Here's a copy of my latest post from ye ole training blog:
Since about July 2011 through now, I haven't been doing a ton of running due to one injury or another. First there was some wicked tendonitis on the tops of my feet. I saw a sports podiatrist who gave me some exercises to do & I also got custom inserts. Hooray.
With the exercises & some rejiggered Super Feet inserts, I made it through the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in San Jose on 10/3, but it wasn't pretty. I was still in a lot of pain & hadn't been able to train enough to make it a good race. I finally got my custom inserts at the end of October. On the 27th, I was going for my first run with the inserts. I was on a trail that I knew, it wasn't hard, and I wasn't pushing myself too hard, but when I went to dodge a pothole, while my foot was still in the air, I felt a pop in my knee. There was no running back to the car at all. I thought I had torn something, but an MRI showed no tear, so I just went to physical therapy for a few months.
It seems that the foot issues & the leg/back/knee issues I've had over the years are all related (who knew?), so I was actually glad to be addressing things, hoping I'd nip it all in the bud. It has taken a lot longer than I wanted it to or expected, and things aren't as perfect as I'd hoped, but I'm getting there. If I had needed surgery, it would have been at least 6 months of recovery afterwards.
I've slowly moved from elliptical only (barf) with no resistance, to some resistance, to taking "brisk" walks outside or on the treadmill with bursts of fast walking. It has been almost 6 months since the knee pop, and I ran for the first time 2 days ago. I haven't been to physical therapy in about 2 months, and my therapist told me not to even think about running until I had been pain-free for a month, but I just couldn't quite do it. I'd say I had a couple weeks pain-free (meaning no "Oh, my Lord! My knee is going to break!" moments or days where I just want to ice my knee, have Seth rub it, and I cry), but then had another "Oh, crap!" day. But I've been doing little pre-running things like jumping and just barely-not-running times in my walks on the treadmill, so I thought it was time. A little competition (even in my own mind) doesn't hurt, either. I ran into some people I knew at the gym the other day, so of course, I wanted to run instead of just walking on the treadmill.
So after a warm-up and a few rounds of 4.2 mph walking, I decided to try the jog. Just 4.3 for 30 seconds. And it was great. I walked for 3 more minutes then decided to try it again. I wasn't hurting, so I planned on just repeating that for a while. It was VERY difficult to not push it too far, so I kept telling myself what I needed to do and that I do NOT want to be injured again/longer. I focused on my stride, being sure my feet weren't rolling, I wasn't pounding, and I crouched a tiny bit, while still keeping my torso long. I did end up shortening my walk breaks to 2.5 minutes, but I stayed at 30 seconds of running. I did that until I had about 5.5 minutes of running total, then I noticed that I was at 2.9 miles. Well, I might as well do a 5k, right? Of course. So, I may have been dumb. I ran out the last .2 miles, which ended up being 2 minutes, which may have not been the smartest thing I've ever done, but it didn't come back to bite me.
So, 7 minutes or so of running out of 50, and I felt good. My knee was definitely sore and very stiff, so I've been icing & stretching a lot. Yesterday, I just went on the stationary bike for 30 minutes or so. My knee was definitely stiff, but the bike didn't really hurt. Then today, I did an outside run for the first time in almost 6 months. The dog & I walked down to the creek, and I let myself run for 30 seconds at a time for only 3 minutes total, with 3 minutes of walking between runs. Oh man, was it hard to not do more, but I am really trying to be smart about this. I wanted to run more, but I was outside and it didn't hurt, so I'm happy. The tendons on the back of my knee were pretty tight, but no sharp pain or real aching.