Saturday, February 4, 2012

Last year I trained for a half marathon (Diva's Half Marathon)
 and ran into major knee issues throughout my training.

I tried overdosing on glucosamine, knee braces, icing it - 
honestly anything to take the pain and inflammation away during
the 6 -10 mile runs I was completing several times a week.
It was the worst!

Finally, I wandered into Super Runners Shop in Huntington, NY
looking for some carb gel packs for my runs,
and wound up being diagnosed with something called 'flat foot.'

What the heck is that? 
Flat foot  is when the arches collapse as we walk or run and the ankles roll inwards, called over-pronoation. This imbalance can lead to painful foot conditions such as heel pain, heel spurs, tendonitis, and affect other parts of the body, such as the knees and lower back.
Not good, right?

Yes, I made it through the half marathon...

.... but my knees
 hold me back a lot in training and eh hem,
they better get their act together because I plan on running more.

I subscribe to a running magazine called Runner's World and in the March 2012 issue, 
I ran across this very entertaining article: addressed from a knee itself. 
( I know, I too was surprised how emotional they can be!)

Thought runners and those with knee issues might find this article worth the read, 
its quite witty and entertaining :)

From Knee to You
An open letter from a long-suffering leg joint to its negligent owner
By J.R Havlan

Dear J.R. -
This is your knee. No, the one on the right.
Weren't expecting to hear from me, were you? You thought maybe you could just coast through life doing whatever you want with me without having to worry about my feelings. And I'm not talking about emotional feelings. I don't even know what those are. I'm a knee. I thought I made that clear. I'm talking about physical feelings like soreness, swelling, aching, throbbing, burning...starting to sound familiar? The kinds of feelings that you seem to think a couple of Advil and an ice pack can make go away forever. 
Look, I don't mind you using me. I love it when we go running together. I'm literally built for that. And to be fair, we've had some good times together. Like the 41:21 in that 10-K race in May. That was a good time. And the 41:05 we posted in April. That was even better. But in case you lost count, allow me to remind you that you've limped into the doctor's office 10 times this year, and there's a reason for that: You and I are in an abusive relationship.
There I said it. Boy, that felt good- to get it out in the open like that! A real weight off my shoulders. Yes, I realize that I don't actually have shoulders. Don't be such a smart-ass. That was a metaphor. 
Let's get realistic: I'm not what I used to be. And that means you're not what you used to be. So quit trying so hard to be what you used to be!
It started with the arthroscopic surgery 20 years ago. What a blast that was! Did I forget to thank you for that? Because I really should have thanked you for that. (Yes, knees know what sarcasm is.) We had to sit on our ass for months after that, and then you basically bailed on the physical therapy- bad idea. Just because you saw a cheap little plastic model of me in the waiting room that day doesn't mean you know me. I'm very complex! And I deserve the be treated right. But you thought I could just return to work without the proper recovery.
Wrong! Again!
So 10 years go by and I literally carry your sorry ass along until finally I can't take it anymore and I "fail." That's what the doctor said: "Your knee failed." I failed?! Like you had nothing to do with it?!? I don't care how many degrees that guy had on his wall, he got that diagnosis backward. All that cartilage you took out of me in the first operation; all that muscle you lost around me and never bothered getting back; the fact that one of my favorite and more supportive ligaments was now nothing more than a piece of some dead guy's butt muscle! oh, but I failed!
So you had me "reconstructed" and put me right back to work, and 10 years later...Mr. Right Hip started to complain. To quote Gomer Pyle, "Surr-PRISE, Surr-PRISE!!"
"Why?"you asked the next doctor. Allow me. It's because you didn't take care of me! And I had to ask Mr. Right Hip for too much help, and after a while he was like "Hey, what the hell is going on here?" and decided to "fail" you, too. Something about a "torn labrum."
So, now what? Replace us? You really think you can just replace us? Well...okay, I guess maybe you can. But it wouldn't be the same! You would miss us. You'd see.
So I'll tell you what to do...idiot. (Okay, sorry about the last "idiot". Lots of hard feelings here.) First of all, quit  being an idiot and start doing exactly what the parade of physical therapists has been telling you to do. And keep doing it until I and Mr. Right Hip say it's okay for you to start using us again like we're all still 23 years old. We are not 23 years old anymore - but we're also not done yet. So do your bridges and your clams and your wall-sits, because I really want to get back out there and show those 23-year-olds exactly what we're still capable of. Brats.

Sincerely, Your Right Knee

J.R Havlan is a writer for the Daily Show. He and his right knee live in N.Y with his left knee. They have two cats.




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