Saturday, November 17, 2012

54,136 times

My left foot hit the ground 54,136 times during the marathon last Saturday.  Well at least according to my Garmin FR60 (with foot pod).  It also means that my right foot did the same bringing the total steps taken for me to complete 26.2 miles was 108,272.  That's crazy!

Somewhere along the way of those 54,136 steps of my left foot my left knee said "enough" and started hurting like it has never hurt before.   Knee pain, knee pain, knee pain,...  I suppose it would not be too difficult to make the argument about overuse, I mean look at these numbers.  I do not recall any specific incident, twist of the knee, stepping in a pothole, trip, nothing.  It just started gradually hurting more and more.

Somehow I was able to finish the race.  Once home and after a bunch of googling, the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) approach seemed to make a lot of sense.

My knee's two new best friends
The knee brace really helped with getting around but after four days it was still not getting better.  Went to the doctor, he did physical examination and said it does not appear to be anything major and ordered x rays.   Still have not heard back on the x rays which hopefully is a good sign that they did not find anything significant enough to quickly get back in touch with me - I hope.  

So I continued googling and reading everything and anything I could find on knee pain - there is a lot out there on the subject.  Two of the sites that I thought were really good:

What I have learned:  The knee is incredibly complex and is made up of a lot of things.  It is designed in such a way to allow us to put a lot of stress on it, on a daily basis.  However, and just like the rest of our body, it is not designed to last forever.  So even without a specific incident of something to cause pain, things like arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, strain, overuse can all impact it.

I am slowly getting back to my walking.  Although my training plan called for 36 miles this week, all I've been able to do was one quarter of a mile :)  and I was happy to be able to do that.  I will slowly add distance back as the knee allows it.

Update 11/20:  Knee is feeling much better.  Convinced it was most likely Tendinitis.   I do have Tendinitis in both wrists and when it flares up, just put the wrist brace on for 7-10 days, limit the use and the inflammation goes away.  That is what it was like with me left knee.  Hopefully it does not flare up again during a race  :)


  1. Yes, the knees do take a pounding. That's why I try to stay on the dirt. 54,136 steps just doesn't seem to hurt as much on the softer surface.(Notice I said "as much")

    1. Ditto - when given a choice, I opt for dirt. Besides the pounding issue, it's usually much nicer scenery. I wish there were more races that fit that category around here. I'm also getting to the point were I do not like dealing with the camber on roads.

  2. Knee pain - there's nothing quite like it, and for someone as physically active as you are, it's also a pain "somewhere else". Hopefully the injury is something that will heal with some TLC on its own (and it does seem to be improving a bit, yes?) rather than requiring other measures. Fingers crossed, Scott!

    1. Thanks V! Yes, it is getting better. I did 2 miles this morning with the brace on and it felt good, especially once it got loosened/warmed up. I think the neoprene on the brace helped keep it warmer and from what I've read that helps with the blood flow. I was getting paranoid after reading about so many folks with chronic knee pain. Maybe googling too much is not such a good idea :) And your are so right about it being a pain "somewhere else" not being able to just go out and get some miles in.

  3. Firstly - nice on on the marathon - i don't think i would be able to do any of that sort of thing. I have had a knee injury and that was a lot of pain and took ages to heal, it is only when you have these things that you realize just how much you use them