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Running and Knees - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Running and Knees
I was having dinner with M&S&R wednesday night, and SGW asked me if I was still running. "Yes," I said, "some. I run at least once a week, but rarely as much as three times a week. But I'm contemplating giving it up after the Race for the Cure. My Personal PA thinks I should."

"Really, why is that?"

"Well, because it hurts my knee when I run. And because, um..." I foundered, and realized I didn't exactly know why. I glanced over at M for help, and he had to admit that he hasn't actually examined my knee -- medically, I mean (heehee). (He is a physician's assistant in orthopedics, so he does have a few qualifications in this area.)

So why did I say that? Well I think part of it is simply that I enjoy saying "my Personal PA". It's fun. Also, I really don't like running, so the suggestion that perhaps it is medically a bad idea has some distinct appeal.

For years (on and off) I've tried to cultivate a taste for running. I really want to be a runner. I know it's great exercise, it's really healthy, and it is so satisfying when I'm through. I love the sense of pride and accomplishment I have when I'm done -- but while I'm actually running, all I really think is something along the lines of "when oh when will this end??" I keep hoping that running regularly will cause me to become fond of it, but it hasn't happened in eight years.

However more importantly, my left knee has been bothering me quite a lot recently. (It's had two minor surgeries and one ACL reconstruction about 15 years ago.) It hurts some when I run, and it hurts more after I'm through. It gets puffy for a day or two as well as sore, and my range of motion gets limited. This might be a good reason to stop running, and it's surely what made M suggest the idea.... on the other hand, it also hurts when I do fun things like skate, or ski. This is certainly not a good enough reason to stop either of those activities!

I guess it's just that (no matter why much I want to love it) I don't really enjoy running, so I'm enamored of the idea of having to stop for my own good. I also really wish my knees felt great all the time! I don't like the idea of stopping other things that hurt my knee though, so there is a little bit of hypocrisy there.

I have no real conclusions, just musing through my fingertips here. I'm definitely running in the Race on May 31. After then, I will probably do more bicycle riding and less running. Will I give it up completely? I don't know about that... but now that the weather is getting nicer, this running thing is getting in the way of my bicycling anyway. I miss my bikes.

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encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: May 3rd, 2008 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I can understand the impact from running casuing knee pain but not sure what might be causing the problem with skating. With the 20 or so miles a week I put in, I am not having any pain any more; when I first started up I had some soreness.
swerve From: swerve Date: May 3rd, 2008 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
As someone with limited tread life left on her joints, I've adopted the habit of exerting myself only in ways I enjoy (not counting physical therapy). Be kind to yourself. :)
From: writerwench Date: May 3rd, 2008 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I've never been a runner. But it seems to me that pushing yourself through a form of exertion that you do not enjoy, and that causes your most vulnerable and important joints to hurt and swell, is less than sensible.

Pain and swelling = tissue damage. Possibly quite serious, possibly permanent, certainly not to be ignored. You've already had surgery to your left knee, and you're continuing to damage it? Why?

Cycling is a far less damaging way of getting about and far more fun. And I think overall, if you were to stop running, the knee would cope better with skiing and skating, although those two sports are also notorious for putting huge strain on the knees.

Like Swerve says... be kind to yourself! You're on earth for quite a while yet, don't risk spending most of it hobbling painfully around.

hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: May 3rd, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
what writerwench said. all of it.

there many other forms of exercise that are way less stressful on your knees. please be good to you, chicka (:
nishar From: nishar Date: May 3rd, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Swimming is far far better for you than running. Too bad you don't live on a tropical isle some where.
thinggtwoo From: thinggtwoo Date: May 4th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the idea of being able to run - I never have been able to. I LOVE to Walk, tho! :)
From: caneprints Date: May 4th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree with those who have already commented on your post. There are plenty of exercise options out there, running being only one, so don't punish your knees or your spirit doing something you don't really like. A few years ago, some friends of mine convinced me to join a bowling league. It took me about three months of being totally miserable every week to finally admit to myself that bowling just wasn't my thing. Although my friends were disappointed, I was a whole lot happier when I left the league, and I don't regret it at all.
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