I Jinxed Myself

Last week I wrote about doubt. Doubting if I had a marathon in me. Doubting if my knee injury would come back. Well, guess what happened the very next day?

My knee started to feel “off.”

Way to jinx myself! It all started at the beginning of an early morning run. Within a few minutes, my right knee began to feel like it was going to give out. It wasn’t exactly pain but it was definitely different and not comfortable. So I stopped, stretched a bit and started up again. My knee was fine the rest of the run. Of course, during the whole run I was analyzing everything I had done in the past week.

Snowshoeing with 30+ pound pack – increased knee stress.

Wore new Brooks Pure Cadence 2 sneakers to work on Monday. Wore them for half the day but spent all morning on my feet. My legs were toast – increased knee stress.

Crazy basement workout with way too many burpees and lunges – increased knee stress.

I forgot about it after the run and went about the day. Then the discomfort came back when I was walking though the snow playing with the kids. I’ll get it at random times throughout the day too. I never had that feeling back in July. That particular pain was only after running 3+ miles. So I started to freak out just bit. I’m supposed to be starting training for a marathon! This can’t be happening!

The Vermont City Marathon isn’t till May 26th. That’s 18 weeks away. My plan is to lay off running for two weeks to give my knee a little rest. I’m hitting my bike trainer, walking and the elliptical instead for cardio. I’ll also be increasing yoga and strengthening to build up the good habit when training really starts to ramp up.

Strength Yoga Bike - happyfitmama.comI’ve also started to question my shoes. I’ve been told I need a stability shoe due to my over pronating from a running store analyst and my physical therpist. I also started to wear orthotic inserts back in August (recommended by PT). Maybe I’ve got too much support and that’s causing my injuries? I definitely know that I tend to be a heal striker especially when I’m getting fatigued. That doesn’t help the situation either. There’s a lot of information out there on the minimalist movement in running. After reading posts recently from Jill and Amanda, I’m seriously thinking I need to first, work on my form and second, ditch the inserts and stability shoes. I’m hoping to find a natural running clinic in my area to learn more. Something’s not working right and I’d like to get to the bottom of it.

It’s been 8 days since my last run and I’m going a little crazy. No other workout gives me that same satisfied feeling. I’m Jonesing for a run big time. Like BIG TIME! But I’m going to try my hardest to resist the urge. Only 6 more days to go!

After typing and rereading the above paragraph I realize that I sound like an addict.

Hi everyone. My name is Angela and I’m addicted to running.


The winner of the Courage necklace is:

Nicole from Masters 2 Marathons

Congratulations! Please email me (happyfitmama@gmail.com) with your full name and address so I can get the necklace off to you ASAP!

Question of the day:

What’s your thought on the minimalist movement?

47 comments on “I Jinxed Myself

  1. Bummer! FWIW I used to run in a stability shoe. Long story short, I battled shin splints and other issues I couldn’t shake… the the point I sought out PT. The best part of PT was learning I do no need all the stability (went to a neutral/high cushion shoe with inserts from the PT). I eventually ditched the high cushion shoe and inserts on my own and moved onto a low drop (4 mm) shoe – Saucony Kinvara line. I also am working towards the 180 bpm. I am definitely a believer in letting our bodies be the way they were intended for the most part! Changing my stride and cross training has helped me run lighter!
    Heather recently posted..The cost of winter runningMy Profile

    1. It is so extremely frustrating! There’s so much conflicting information out there that it’s hard to know what research to believe. I love to hear stories of people who have ditched the stability shoes and orthotics and have become better runners. Thanks for the input!

  2. Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear about your knee. You have the perfect plan and attitude to get through this little setback. That marathon is yours!!

    I can’t stress it enough, try natural running. You just may be amazed!

    That said, it takes a tremendous amount of patience to transition to a minimal shoe and my patience is running low. No pun intended πŸ™‚ Going through a serious period of self doubt right now ugh! This too shall pass right?
    Jill Conyers @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted..Fitness Friday || 5 Important Tips for Winter RacingMy Profile

    1. Oh no! Best of luck to you in continuing the transition. I realize it’s a very long process that requires the ultimate patience and commitment. But I’d have to constantly remind myself of the outcome – the possibility of injury free running. Thanks for the putting your transition on your blog – you’ve inspired me!

  3. So sorry to hear this! I know you’ve been cautious with your training overall, so it really stinks. I really think you are SMART to take the time off, though. Way to go–it will pay off.

    If you decide to go the natural route, I am happy to answer any questions you might have. My biggest tip–go slow and be patient.

    As to clinics in your area–if there’s a store that is a big Newton carrier, they might be your best bet b/c Newton offers lots of these clinics.
    misszippy1 recently posted..No Posts Were Found!My Profile

    1. I may be directing questions at you sometime in the future. I’m not a very patient person so this is going to be a huge test for me and will need lots of input and reassurance.

