Prepare for a lot of parentheses.
I saw Kim Ortloff today for my knee pain. She’s a LMT and teaches Active Isolated Stretching Technique (see her website and impressive resume here.) I saw part of her lecture on AIS at the Gulf Winds Tri Club meeting last Monday (I say part because I was sitting far back, couldn’t see anything and could only hear about every other word). Then, later that week, when I asked Dawn if she knew a sports doctor (I was unwilling to see a regular doctor because if s/he came back with rest and ice for a month, there was no way I was listening. If, on the other hand, someone who knew athletes, knew their particular injuries and understood the mental illness that pushes them to train despite said injuries told me to hold back, I would be a little more willing to listen), she came back with Kim’s name. Must be a sign, said Dawn. I called and made an appointment. And then, even later that week, when I was updating Laurel on my knees and scheduled session, she said that Kim was exactly who she would have recommended. Sign no. 2. So, I continued resting last week and kept my fingers crossed that either A) I would be told that the pain is minor and I can train through it or B) that I can do some stretching and be rid of the pain altogether.
Today, Kim evaluated my stance, my feet, my shoes, and my training. Her diagnosis was Patellofemoral Pain (Runner’s knee) which is a very common injury. And I have a minor case of it. She said that my knee cap is still being held pretty tight in place and that there isn’t too much tenderness around it. The culprits are overtraining (yeah, I knew that…shame on me), a small amount of pronation, probably shoes with not enough cushioning, tight muscles pulling the kneecap off track and weak quads.
I am to:
-have my gait and shoes evaluated at Capital city Runners (an excuse to buy new shoes? Yay!)
-flex my quads as a strengthening exercise throughout the day and train my medial muscles to start the pull
-stretch using the method she showed me today for 15 minutes a day
-try not to overtrain (and this is where I decided I love Kim. She didn’t push her training philosophies on me, but did tell me her thoughts and the training advice of other athletic coaches. She knew from experience where I am in the mindset that I feel I NEED to do all this training. And she gently suggested that recovery can get you results as much as cramming in another training session.)
-ease back into running. 10 min walk then 10 min slow jog for the first day back. 10 min walk then 20 min slow jog for the next day back. A couple more easy runs and then I should be back to building some sort of base.
Biking and rowing are approved activities.
I have to admit that the stretching was…uncomfortable (you may read into those dots). She took the stretches deep and I went to a mental place I haven’t visited too many times. But afterwards, I could feel the benefit of having relaxed legs and I look forward to how this will prevent injury and possibly improve performance. In fact, I go back tomorrow night for a group stretching class to refresh my bad memory (it was a lot of info crammed into that hour and I’ve already forgotten half the stretches she told me to do).
Fingers crossed that within a couple of weeks (filled with stretching and icing), I will be back into the full grove of things sans the pain 😀