My training has come to a sudden halt. After Tuesday's run (8 miles, moderate pace), I started feeling discomfort in my right knee. It was just a little sore, but not more so than any of the other random aches and pains I've had this season. I ran my short run (6 miles) on Wednesday and about an hour afterward, my knee started 'giving'. I would feel this intense pressure / pain on the sides of my knee, it would release (and give), and then the pain would stop for a little while (rinse, repeat all day long). My knee was also swollen... not to the point where it was noticeable to everyone, but swollen enough that I could feel it (and see the fluid build up).
I called my doctor right away because knee injuries ended my first attempt at running back in December of last year (a couch to 5k program that ended abruptly when I got severe tendinitis in my right knee). The FIRST doctor I saw (not my normal one, but the only one who could see me right away) thought I had a torn meniscus.... I FREAKED OUT! She referred me to a sports medicine doc for a consult and I got in the very next day (Friday).
I LOVE my sports medicine doctor. Our first conversation when something like this:
Doc: What brings you in today?
Me: I've injured my right knee during marathon training.
Doc: You're training for a marathon? How cool! Which one?
Me: The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon in three weeks. It would have been my first.
Doc: It WILL be your first. I am very confident you'll be able to run it. You're already prepared enough to run it, even if you do no exercise for the next three weeks.
Me: *HUGE RELIEF*
After X-rays and a physical exam, I found out that I don't have a serious injury, just inflammation and runner's knee. I'm clear to finish the season, but only running the races I've planned (i.e. no more training runs). I'm limited to non-weight bearing exercise for 4-6 weeks. I will take my time on the bike and elliptical and enjoy it because given the alternative of a severe injury requiring surgery, I am so happy to have runner's knee.
So for now, I'm icing, resting, icing and taking high dose anti-inflammatories to keep the swelling down. So far so good but I'm anxious for the Ragnar relay this Friday. Hope my knee cooperates!