petulant – pet·u·lant – ˈpeCHələnt – adjective: 1. (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered. “she was moody and petulant”
“The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is probably the least often injured ligament of the knee.” Cite.
Because, of course.
Remember Ragnar when I rolled my ankle? And then my left knee was hurting on the downhills?
And then I took it easy in the two weeks in between, sort of. Low impact, indoor treadmill-ing on the fancy treadmills at my gym.
My longest run in the interim was a bit over two hours, 0.0 incline 15-16.0-ish on the fancy shock absorbing low impact treadmill.
The “toughest” one was 11-ish with incline variances, on the not so fancy treadmill, tempo pace.
At Seattle I set out to have a strong but relaxing finish for the West Coast Challenge. It was cold, to which my body, particularly my left knee, has never responded well.
I set off trotting along at an easy and surprisingly even pace.
And then Mile 12.
Just past mile 12, just as I was passing the maximum effort threshold for the previous two weeks, my left knee just quit.
And I walked, eventually limped, the remaining 14 miles.
I did manage to trot across the finish line. But if this had not been 5 of 5, I would have been out. I can state with certainty that had this not been 5 of 5, I would have quit around Mile 17.
I am fortunate to be generally healthy, generally financially stable, and to have a variety of very smart and successful professionals among my friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving for that.
Without MRIs and scans (premature I’m told, “see how this week goes”), based on my description of events and some general physical examination, the most likely cause is a mild LCL sprain aggravated by running (walking) a marathon two weeks after the inciting incident, and running (however reduced/modified for my personal habits) what most people would consider high mileage in those two weeks in between the initial cause and the subsequent marathon.
But all is not lost. The emphasis is on “mild.” The fact that it was not aggravated during my indoor, climate controlled workouts is promising. The fact that it did not have any problems for the first 12 miles in Seattle is also promising.
Alternatively, ITBS, which has similar symptoms and is consistent with my history of the left knee acting up in winter. Both are indicated by pain and weakness on the outside of the knee, and the two share most of their primary symptoms. But ITBS pain is slightly higher on the side of the knee. The location of my pain and the ankle rolling at Ragnar point to LCL.
Both are heal-able and rehab-able on a 2-4 week plan. Good.
But I have to be cautious, conservative, meticulous, etc, etc, etc… in my recovery/rehab efforts if I have any hope of going forward with the Maniac Double. In 6.5 weeks.
I have a pretty resilient body, so I’m not jumping to conclusions, either way. I’m going to make my best efforts to behave myself and not be too aggressive (or aggressive at all) too soon. Hopefully, this combined with my significant running base will allow me to go forward with the double, albeit with no time goals other than “finish.” But I’m realistic, at this point nothing is set in stone.
I’m being careful on the diet and nutrition front, too, because we are what we eat.
So basically, I’m going into December and the Holidays on a program that does not allow running, cute shoes, more than one drink with dinner, most holiday comfort foods, or dessert. Presuming things follow the best case scenario, tomorrow I’m allowed on the recumbent bike and/or light walking. This weekend I can mindfully resume strength training. But since I’m being cautious I probably won’t start the biking walking until Saturday or Sunday, and I’ll probably keep the strength training to the basic leg rehab exercises until next Monday. My pride wanted to ditch the full-time knee brace yesterday, reality seems to be dictating today or tomorrow, but in the spirit of “cautious” and “conservative” I’m giving it a genuine full 7 days of rest and support and sticking it out to Monday. If things do not go best case scenario, next week I’ll be seeking scans to check for tears, etc. But as things are going so far, the initial prognosis seems to be panning out as predicted.
And I’ve been doing a whole lot of reminding myself of what I tell others — you only get one set of knees. Forfeiting $200 in race entry fees hurts, but not nearly as much as knee surgery or the resulting bill.
And yes, while I am doing my best to be adult about this, deep down, I’m quite petulant. It’s the best word for it. Deep down, I’m childish and sulky. Like being grounded as kid, where you can’t do any of the things you like to do.
But you know what?? It’s Christmas time. I have a job, a home, a car, heath insurance, friends, family, and a pretty mild form of the injury that I do have. So I’m going to focus on that, and, as always, we’ll see how it goes!!