My second attempt at the 5 mile run was a complete success this afternoon with one small caveat. Knee problems have officially returned. And not in the knee that gave me issues before. The other one.
Let’s start with the good news first. My run today I would consider wildly successful. I think the main reason was because I focused on something that I really haven’t before – controlling my breathing. My typical pattern in the past was to start breathing properly – in through the nose and out through the mouth – for about the first five minutes and then it sort of becomes a free for all. When it reaches that point, I almost start breathing just to survive the run. I didn’t realize what a huge difference it makes until I tried to control my breathing throughout the run.
As I made a conscious effort to breath this way for the duration of the run, I found that running became much more effortless. I hit the 1 mile marker and I felt like I had just stepped on the treadmill. At mile 2, I still felt great. Great enough that the thought had entered my mind that I go for the full 10K distance if it kept up. At mile 3, fatigue starting setting in a little but at this point I knew I would be hitting the full 5 miles.
It was at about the 4.5 mile mark that I started noticing tightness in my left knee. It wasn’t painful necessarily but it felt like my knee wasn’t appreciating the pounding I was putting on it. This is contrast to the IT Band issues I had in my right knee where I felt pain in the outside of my knee. This is in my left knee right in front and in the middle. Right below the kneecap.
My initial thought was that my running shoes are nearing the end of their useful life and are ready to be replaced. What I experienced was a lessening of the joint support provided by the shoes and today my knee finally paid the price. I’ve had them since the summer of 2008 and have put approximately 350 miles on them.
Has anybody experienced this type of knee issue and, if so, how did you remedy it? Would a new pair of running shoes potentially be the answer?
I’m going to give it a good rest tonight and see how it feels in the morning. Hopefully, it loosens up a bit overnight and I can have a solid session with my trainer tomorrow. My worry is that I’ll continue having knee problems like this and any aspiration of running a distance race again might end up being a pipe dream. I’ll continue stretching and strengthening and hope for the best for now. I suppose it’s about all I can do.
Have a great Thursday!