Two weeks ago I did a lovely 12k run and was feeling brilliant. The year had started off with great mileage. And then my left knee started hurting. Out of the blue, it hadn't hurt on the run, I hadn't fallen, knocked or twisted it or anything and 12k was not an extreme amount, it's sort of standard for my long runs. Going up and down stairs was extremely painful, walking involved twinges - running was obviously not on the cards for a while.
And whenever things like this happen I see it as the end of my running career. This is runner's knee, arthritis, the protective cartilage in my knee had been well and truly eroded, walking now meant bone rubbing on bone, it was going to get worse and at some point I would need an artificial knee. I would never run again.
Well, I could still walk on the flat (with twinges). So I kept my steps up, doing walks in the morning instead of runs. Movement is good for bad knees. Slowly the twinges on the flat stopped. But going up and down stairs was still horrible. Son asked why I was limping. I never realized how many flights of steps there were on the way to work. I even changed my route to avoid them. Around the middle of last week I managed to go down a very small flight of stairs - WITHOUT PAIN! And on one of my morning walks I tried a gentle trot. Just 5 minutes, then a walking break, then another 5 minutes. It worked - and I beamed all day. The next day I ran 1km, took a break, then ran another and did 4K in total. I got down a longer flight of steps before the stabbing behind my knee cap started again and I started to think that maybe I will run again.
The body is an amazing thing and I am very grateful that I seem to heal reasonably quickly. I can look at runners now without going green with envy. I'm reading your posts with pleasure again. There were no twinges today - but it's the weekend and therefore no stairs. I will run slowly and carefully tomorrow. First 1k, then a walk, then another. And I will love every minute of it.
And I might even start Rignold's squats! I need to do something to strengthen my damned knees.