well for you.

  4. says

    After years of running, my knees are definitely no where near where they use to be! I’ve suffered several knee issues and still do. But I think your advice is right on! I may not be where I use to be at but I’m still running, and I owe a lot of that to smart recovery. Smart recover isn’t always easy recovery but it works.

    You’ll be awesome at this next Marathon!

  5. says

    I had IT band problems earlier this year after my 2 marathons, too. But I just ran a half in Chicago this past Sunday and it held up really well! I was extremely worried, but all the restt I took must have helped. Rest and ice do wonders….. :)

  6. Ella says

    When I trained for a half marathon as a senior in college I also experienced knee pain on the top/side of my knee. I never officially went to the doc but my roomie’s dad who is a sports MD looked at it and said “ice after every run” which I sort of did. I was a heavier runner – heavier than you are, definitely – and I’m sure that contributed. Very occasionally I feel that pain but I’m not in the habit of regularly running 10+ miles anymore and I also weigh a bit less now :)

  7. says

    i’ve had severe shin splints in the past. and it took a few weeks of no running to make sure that they were gone and that i wasn’t going to fracture them! it was kind of scary just because i had so much riding on my running at that point (aka Boston) but i did recovery and I ran well.

    yay for listening to your body and making sure you’re a-okay :)

  8. says

    Luckily the worst injury I had running was plantar fasicitis and thankfully it only sidelined me for about 3 weeks…but those 3 weeks were awful because it hurt just walking, never mind running :(

    You are an inspiration to other runners. It’s so hard to come back from an injury but you did and did it well! I’m happy for you :) Best of luck on your upcoming marathon!

  9. says

    Thanks for posting this. I’m going through the exact same thing right now. I felt like the world was ending when my doc said no running for 6 weeks. I start physical therapy today and I’m going to try acupuncture. I hope I can get back on my feet and run again!

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