I am not Super Woman. Crap.
Yesterday was my first day back to work from staycation. I have the privilege of working for a business that’s right on the Mad River Path and we’re encouraged to bring our dogs to work. Today I took not just Toby, my awesome lab, running with me, but I also brought along his best friend Owen, a Golden Retriever who would much rather be digging rocks up at the river than running. It was a mild day at about 52ºF and I was quite comfortable while running. The sky was just letting go of its cloud cover and I spent a good chunk of the run watching the cloud patterns disperse above Sugarbush.
This run was more challenging, but not bad. In week three, one does two sets of run 1.5 min/walk 1.5 min/run 3 min/walk 3 min. Three minutes is the longest duration I’ve run so far, but overall run time was only nine minutes, just one minute longer than I had done before. I was feeling the first-day-back-Monday-blahs so I once again felt heavier in my body than on previous runs. I tried to let go by focusing on the mountains, the growing foliage along the path and the two dogs who ran on either side of me for a whopping two minutes before tackling each other in the corn field. For those two minutes I felt like I was in a movie; it was epic.
I felt great after the workout. No red face, no aches or pains. However, after sitting at my desk for a few hours, I stood up and realized I had some dull pain in my left patellar tendon. My knees are still recovering from the week of landscaping, and they’re still covered in bruises. However, when I palpated my knee it was pretty clear that there was some heat and it was definitely the patellar tendon that was bothering me. Luckily, there was no swelling. I stretched a little more and went on with my day.
It’s now the day after. No foot pain, calf pain or ITB pain. However, when I first got out of bed I felt the patellar tendon ache again. It’s loosened up now that I’ve been walking around the house for a bit and showered. However, my Google-Fu tells me this is classically known as “Runner’s Knee”. Crap. Interestingly, I found many sites promoting barefoot running helps this, which is consistent with the research I did before I started running because believe me I am not new to knee pain!
Going forward I need to continue to focus on my form and really be sure I’m not heel-striking. From the landscaping project my lower back is bugging me and I think the reason I’ve felt “heavier” in the past two runs is that I’m trying to use my hips less and and letting my legs do more work. I also think I may be more inclined to heel-strike when I’m walking, which definitely could be creating enough force to piss off my knees. I plan to stretch the patellar tendon more pre and post-run as well as ice it post-run if it’s bothering me. I’ve also read about the patellar strap, but am unsure if I need that yet. Luckily, it’s not more than dull pain at the moment, but I really want to catch this early so I don’t injure myself.
Any of you barefoot runners (or others) dealing with patellar tendonitis? Any tips?