Best $25 I ever spent

I finally used my health insurance and went to see a physical therapist about my running problem.

I headed out to Rockville, Maryland and it’s a huge pain in the ass to get out there from DC but the place is actually technically near the White Flint metro stop. [Have you ever seen people walking on the side of an 8 lane road and wondered what the fuck they were doing in this place that was so obviously not meant for people to walk there? that was me today.]

I would say it was, all in all, totally worth the trip. I originally had an earlier appointment but they called on Monday to say a 5pm appointment had opened up so that meant I didn’t have to leave work quite as late. Great. The receptionist, Sheila, is incredibly nice over the phone and in person. She knew more about my insurance than I did and said I only needed to pay a $25 copay (they accepted cash/check/credit card) and that was it, they’d take care of everything else.

Even better.

My appointment was with Rachel Miller, who is medical director at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. She’s a runner and was hands down awesome. There was lots of testing, moving, watching, treadmilling, and finally she looked at me and said, “Your knee. It’s fine.”

Long story short (too late) my ass and core haven’t been pulling their weight and that’s what is causing the knee pain. She said, “Honestly, if you didn’t run, you wouldn’t have this problem but since not running is not an option, let’s see what we can do for you.” She went through exercises with me, we talked about cadence, and she showed me how to do everything correctly.

My mother was relieved to have a medical professional declare that I do not need knee surgery.

On the one hand, it’s a relief to know that nothing is wrong.

On the other hand, it’s kind of… I don’t know. I almost now feel like I’m imagining this pain. Like I did this to myself and I’m just using it as an excuse for being a crappy runner because that’s what I am. A crappy, out of shape, terrible, runner.

Even after 2 years of being what one might call “active,” I’m still not physically fit by any stretch of the imagination. It’s kind of frustrating. It’s like I’m trapped in this cycle of nothing ever being enough. I start running, not enough. I run more miles, not enough. I don’t just run I start rowing 4 days a week. Still not enough. I start doing yoga. Nope, still not enough. Still fat, still out of shape.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just too hard on myself but then I can’t help but think I’m hard on myself because I’m a fat, lazy person as evidenced by the current state of my stomach muscles.

Ugh. But anyway, she was great and I enjoyed it a lot. If I could get the time off work, I’d go once a week for 6 weeks like she recommended (she also said to max out at 4 days of running for marathon training) but since that’s not happening I’m hoping I can work out going every other week… maybe?

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8 thoughts on “Best $25 I ever spent

  1. This post made me lol AND feel your frustration. That’s awesome that you found a good Dr. though and it really helps that she was a runner too! Last time I saw a sports dr. (about a year ago), they told me nothing was really wrong with my knee either – just other parts/muscles were weak.
    I feel the same way about still being overweight, but working out like a beast. I know a lot has to do with my eating, but honestly, I eat fairly healthy, so I feel like if I wanted to really lose another 20 pounds, I would have to get so strict, that it would have to be almost an obsession and be my #1 focus, and I don’t want to go down that road. I put away my scale and said to hell with it. I decided to keep telling myself that skinny doesn’t = healthy (And i’m actually writing a post about that right now), and I’m ACTIVE, and THAT makes a difference! Now, if I start gaining MORE weight, we’ll have a problem.

  2. Do NOT make me come down to DC and kick your ass because I will do it! You are in NO WAY a crappy, out of shape, terrible runner. Listen, I am all about the self deprecation because, well, it’s a specialty of mine, but not when it’s completely uncalled for! You are sooooo much stronger and faster than you give yourself credit for and a lot stronger and faster than a LOT of people (i.e. me). I can completely empathize with not being the shape you want/wish you were, but no one in their right mind could call you lazy or crappy and if they do, I’ll kick their ass too.

    Btw, I’m glad your knee is ok.

  3. Ok, first, I am so happy you saw someone that is able to help you and that you finally have the issue diagnosed! Second, YES YOU ARE BEING TOO HARD ON YOURSELF!

    Someone who is “fat”, “lazy” and “out of shape” does not run a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon over 4 consecutive days! You are more than “active” (I picture active to be power walking the mall just to get in some activity each day).

    I think sometimes when we focus too much on one sport or activity we over develop some muscles and some muscles groups don’t get the attention they need to keep everything in balance. I can tell you when I began doing yoga I very quickly figured out which muscles needed some attention! Keep up with the PT and exercises she gives you and I’m sure you’ll start to see results soon! (P.S. sorry for the long winded response!)

  4. This post made me laugh. I was having knee pain while training for two half marathons this spring. Turns out the problem wasn’t my knee but a very tight IT band that was impacting my knee. And my physical therapist also said my glutes could be stronger….hmmm, no kidding!? Biomechanics are a bitch! Hang in there. You will feel better if you follow the PT exercises.

  5. Ok. First off yay for nothing serious in terms of injuries. The fact that a bit of strength training can help is a godsend. You will be back to training pain free in no time! Yay!

    Second, I have battled (and will continue to battle) the same feelings with feeling/looking fit. I don’t think lack of visible abs is a measure of fitness. It’s a measure of super careful eating, genetic blessings and some exercises mixed in. If having visible abs is the measure of fitness then I am royally screwed because I have a massive jelly belly, which like you, I find frustrating, but I still consider myself fit.

    So..on that note, take everyone’s comments to heart. You are fit. You are active. You are an athlete. You couldn’t have done Dopey or any of the other races you have done unless you were. The only person/ body you should be comparing to is your own. Try taking a good look at what has changed for you since you started running two years ago. I mean, really look at it….from the medals you have received, the miles you have run, the injuries you have overcome and to the creation of what are surely amazing runners calves (one of my favourite parts of any runners body, including my own).

    Don’t get down my friend. You are an amazing, fit lady!
    ~Lisa

  6. Hi Nicole! I just found your site and am glad I did. I started training for a HM when I turned 50. It’s 18 months later and I still haven’t hit 13.1 miles with any consistency. I am still too slow for a runDisney race (which is what inspired me to start in the first place) and have had to learn to do a lot of things different just to stay upright (hello? how is it possible I made it to 50 and didn’t know how to breathe?) Like you, there are days I wonder how I can be doing everything “right” and still be overweight and slow. When will running become enjoyable? When will I be able to do more running than walking? What’s with these 8-week and 13-week training plans? Even the C25K was too much for me as a starting point.

    Have hope, tho, Nicole. No matter what, every step we take to be healthier (or get closer to the bling – whatever your motivation) is a good thing. It’s far better than working out our fingers with the remote. Someday it will get better, right? We’ll get faster and start to enjoy the process. I’m just sure we will! I’ve never met you, but we apparently are sisters – Sole Sisters – and we can encourage each other for that day of no-injury, joy-in-running, actually-running, and feeling healthy.

  7. I agree with the other commenters – cut out that negative talk! You have come SO FAR! This injury is just one of the little ‘downs’ that go along with the ‘ups.’ Hang in there!

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