Today I was planning to run at least four miles, but my knees started to bother me at about two and a half, so I quit at three. I feel cheated; I hadn’t even really break a sweat! On the other hand, as someone who is naturally averse to running and most other forms of strenuous exercise, it’s quite delightful that three miles seems insignificant to me these days.
As for my knees, they have been bothering me somewhat over the past few weeks of running, but usually not until I’ve run past four or five miles. I’ve been icing them regularly, which does seem to help. However, after I finished my three miles today, I couldn’t even bend my right knee without significant pain.
The problem doesn’t really correspond to any of the common knee-running problems listed on this page or that page. The pain is focused in the lower outside quarter of the edge of the knee, mostly in my right knee. I already wear my orthotics when running, as I do have a problem with my iliotibial band in my left hip. Also, the pain disappears fairly quickly after I stop running. I haven’t twisted or otherwise traumatized my knee lately, although hiking down the Grand Canyon in mid-May did cause a great deal of knee pain and weakness. Also, although I’m running more than I ever have, I was pretty good about slowly ramping up my mileage. So really, I’m not sure what the problem is.
Fortunately, I just happen to be married to a musculoskeletal radiologist who should be able to squeeze me into the MRI schedule at one of his group’s outpatient facilities tomorrow. Yeah!
Update: It seems that my knee pain is due to inflammation of my iliotibial band after all. Paul even helpfully marked up these images; the white area is the inflamation.
So the problem isn’t all that serious, although I do need to attend to it.