The end of week 8 and being realistic

Just back from W8R3 and it's been the best run of the week in terms of distance covered ( 3.22k in 28 minutes) and the best run for weeks in terms of how I felt. That's not bad to say that I am now running on 2 less than perfect legs, rather than the one less than perfect leg I've been running on for the last couple of weeks.

I've had dodgy knees on and off for the last 35 years ( since I was 15). I was very sporty when I was younger, but then developed chronic pain in my knees. Investigations found that my cartilages were already degenerating, something usually seen in people much older than a teenager!

Over the years I avoided sporty, high impact activities so that I could avoid the pain ( that worked quite well until my joints started to complain about the amount of weight they were having to support!) and even when I took out a 1 year gym membership a few years ago in a last ditch attempt to shed some weight ( it worked - I lost over 3 stones and have kept the weight off for over 4 years) I avoided anything that was high impact.

Anyway, the pain is back since the running times have increased, and so is the accompanying joint stiffness when I get up in the mornings. I hobbled to the bus stop yesterday, feeling the effects of Thursday night's run, and felt huge sympathy for elderly people as I struggled to raise my leg high enough to step onto the bus! Once I get going the stiffness wears off quite a lot - hubby is the same with his ankles which have chips of bone floating around in them and are permanently swollen. The advice from the specialist was to carry on exercising for as long as he can. As hubby says - if we waited to be pain-free we'd never do anything!

So, I'm going to buy a foam roller, I'm going to carry on strengthening my legs, and I'm going to carry on running for as long as I can, just like my hubby who completed his second Tough Mudder last week and his 41st Parkrun this morning.

I should complete the programme next Saturday, and whilst I may never run 5k because my joints may not allow it, that doesn't matter, because I'm going to focus on what I can do, rather than what I may not be able to.

If all I can ever do is run for 30 minutes 3 times a week, and cover 3k each time, that's good enough for me.

9 Replies

  • Clearly I don't know whether your past issues have anything to do with your stiffness. However, I thought it worth mentioning that during the final 3-4 weeks of the programme I used to have very achy legs the day after a run. I sit a lot at work, and sometimes during the morning I would get up from my desk and could hardly walk because my muscles were so stiff, especially the muscles around the knees! Eventually, as my body got used more and more to what I was putting it through, these aches disappeared. they're back now occasionally, but that's only to be expected as I am increasing distance more and more.

    So you never know, your current problems may get better again on their own, at least partially. In any case, take care, and don't overdo it and don't ignore the niggles if they get too much!

    All the best.

  • Thanks. I suspect that my past problems have quite a lot to do with it, and as I have arthritis in my hands it is possible that I also have it in my knees. Using a foam roller and strengthening the muscles around my knees should help, but if they don't I'll see my GP for some advice as a first port of call.

  • Oooh owchy. I'd be mighty careful if I was you. You need those legs to last!

    Mind you, if 'all' you can do is run 30 mins three times a week that is still a massive achievement and my goodness so much better than so many people who would not even bother- even without any health issues. Chin up! If you don't get any more knowledgeable help on here ( and I am by no means anyone at all knowledgeable, apart from having incredibly unpleasant worn cartilage in my jaw joint) I suggest you get some expert opinion on the best way forward - take care of yourself! 😕😀

  • Thanks. I'll definitely be careful. I've learned to listen to my body because of the angina. If the pain and stiffness didn't ease once I get going then I'd be worried, and to be honest my knees feel better when I'm running than they do when I'm walking a lot of the time. If things don't settle down I'll see my GP, but years of experience with the medical profession have proved that they don't always know best!

  • Too true Easty. I also find that my (self diagnosed because I can't be bothered trying to get a docs appt!) planar fasciitis doesn't trouble me when running but is hell when I get up in the morning...- ah well, eh. As long as you're not making things worse it has to be good for you, right? That's what those runners' N-Dolphins say, anyway 😉

  • An inspiringly positive post! Long may you be able to continue your running!

  • Thankyou! If I waited to be painfree to do anything, I'd spend much of my time doing absolutely nothing at all. I've changed so much about my life to get to where I am now compared to where I was 7 years ago, and being able to run is the icing on the cake for me!

  • well said and a great post :)

  • Thankyou. I've avoided the forum a bit lately because I felt despondent reading about other people at the same stage as me doing Parkruns or signing up to races etc. Then I looked back at how I was just a few weeks ago and realised that I'm me and not anybody else and that I've come a long way despite my ailments. My achievements are my achievements and I shouldn't compare myself with anyone else, so I'm going to focus on the positives - which are that I can now run non-stop for 28 minutes without begging for mercy!

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