Thursday, January 26, 2006

Things aren't going well.

Attempting to write this without going into an uncontrolled rant, I'm going to try to just explain what is happening.

As I was running down that trail at Umstead on 1/14, and stepped on that root, I tried to keep my balance and not fall down - it's a reflex. Just after I felt/heard the pops in my ankle, I felt it in my left hip adductors, also. It's reasonable to strain a groin in that fashion so I expected to be sore for a few days afterwards. However, I didn't have even the slightest bit of soreness. The only body part that hurt was my ankle. Until this past Sunday...

By the end of last week the swelling in my ankle had gone down to the point that the left ankle was just barely bigger than the right. I wasn't feeling any pain unless I put my foot in a strange position - sitting on my left leg, which I absolutely love to do, wasn't possible. I contemplated running on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but each day decided to hold off. Sunday night, however, Doug and I went by Fleet Feet so I could try out some new road running shoes. I tried two completely new (to me) models of shoes because I'm wondering if my recurring shin splints might be caused by the wrong shoes. Running on the treadmill at the store felt great, no problems or pain at all. In fact, the girl analyzing my mechanics said my left foot/leg looked more solid than my right. A couple of hours later I noticed a strange feeling in my left knee - sort of like it needed to crack, but wouldn't. I chalked it up to a little bit of stiffness from running on the 'mill and let it go.

Monday I had planned to do a 4-miler after work, on the treadmill, but my knee actually felt a bit worse. After a bit of thought over the past few weeks, I decided to change my training schedule to make Monday a rest day, rather than Sunday. Therefore, the 4-miler planned for Monday got pushed to Tuesday. When I got up on Tuesday morning, my knee was stiff - but it's easy to blow that off when you've had another injury, just blame it on being immobile for a few days. Lunch time rolled around and I went out for my run. To be sure that I wouldn't be too far from the office if my ankle just wasn't ready to run, I did a 2-mile loop and planned to just do it twice. My entire left leg was just not stable and not ready, and I stopped after the first lap. That afternoon my knee still hurt, but not any worse than that morning. I honestly don't know if it hurt while I was running - I don't remember any pain, but....

Yesterday (Wednesday) it was feeling a bit worse, and the nagging worry that had been in the back of my mind pushed itself right up front and unpacked its bags. All day long I couldn't stop thinking about the pain in my knee. I poked around a little bit and discovered that when I push just above and anterior to the top of my fibula it HURTS, and I feel the pain inside the joint, not at the point where I'm actually pushing - which pretty effectively rules out ITBS. Not knowing what to make of that, and only really knowing that it was really painful, I did a search online of my symptoms - and it didn't look good. Everything pointed to a cartilage or meniscus problem. At about 2:00 I went next door to the fitness center and had a Physical Therapist check it out - she's pretty sure it's a problem with my lateral meniscus - which is exactly what I was afraid of. The PT prescribed a week of icing and strengthening my quad....But in all reality, a week just isn't going to make the difference. So today, I called the Duke Sports Med clinic and have an appointment with a Dr. there tomorrow (a knee specialist, in fact).

What does this mean?
*I can't run - I tried. Way too painful. That means I can't train for the Twisted Ankle. I had a somewhat successful ride on the stationary bike this afternoon but oh my god is that boring.
*I don't know what is wrong with my knee. I don't know what the doctor will say tomorrow. I don't know how I'm going to stay in shape, or reach the goals I wanted to reach this year.
*I'm trying not to get too down about this before I actually know what's going on.

Guess I'm just going to have to wait.

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