Leading into BTU110 I had done a few long runs on the weekend and started feeling some pains in my knee in the exterior of my left knee but just like under the knee cap. It only started to feel these pains when I bent it and only after maybe 3 or 4 hours of running. I thought I was just imagining and kept pushing on.
09 July 2022 at 5:00am the race began and I was in the top 5 or 6 people. I just happened to be running a similar pace with a legend – Alexi. I was feeling great even with the steep and constant undulation until around the 40k mark or ~4-5hour mark the similar dull but consistent knee pain. I tried to run it out for another 10Ks until it started becoming unbearable – I had made it to one of the larger aid stations and rested for a few minutes and downed some noodles. Started running again and within 2ks it had come back. At the top of a hill I decided to let my position slide and try to shake it out for 20-30 minutes with squats and stretches. It killed me just to let people pass. Similar to before, the pain came straight back but faster and worse than ever. I knew at this point that I was pulling out.
The walk of shame back to the aid station was the worst part as so many people were so encouraging and checking in if I was okay. At last I made it back to base and got a lift down to the bus stop with a nice support crew.
At the end of the day, I was sure I made the right call to pull out. It only kills me now as I look at the results to see and congratulate Alexi on coming overall 3rd. I still had a lot of gas in the tank and weirdly was walking fine, just couldn’t run.
I steeled myself and knew I had something to learn from this experience. Sharks can only move forward, I need to channel my inner shark.
What's up doc?
Without ranting too much about how long and drawn out the process was to see doctors / physios / radiologists / etc…. I decided I should get some specialist medical assessments.
- BAD: MUST see a GP to get a referral. Seems to take longer than a week to get a booking…
- GOOD: Opted in to get an MRI scan ($500 cost but $380 returned through Medicare)
- GOOD: MRI report comes back with a lot of detail. but quite complex. Google and youtube help diagnose
- BAD: GP is supposed to interpret the results but literally has no idea so just reads back the report word for word and suggests seeing a specialise.
- GOOD: Youtube / Google doctors and physios have lots of remedies which I was following most of the 3 weeks prior to finally getting the MRI report.
The words ‘Chronic’ and ‘ACL’ scared me to see them here – however I know they’re most likely from previous injuries and I was running with them earlier. So ruling them out it’s surely ITB syndrome and Google diagnosis suggested.
Rehab = Stretching and Strengthening
A few of the materials that really helped me.
- Stretch ITD with towel/belt
- Quad stretch
- Strengthen for 1 legged squats
- Ankle / shin flexibility and mobility
1 month later...
I rested for almost 4 weeks and maybe 5 cancelled physio appointments before deciding it was time to test it out. The stretching has really helped and no pain although I’ll admit I’ve probably overdone it with almost 60ks in the last 5 days.