So… I’m sidelined. The jury is still out on exactly what’s going on, but I don’t think there’s any question to the fact that I overtrained.
One day, after a few months of triathlon training – swim/bike/run/core workouts – I started getting some knee pain while running. Initially it was a dull pain along the outside of my left knee, and after having to cut a handful of runs short, I somehow convinced myself that “maybe I just need to run through it.” So I pushed through a 5-mile run at sub-8-minute miles, and as I winced to a stop about a half mile from home, I began to fill with regret.
The consensus among trainers and fellow athletes seemed to be IT band issues, and the doctor and PT concurred. So we worked on strengthening my glutes and breaking up some of the knotted muscle fibers that were thought to be a source of the pain. Stretching, foam rolling, PVC pipe rolling, getting in there with a lacrosse ball… and even dry needling.
It wasn’t getting worse, but it wasn’t getting better. I could still swim, strength train and ride my bike, so after initial withdrawals from running I found some peace.
I kept up with swimming and biking, and spent my evenings crawling around the living room doing PT exercises and watching “The Wire” on Netflix. I figured by season three I’d be all fixed up.
Cut to season three…
The knee pain crept up about 20 miles into a weekend bike ride. Knee pain on the bike? This was new. I pushed it for another 10 miles or so, until I was finally able to quite the voice that was saying “maybe you just need to ride through it.” And then I remembered how well that worked out for me last time.
I rolled into a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, where I avoided conversations with strangers and choked back tears behind my scratched Oakleys, and waited for my Knight in a shining white Jetta to arrive.
So here I am. Sidelined. And I have to say it doesn’t feel good.
There’s not happy ending to share quite yet, but I’m 100% positive that there will be. Patience is all.
The moral is: We expect a lot of our bodies, at least I do, and 99% of the time they rise to the occasion. So we ask for more and more until one day it just spins around and says “F*@! YOU,” And for some reason we are surprised.
Don’t be surprised. Do the right things and listen carefully to what your body is telling you, even if it is barely a whisper.