Runner's Knee: A test of faith

I have been having pain on my knees when I do my long runs for the past three weeks now. It is a relapse of the same condition I had earlier last year. I blogged about it HERE. It was so painful, that I had to stop running and resort to walk run walk survival mode taught by my running buddy Peret Whately, to complete my session. When I had it the first time 2 weeks ago, I thought it was a result from running in a pair of a new shoe which still not completely broken in yet; and the fact that I switched to  a minimalist (Asics Gel Excell 33) instead of a stability shoe (Asics Gel Kayano 18) that I am used to. The pain would gone after a day of rest and a good massage. I can still run the short runs and speed intervals during the week, but it hit me again last week when I ran on the Corniche for my Friday long run. I thought it must be because of the hard surface of the Corniche, because I ran in my old Kayano that day. Again the pain was gone after a good massage and rest. I continued with my training programme and clocked my best pace during an interval session in the middle of the week. But when I had the same pain again yesterday, I knew that something was not right. It cannot be the shoe or the surface (but thay could also be contributing factors) because I ran on running track at Aspire Park and in a well cushioned Kayano. I should have stop and abandoned the training once I felt the pain, but me being stubborn and stupid (I prefer stubborn) just ran through the pain for almost 4 hours. It even crossed my mind that I'd better just quit running altogether and taking up golf instead. Walking leisurely in a golf course, sleeping in, eat all I want and be fat are much more appealing option than having to endure this excruciating pain. I was told by our coach, Sarah Whittington at Doha Bay Running Club that I might be having Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) or 'Runner's Knee'. After some research on the Internet, I am pretty sure that was the cause of the pain.

I contacted Aspetar, Qatar's only specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine (don't I sound like a real pro already?) hospital for consultation, but they are fully booked until February. Hello, my marathon is in 20 days, I cannot afford to wait a month for the consultation. I guess I just have to rest a lot, stop running and cross train instead and at the same time strengthen my hips  from now until Dubai Marathon. See HERE and HERE for hips strengthening exercises. I have also ordered a new shoe to replace my dated Kayano 18. I will Rock taped my knees and run Dubai 'leisurely' with the aim just to finish injury free (a tall order, I know), or just pull out from the race and have a 'DNS' on the race result. One comment from one of my friends at DBRC, Gamal really put thing into perspective. "A marathon last 4 or 5 hours, but a damaged knee could last forever".

I came up with a saying to keep my spirit while enduring the pain yesterday "Running is like marriage. It can be painful at times but you stick to it because of Love". To running I will always be faithful to you, even though you can hurt me sometimes.

More information about Runner's knee can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE


RaYzeef said…
Oh no.Runners Knee, that's bad.

We're here for the long run bro, see yourself doing this in 10 years time.

Sometimes it's better to DNS than to worsen the damage, your goal is Boston not other marathon.

My take, reassess your injuries, rest and hope the injury will go away. If not there will be other races.

Take care and my du'a for your well being.
Thanks Ray,

Will rest for 3 weeks then i'll see if im ok for Dubai..
Anonymous said…
Ah.. so sorry to hear about your condition. I think I can relate to your situation and feeling, it sucks to get injured while training for upcoming race. The same happenned to me last Sept, 3 weeks prior to my second marathon attemp. I suffered from PF on my left foot which lead to shin splint since i refused to give my leg the most needed rest. That was a good lesson learned for me. Do not beat youself up just in case you have to miss Dubai, there will be one to run next year,inshaaAllah.
so what happened did u pulled out from the race? My coach advised me to do hip stability training as long term solution.
Anonymous said…
Well, since I couldnt get a refund on the registration fee nor that I can postpone my entry to the next year, so I went ahead to start and DNF'ed after the first 5km just to soak in the fun few km's at the starting line. I dont feel too bad since I know I want to be able to run for the rest of my life, there will be other races in another place.
Wow.. I admire you, I may be too proud to quit. So how's your foot? did u see physio? Ortho?. When's your next race.

P/S Name please, Are Rizal from Saudi?

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