      My local running store does have Newton clinics. Looking into it for sure. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Oh Angela, how frustrating! Taking two weeks off now before it gets worse is so wise.
    And isn’t the shoe thing confusing?? I’m still not sure what my ideal pair is… I’ve wanted to switch to minimalist as well, but my legs didn’t appreciate it last time I tried. I don’t think making that switch before a marathon would be ideal, as it takes a lot of time to transition. BUT, I do think you could still go for the marathon, building slowly. And you mentioned burpees… when I injured my shin over the summer, it was after an HIIT class with lots of box jumps, burpees, etc. The combination of plyo moves and running is very tricky- it’s like calculating in several extra (hard) miles to your week, and if you’re already walking a fine line, very easy to cross it and get injured. Thinking of you and your knee… fingers crossed that as you get back to running, you’ll be feeling great!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Why Running Dreams MatterMy Profile

    1. Thanks Laura! I know if/when I make the switch it will have to be very, very gradual. I’ve heard too many stories otherwise. That being said, I definitely don’t think it’s the right time if I’m planning on a May marathon. I most likely would try after that. Good point on the plyos too!

  5. I definitely think that if you have orthotics in a shoe that’s already got stabilization, it’s overkill. I’m no expert, but…I think that orthotics should be used in a neutral shoe as they are supposed to be specific to your needs and not generic like most support in shoes. Again, unprofessional opinion of course. My husband would give you a thumbs up for working on form first as well. He will go on for days about that topic. It’s not always easy, and he is still working on it some days, but it’s made all the difference for him. Sorry for the ramble πŸ˜‰
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Vegetable "Beef" Soup and Way to Go WednesdayMy Profile

    1. Don’t apologize for rambling – you’ve got great tips! I was very surprised when my PT suggested a super supportive shoe with inserts. It seemed like overkill but then when my knee started to feel better when running I thought maybe they were right. I’m ditching the insert for sure and going to work like crazy on my form. It’s the one thing that I know for sure needs the most help.

  6. I agree with the two Heather responses. I’ve been running in what they consider a minimal trail shoe (4mm drop) for some time now, but the most important thing with going to the shoe is understanding the changes you need to make to your running form first and then gradually building the muscles around that. Major stress on your calf , achilles and plantar. I also still struggle in keeping form..every race picture out there seems to show me heel striking Although – the pics at the end of the seacoast half are a mix of the two. πŸ™‚ You read my pain last night with my new solomons… they are a 9mm drop and have a special ‘orthodic’ build internally. The shoe is amazing and it kills me to admit that it is hurting me but it is… Hang in there! From one running addict to another, best to heal and run again than to push it and not be able to run at all.
    Tony recently posted..Tick TockMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Tony! I was wondering about trail shoes – I never knew they made minimal shoes for trails. You’re right about form. It’s more important than anything for sure. I swear 90% of all race pics of me are with horrible form – heal striker, cross body arm swing, etc. I think the photogs photo shop that stuff in. πŸ™‚ Best of luck with your shoe drama!

  7. Oh no Angela! I hate reading this. Well we’re a pair today.

    I’m not a professional runner but I know my experience with orthotics has not necessarily been good. I ended up ditching them after the fourth run when I noticed extra pain.

    I hope you get it figured out.
    katie recently posted..You Got ThisMy Profile

  8. Changing my form and wearing a minimalist style running shoe has indeed reduced my injuries. It took time, and to this day I still cross train, do drills, foam roll and do PT exercises to strengthen my knees and hips, it takes time but so worth it. I wear the Brook Pure Cadence, which they still consider a support shoe with a lower heal drop, which helps you strike mid foot.
    RunWiki recently posted..Boston Training and the Plump Orange BeanMy Profile

  9. Oh no!! I’m so sorry that you’re feeling some knee pain but as others have said, I think that it’s super smart that you are taking some time off now. I think that I mentioned at some point that I’m having these nagging aches in my hamstring and it’s so frustrating! Definitely feels like one step forward and two steps back.

    I’m totally confused by the whole shoe thing too and wonder if I wouldn’t also benefit from switching to a more natural running shoe but I’m kind of scared to make the transition and also not sure I have the patience to make the transition, you know? I’m curious what you find out and decide. In the meantime, feel better!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Live.StrongMy Profile

    1. The shoe thing is absolutely confusing. But a more minimalist shoe does make sense. For someone who is not patient at all, making the switch will be frustrating to say the least. I guess I won’t know if it’s the right way for me unless I try.

    1. Thanks! One thing I learned from the injury over the summer was to listen to what your body is telling you. 2 weeks stinks but it’s the bigger picture that matters.

