Sunday, 12 January 2014

Injury and Recovery

It's been a long time since my last blog due to a knee injury.  It feels like it's been a long road to getting it fixed.

It Started in October; my usual Physio said irritation under kneecap should be ok with a bit of rest.  Had rest, tried to run, no better rested some more still no better rested some more no better so went to different Physio on the suggestion of my Physio. 

Next Physio was an interesting experience, he hardly listened to my symptoms/triggers as he was so busy treating 3 different patients at the same time (curtains between cubicals so I could hear him).  When I said pain was below kneecap he straight away said patella tendinitis then gave me a book to read about it whilst he went to treat someone else! He said it would be several weeks and I would heal quicker if I came in a couple of times a week for treatment with his interferential machine.  He put me on that machine then went off to treat someone else so I couldn't ask all my usual questions. He just said ice loads (have 2 ice packs and keep alternating all evening) and keep going back for the machine.  

I didn't like his bedside manner so called my usual Physio to see if they had that machine which they did so went back there as it was local.  Original Physio said he didn't believe it was patella tendinitis but whatever it was rest and the machine should help.  

I then saw another Physio at original physios practice because original Physio wasn't available.  I was expecting just to be stuck on the machine but he did a full assessment - original Physio had asked him to see if he could find anything.  He didn't come up with a diagnosis but did chat to original Physio about his finding.

Just before my next appointment I had to run to see if the 2 weeks off running had helped and if it hadn't I needed to take note of where the pain was and if it got better/worse as I kept running. If it did hurt then I would be going into the appointment with the pain which should help with assessment. The pain started after a mile but I kept going another couple if miles incase it went. By the time I had got changed and got to the Physio it had gone - typical! Due to where the pain was (inner knee) I had another diagnosis - inflamed medial plica - I had had pain in this area before but also other parts of my knee so I suppose that's why he originally said irritation under kneecap. 

Medial plica is difficult to diagnose and whilst he wasn't 100% sure he taped my knee (about the 5th different type of taping for this issue none of which had worked!) so that the kneecap was pulled over to the side (in the direction of the arrow) away from the inflammation.  This means the pressure is removed meaning that I might be able to run but also it gives the plica inflammation chance to heal.  

I was nervous about my first run with the tape as if it didn't work then I really wasn't sure what to do next but if it did then that would confirm it was medial plica which would be good as then know how to proceed.

Fortunately the tape worked.  I ran for 3 miles no pain, I ached like a beginner!  I was careful with building up; it was actually my other achy parts which was dictating what I did!! 

Just before we went on holiday mid December I built up to 14 miles and was now aching less.

On Dec 29th I did my first marathon in what felt like ages.  I wasn't expecting to complete it; it was laps so the plan had been to use it as a long training run with a friend and do as much as I could manage.  I was pleased to get to the end.  It was a hilly loop so we walked a bit but completing marathon distance again was a big breakthrough

Last weekend I did another marathon.  I had been having breathing issues, not sure what the problem was but it's ok now but last weekend it was a real struggle on the cardio system rather than the legs. 

Yesterday I did my first long long (over marathon distance) training run in ages.  I wasn't looking forward to going out so long on my own but did my usual of setting up a 'check point' by the front door and calling home after loops for nice food/drink.

I also had some new 9bar kit to wear which I picked up on Friday, new kit always makes it easier to get out in the cold!

Was happy to complete 33 miles in 5 hours.  I was only a little slower than when I was doing these runs at my peak so that is good news.  I have lost my short distance speed as I did a token speed session last week.
Total miles for this week were 87 so back to normal miles now with doubles every week day.  Just need to start the hard speed/tempo/hill training to get my fast twitch muscles working properly again.  I will not get carried away though!

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