On Being a Stubborn Runner


Even if I missed running during Ragnar, I did have a lovely 6 mile run on Sunday afternoon. Pain free!

So. Turns out I am lucky. The Emo Knee seems to have just been tiiiiiiight muscles, specifically in my quad, hip and glute. With lots of stretching, foam rolling and tennis balling (and last week’s sports massage), I have been running mostly pain free. (However, the aforementioned massage, rolling and balling has NOT been pain-free.) I’ve still had a little bit of pain here and there during my runs, but definitely not with the same frequency as it was before the sports massage and my now-religious post-run recovery.


Tuesday’s group run with CES was a 5K Time Trail in the pouring rain. I had to undress as soon as I walked in the door. I thought because I was drenched by the rain, I wouldn’t have to shower, but then my husband told me I smelled. And for the sake of my bedsheets (and what happens between them*), I showered.

Just keeping it real, bloggers are doing that now, yes? Is there a hashtag I should be using? 

Anywho, I had a little bit of pain near the end of my run which made me sad, so I tennis balled the crap out of my hip. Two days later, it’s still sore. And my husband keeps hearing me make the weirdest sounds when I’m on the foam roller or ball. But I ran tonight with no pain, so I guess it’s working. (I also did lunchtime yoga at the office today.)


My training plan calls for two days of cross training per week, so I’ve been making use of the fitness center in my building. I’m still being cautious with the knee and sticking to arm/ab strength stuff and cardio that will put the least strain on my knee … in this case, the recumbent bike. I really wish we had a rowing machine, but hey, at least I can work out without leaving the building.

As happy as I am to have solved the problem of my Emo Knee, and as thankful as I am that it’s a relatively easy fix, I’m annoyed at myself. Annoyed that I waited so long to get it looked at. Annoyed that I opted out of three races that I probably could have participated in had I gotten the knee checked out as soon as it left me limping during my runs. I know I’m not the most stubborn runner, but I’m still annoyed by myself. My rationale was that I would be told to rest and not run, and I was doing that anyway. Why did I need to spend the time and money for someone else to tell me not to run? (Joke’s on me … no one told me not to run.)

So, my plea to you, is get your odd aches and pains checked out ASAP. Athletico does free (FREE) injury screenings. If you do actually need PT, you still need a doctor’s referral. But if you need, say, a sports massage, you can just schedule that and enjoy the pain train.

Make me feel better … tell me your Stubborn Runner stories. 

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18 Comments on “On Being a Stubborn Runner”

  1. I’m happy you were able to run relatively pain free, but a big fat BOO to the lingering pain.

    Hindsight is always 20/20 so don’t beat yourself up over the being stubborn not going to the DR part. You did the right thing by resting. Hopefully you’ll get past the lingering pain and be running without concern soon.

    After continually running with quite significant pain in HS, I now back off almost immediately when I have something more than a passing annoyance. (I’ve just been there done that too many times and tend to get the same problems) but ooh ooh. I strained my hip flexor bad 2 weeks before a marathon and could barely walk. Yet I ran the marathon because the flight was paid for etx. So dumb. Took forever to heal.

    *lol at the “keeping it real” remark. It’s like bloggers need a disclaimer to say they are indeed “keeping it real” (because all this time everyone thought it was fiction that they were writing??) hehe

    1. Sometimes I think some bloggers are writing fiction, haha. Or I guess we’re just so filtered (for good reason) that some stuff is more “real” than others?

  2. I did the same thing with my foot last fall . . PF. I ignored it, and it got worse. I went to a chiro. The smartest thing ever. The tight muscles in my calf caused all my problems. She fixed my feet via the graftson technique. I started wearing birkenstocks in the house, and threw out all my cheap flipflops and shoes with no support. I roll after ever run now, and I get an adjustment every now and again. All made a huge difference. I wore crappy shoes the other day. OMG. Never again.

    1. My boss isn’t a runner, but has been dealing with foot pain. She stopped wearing flip flops and that seems to have helped. So it’s not just runners!!!

  3. Did you take a lesson from the passionate foam roller at Ragnar? 🙂

    I think we’ve all fallen into this before – for example, I got my free screening at Athletico a few weeks ago but haven’t made time to see a doctor to get a prescription for PT just yet, even though I know it would help my running a lot and probably keep me from further injuring myself. In part because I really haven’t had the time to do it, but like you, I was worried that they’d tell me not to run. Athletico had told me at that time that I should probably only do SF10 OR Ragnar, not both. And woops, I guess I did both.

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend anyway. Better late than never, right?

    1. You probably don’t need to go see your DR for a referral. I just sent my dr a message through their online portal and within a day they had faxed over my referral to athletico. 🙂

  4. I’m a stubborn runner too. I actually injured myself during the Chicago Marathon in 2012; my knee was exceptionally emo! I couldn’t run for 3 months. I went to athletico for the injury screening and they gave me some exercises to do. The exercises plus painful foam rolling healed me 😀 it was such a sad 3 months, though.

  5. I was raised in a family where we went to the doctor only under the most DIRE circumstances, and as such I’m always so hesitant to go to the doctor, even when it’s probably not a terrible idea. I think part of me doesn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf, as it were, popping into the PT/doctor every time I feel the teeniest tiniest twinge…but I have gotten a lot better about being proactive when those teeny tiny twinges stop being quite so teeny and tiny and start being a lot more persistent. I know Accelerated does free injury screens as well, and NovaCare for sure does them for CARA runners–not sure about everyone else. No excuse to not go get one if you think something’s wrong! Even if nothing appears wrong, it’s nice to be able to walk out with a little peace of mind having a professional tell you you’re just fine 🙂

    1. This is a good point, my mom rarely took us to the doc for anything other than a check up and I guess I’m still shaking that mentality. Her motto was always “fluids and rest and you’ll be fine.” Luckily we always were.

  6. I’m so so glad your knee is feeling better! I’m glad you’re joining the Tues night runs with CES. Did you know we also have a Tues morning option in the South Loop? I coach the 6:00AM group and it’s a lot of fun! See you tomorrow morning!

    1. I did see the 6am option and might check it out! However I’m not much of a morning person and even when I do run in the morning, it’s quite sluggish. But, it’s a good option if I have stuff going on in the evening.

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