  10. Oh No!! I’m so sorry to hear this! I think giving it some rest will work really well! Let it heal and strengthen so it will be ready for training. Have you ever read ChiRunning? If not it is a good resource about form. I read it while I was training for Boston and it really kept me injury free! I’m thinking I need a refresher course though!!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Fitness Friday….Best Body Bootcamp Week 2My Profile

  11. Can’t wait to receive the necklace! I’ll be sure to send you an email today!

    As for your knee, you might consider taping it with kinesiology tape like Rock Tape for the first few weeks of exercise again since its helping me do the same. I have a review on my blog if you want to check it out!
    Nicole recently posted..First BarreMy Profile

    1. Congrats! I’ll ship out the necklace asap!

      I’ve used Kinesio Tape but found that it didn’t like to stick to my skin. It was during the summer so that maybe played a part in it. I had the best success with Leukotape. I’m definitely going to try it on my next run. Thanks for the tip!

  12. Wow, you have a lot going on there! I have a video over on my blog (just click the video link) that shows drills you can do to improve your running form. You do these after a run, or any time. Just not during. πŸ˜‰ Also when running, work on cadence of 160 steps per minute minimum. I usually just count my right foot and make sure it’s at least 80.

    When I started back up after my calf injury I was SO afraid of hurting it again. So I stretched a LOT after each run and iced it after long runs. I think that would be a good idea with your knee, too.

    As for the shoes I’ve been in that same position and I’ll tell ya I think you’re right – too much support. I ditched the orthotics, improved my form, and stuck with the stability shoes – but the least amount of stability possible. I train in Brooks Ravenna and race in the Racer ST.

    Good luck!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Professional Athletes Aren’t Heroes. THIS is a #RealheroMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the tips! The initial knee pain last week made me think it was psychological at first since I’m incredibly afraid of re-injuring it. Maybe I’ve been subconsciously altering my gait more. Hmmm…

      I’ve heard great things about the Brooks Ravenna and Ghost. I’m keeping an open mind and willing to try anything just to run long distance pain free.

      Checking out your video now!

  13. I have to say that I’m a believer in less shoe. Mostly from experience but also from what I’ve read. In August I attended an excellent running seminar put on by Peter Larson of Runblogger.com (an A&P professor at St. Anslems) and Dr. Coapland from Performance Health Spine and Sport therapy in Concord. The workshop was so helpful. They talked so much about the history of the shoe industry, current shoe construction, trends and also anatomical responses to different kinds of shoes. Their bottom line: less shoe is better. I ran with orthotics for the longest time after my first bout of plantar fasciitis, I’ve ditched the orthotics. And run in the Kinvara and the Brooks Connect both 4mm drop shoes. I’ve had no issues since switching.
    Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..Quick Dinners: Soup and Sandwich NightMy Profile

  14. The words that popped out to me in your post were “heel strike”. I’m no expert, but if you’re a heel striker, you land on the narrowest part of your foot and you can wobble in all kinds of ways from there. You’re less likely to heel strike with a shorter stride, so maybe a place to start would be work on that and higher turnover? And like others said, strengthening other parts of your legs and hips so all the muscles are equally strong.

    I am kind of in the middle with shoes. I like the Brooks Launch a lot. It isn’t bulky like most of the Brooks line, but not minimal-ish like the Pure series either. My husband has had calf and Achilles issues so the 4mm drop bother those places for him. I’m a lot more flexible and my 4mm drop Merrell Mt Mavis are no big deal on my legs.
    Karen recently posted..Allergies, again.My Profile

  15. I made the transition to a lower heel-to-toe drop last November and it has been such a good thing! I wish I would have done that earlier. I wasn’t ready to do pure minimalism, but the Newton Gravity has been such a great shoe to transition with. You still have the cushion to protect yourself from the road pounding, but bring your foot out of the “high heel” position. Rest well with the knee, you have time with a May marathon date πŸ™‚ Looking forward to reading your progress!
    Christina recently posted..New running shoes and post-run dark chocolateMy Profile

  16. So sorry you have a knee problem. I train and race in Brooks Ravennas and love them. They are a neutral shoe, and work well for me. I wish you well since you obviously miss and love your running. By the way, we moved to NC from Exeter, NH a few years ago. The New England winters are a trial of patience if you like to exercise outdoors!

  17. I’ve never been a fan of running shoes with the stabilizers, cushions and other fancy stuff. I’ve been using road racing shoes for the past 15 years and love them. I’ve tried my hand at barefoot running too and it wasn’t to bad. I decided to give it a try when one of my students started doing it, they called him Barefoot Joe.

    I totally understand the Jonesing for a run. I wish for a long run with just me and my thoughts. Almost 15 months ago the kids & I were in an accident and the engine block landed on my right ankle. I broke my medial malleolus and completely severed the deltoid ligament. I was told I’d never be able to run, or work, again by one of the doctors, one said abuse it how I want to use it and the PT told me I’d never be able to run long distances or play basketball again. I have been able to do short runs, I have 3 kids and have to chase them. This week I am starting to train for a 5K. Right now the plan is 2 short runs a week and build up from there.

  18. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot
    you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.
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