Friday, August 31, 2007

Rock Meets Hard Place

TR and I have been together for almost a year and a half – my longest relationship with a man since my college boyfriend. Our relationship is… well, friendship mostly, with a side of shit talking and at-times-brutal honesty, but we found a place where we have fun, and I know he cares about me beyond the scope of trainer/client and the boatloads of cash money I bring to his business every week.

So, it kind of felt like I was cheating on him when I went to a physical therapist on Wednesday after he told me I didn’t need to see one. It’s not that I didn’t trust his opinion – I did. But, on Wednesday morning I took my new shoes for a three-mile jog around the neighborhood, and while my knees didn't "hurt," I could "feel" them. Athletico, a large PT clinic in Chicago, has free screenings, and one of their locations happens to be about three blocks away from my house. I figured it couldn’t hurt to get a second opinion.

Off I went. The sort-of cute PT had me stand on one leg, lean against the wall, and lie on a massage table well he poked at my thighs… sexy. Then we had this conversation:

PT: It’s the IT band. You need to rest your legs for the inflammation to go down. You need to stop.

Lou: Stop running?

PT: Yes, stop running.

Lou: Stop running? For how long?

PT: Three days to a week.

Lou: But I can cross train?

PT: Like what? Strength train… no.

Lou: What about other cardio?

PT: No. You have to stop.

Lou: Stop? Like stop everything?

PT: Stop means stop.

Lou: How do I… What… I mean… I can’t “just stop.”

PT: Well, then you’re just going to continue to aggravate it.

Lou: So I need to stop?

PT: You need to stop.

Lou: Huh.

The good news is, except for the argument to stop running vs. keep running, PT and TR were pretty much on the same page. My injury is not that bad and it just needs to be managed. I don’t need physical therapy, unless it gets significantly worse.

I’m not sure what to do. Ultimately, the decision to run (or rather attempt to run) 18 miles on Saturday rests solely on my shoulders. I took yesterday off; I’m taking today off. I’m doing the exercises the PT gave me, and I’m icing my knee. And I still haven’t decided whether or not I’ll attempt to run come Saturday morning.


Kendra said...

I would vote no on the 18 miles. I know you need the training time in order to reach your goal, but you won't get there with only one knee either.

L Sass said...

Can you swim? The 18 Miler is pretty important, but my experience with an IT band injury is that running will absolutely irritate it. Swimming worked well for me as a cross-training option.

Will said...

Seriously, just stop! What is going to happen is your body is going to compensate for the knee that is injured. Then parts of your body that are compensating for your knee will become strained because they are not used to the additional stress. This is more true for the legs than any part of your body.

Cautionary tale: I injured an ankle playing football in high school, had surgery and rushed back to play baseball. This put so much stress on the other ankle that it required sugery, which I rushed back from again leading to a second surgery on the orginal ankle. So 3 sugeries in 4 years and they don't even give you good painkillers for orthopedic stuff.

Lou said...

I asked specifically about swimming, at which point the PT stared at me probably wondering why "Stop means stop" still hadn't sunk in. Needless to say, he was against swimming as well -- this surprised me because I also had read on the Web that it was a safe cardio activity for this kind of injury.