Last week I decided that it was time to start running. Because here I am, 35, watching friends and friends of friends on Twitter do the Couch to 5K and I suddenly thought that this is something I could do. Me, the girl that loves yoga and having her feet firmly planted on the ground unless they are firmly fitted to bike pedals. Me, the girl with a generous ass and thighs that go right along with it. Me, that gasps for breath after a sprint to catch the boys before they do something really bad. Yes, me. I decided I too can run.
The C25K program is a good one, a gentle one that lets you transition from never ever running to possibly completing a 5K. Last week was week 1 and I felt great; three runs with Tim, each one a little easier than the last. But then Sunday I woke up and my knees were aching something awful so I skipped yoga and decided to try a day of rest. Then came Monday afternoon and we headed out for the 30 minute session with plans to repeat the first week because I am not sure I am ready to move on yet. And oh my god, my knees, a fire-like piercing pain in the right one which gradually started in on the left by the end of the ‘run’. It was hellacious. But I stretched and did my yoga class and figured I would take it from there.
Yesterday was the second session for the week and it did not happen.. At all. I barely limped home and collapsed on the floor and resigned myself to being that girl that cannot run. It was quite disappointing and really painful.
This morning I was doing paperwork and a light bulb hit. I am a PT. I am the person that people go to when they cannot run because they are in pain. Well, I am not that PT, my specialty has never been orthopedic injuries. I am the brain injury/CVA wunderkind but never been one for the old ‘it hurts when I run’ treatment routine.
I spent 20 minutes in self diagnosis this morning, zeroing in on the problem. Now, I know my body well, yoga keeps one fairly linked in, I would like to think. But apparently not as well as I thought. I started at the patella (knee cap in laymen speak) to measure my tracking and Q angle. First thought on my R knee was “Holy sh*t!!! When did my knee start to look like that?” Because my Q angle is not looking so good. The greater your Q angle, the worse your tracking, the more you risk scraping your poor little patella out of the femoral groove leading to even more pain. So I did a little squashing and pushing and pulling and taping and it began to track a bit better and I began to feel a whole lot better.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because this morning I was reminded of something. Well, a few things. That I am a PT for real and I know a lot of things about the human body, its failings and its healing and something I can do about both. It also reminded me of the fact that I am getting older. My knees are getting older and tracking in ways that I never thought I would see on me. My heart is getting older which I why I wanted it to pump more so it can be trained like my knees. My bones, my flesh are starting to change, not fall into some deep spiraling decent but just age. Moving towards that inevitable place we all end up.
It was also a reminder that I may never be a runner despite my will/wish/want. I can still do yoga and hike five miles a week with my feet touching the ground the whole time (I might have to hike a little faster and harder to get that cardio effect though). So, I may just fail at this Couch to 5K thing. Which I think is okay despite the fact that I hate to fail.
Ah, to be a person that is aging. I am not sure I feel comfortable wearing that role quite yet. But I know from my work that it happens to us all. And I know that staying on the move is the best way to welcome it, this aging thing. Now off to something I know I can do …