Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Patella What?

My bad running start to the year seems to be on a continuous motion for me. It looks like I sustained more damage to my leg during the MPIB run than I initially thought and it's going to see me sitting on the sidelines and forbidden to lace up for at least 3-4 weeks!

The recently concluded MPIB run wasn't a race I was happy with, performance wise, what with suffering cramps and not getting up to speed at all during the entire race. But little did I know that would be the least of my worries.

The entire Sunday after the race saw me hobbling around the house in pain, especially at the back of my right knee. I put it down to the usual post race pains and aches but when I was in a lot more pain throughout the entire night especially when trying to straighten my leg, I knew it wasn't your usual run of the mill post race pains.


I could walk normally albeit a slight limp but whenever I tried to stretch or straighten my right leg, I got this sharp jolt of pain along the inside back of the right knee. Popped a couple of ibuprofen's and dabbed on some Voltaren gel and hoped that would cure the darn thing but no luck. It was even more painful the next day.

The wife forced me to make an appointment with a sports specialist and after some digging, I located one right in Subang itself from the Runners Malaysia website called Sports Backcare Specialist run by Dr. William Chan. I made an appointment and got myself diagnosed this morning.

After a lengthy tests of prodding, poking, pressing, squatting, bending and whatnots, along with X-rays and an ultrasound scan, it was discovered (up to 95% certainty) that I have a patella meniscus tear and tendon sprain of my right knee and will have to be completely off from running for 3-4 weeks!

You should have seen the look on my face when he said that. It was like I had no life left, what would I do, where would I go? I think Dr. Chan was pretty used to the look of despair I gave him cos he said that's the look most runners give him when he tells them they have to take time off from running. From that point on I seriously don't remember half the things he was telling me about my injury. I was totally zoned out, all I could think of was, no running for 4 whole weeks?!!

4 whole weeks, doc?!!! Pix credit to knowgriefersblog.
Let's just say that I'm not at all happy by this development but at the same time I'm glad that I listened to the wife and got it checked out. I probably would have aggravated it and made it even worse if I persisted in running through the pain. Besides, I don't really have any races at least until the 3rd of March and this will give me time to recover and rest the entire body.

This puts a huge damper on my training plans and my fitness level is definitely going to take a big dip. I'll have my work cutout for me once I start training again. With the right and 'smart' training plan, I should be back to some semblance of form just in time for the Brooks Half marathon.

This forced sabbatical will also give me a chance to take a step back and analyse my training plans for the future. I believe I've been pushing myself too hard (and the wife agrees wholeheartedly) with trying to achieve too much that I don't realize I'm not a young wee lad anymore. This old body cannot take the abuse that it could a couple of years ago.

Running is supposed to be fun and sometimes being too competitive and hard on myself tends to take the fun out it though I won't admit it. The wife tends to remind me of that sometimes but I only hear what I want to hear. I guess that's what you call being in a state of denial. It's time to put the 'fun' back into running once I recover and get my priorities right.

Let's face it, I'm not going to get on the podium ever, unless all the other runners take a totally wrong turn somewhere during the race and get lost, so why am I constantly putting pressure on myself and in the process ending up with more and more injuries? I want to be running way into my old age and the way I'm going, it's going to be very unlikely that will happen.

This injury is really a blessing in disguise and hopefully I'll learn from it and come out of it a better and 'smarter' runner. At least the doc said that the injury didn't come to a point where I would have required surgery. That would have been really horrible news. This is like a wake up call for me. Till then though, the next 4 weeks of the rehabilitation regime I've been given by Doc Chan takes centre stage.

20 comments:

  1. 4 whole weeks!?
    I can imagine how tough it will be. Hope you enjoy the rest and come back stronger.

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  2. ouchhhhh so sorry for your injury! rest well and maybe spend more time with the wifey and other hobbies? :D

    be glad you don't have to take THREE months off or more, or you'd really be sobbing and rolling on the floor of the doctor's office!

    p.s. you had a podium finish in Genting Highlands what, don't play play! :)

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    1. Sobbing and rolling on the floor in the docs office would have been a sight to be behold, would it? LOL!

      I'm glad it's only for a month. A really long month at that.

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  3. Ouch!

    Do take care and rest Nick! Don't get itchy and run before it heals properly!

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    1. Thanks Lina. Don't worry, the wife is keeping a close eye on me sticking to that rest period.

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  4. Yeah, like Piffles said, at least it's not 3 months. Come come, I pinjam you good book to read. Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry. Who knows, maybe you can dig out a gem in there. ;)

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  5. Have a good rest Nick! Same goes to me to that 'fun run' part. Should have just step back once in a while and run to your body and without pushing too hard..anyway, be patience and strong..I know how it's feel if you have to stay out from running that long..

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    1. Yup, time to put the 'fun' back in running and don't be too hard on myself.

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  6. Get well soon Nick. I know how that exactly feels everytime I injure myself and that look when the doc tells you you have a tear. At least my shin splits before PBIM last year wasn't that bad (or so I think), I'd still be able to run with the tape but my blood flow is all screwy and make me tired easily. Cutting back on the running is a pain but need to recover first.

    Competitive people hehehe, I used to think running is fun, now all I can think of is going fast fast fast which lead to injury. I think I need to get my priority straight too.

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    1. Thanks Mas, I'm definitely re-looking my priorities again. All this injury is just screwing up my rhythm. Need to run smarter from now on.

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  7. Sorry to hear that. It may be no running for 4 weeks, but that doesn't mean that you can't do other exercises; May be a good time to work on some cycling or even swimming. I have had my fair share of injuries. But it will just make you hungry for more running when you get better.
    That said, I think one other issue is that you need to look at your gait, running form and even training regime to avoid further injuries. Heed the warning from your injuries...

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    1. The thing is Francis, the doc said I can't cycle or do anything that will involve over using the knee for the whole month which leaves me with trying to figure how else to keep my fitness intact in the meantime. Swimming is out cos Id drown in one inch of water even ... LOL!

      But yeah, I'm definitely going to look into my gait and stuff. Injuries suck!

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  8. Oh no. I had the same expression when i visited Dr. Chan in 2010 for my Plantar Faciitis.

    Had to lay off running about a month, i know exactly what you goin thru Nick, it was a mental torture lol.

    I've been a smart runner since then, listen to the good doctor and you'll be back in no time and stronger.

    Take care Nick.

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    1. Thanks Ray. At least it's only for a month and not more.

      Need to stay away from Facebook for a while so I don't get upset too much seeing all your running reports ... LOL!

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  9. Whatttt??? ONE month resting? Jaw dropped... I'll go cuckoo if I have to rest that longgg... Stamina wise will plummet like hell definitely...

    Thank goodness it's just 4 sweet weeks of rest. Yeah Nick, u were right about listening to our body and take a step back, re-analyse and restrategize ourselves. Make the most of the resting recovery period okay.. Afterall, it's still part of the training..

    I luv running for fun... It really boost my running spirits too in style... =D

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    1. Yeah, one whole month! Sucks, doesn't it?

      Looking forward to the end of this forced running ban. Happy running to you and yeah, run for the fun (and health reasons too) of it :D

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  10. It was 3 whole months for me Nick! Just have to bear with it. Maybe go walking if you feel bored. All the best for your recovery. And, I agree with you, I run for FUN now. I used to chase PB, but 7-8 min pace is good enuf for me now, at least I feel comfortable. KY

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    1. I'm incorporating walking in my activities for now. Totally boring not to do anything and there is only so much core workouts I can stomach.

      I'm going to reel back the speed a little once I'm fully recovered.

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