Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Early Runs Takbo.PH Run Fest 2011

Let's pretend for a while that the doctor did not advise me not to run anymore and that I did not write my previous blog...


OK, enough pretending. Doc would probably say he told me so but I just had to run this year's Run Fest. Last year I did a PR 5K at this event but last Sunday I wasn't hoping to get anywhere near the upper 80%.

Nursing my knee pain, I started out my 16K with a 7.5 min/km pace. I was able to keep it up until around the 4K, 5K mark where I slowed down even more and I just alternated it with walk breaks.

My low EQ got the best of me but I was obviously not in any condition to run, especially a 16K that passes McKinley Hill. Oh the horror! That dreaded hill of my first ever 3K run(walk) in 2009 continues to haunt me until me now.

But do you know what is more painful than trying to get your bad knees across 16K of asphalt?!

My singlet did not fit!

No amount of holding my breath can allow me to wear that singlet! It's funny now that I think of it but imagine what I felt when I was trying it on the night before! Emphasis on trying. Ha!

But cmon, my knees nor my doctor stopped me, how would not wearing the singlet do otherwise?!

Finish Strong

Near the finish line, the marshal saw me limping my way through. But he cheered me on and said "Last 1K. Keep it Earl. Then finish strong."

That gave me a little boost and I finished as strongly as I could. My girlfriend and I really appreciate the fact that the marshals call the name of the runners. After all, the names are much bigger than the number, and I felt much bigger than the distance.

Happy Anniversary

It was a good event overall. I want to greet a Happy Anniversary! May this group continue to support its members to inspire new runners all over the globe.

It's definitely not a perfect event (what is?) but like runners always say, "Keep moving forward!"

Good job and congratulations for another year of awesomeness!


Here are some shots from the event.

My lovely personalized bib (I so love my full name :P)

At Mini Stop

Alot and Tey

Tey and Earl


Showing off our pretty 16K medals. Whattahair!

The Superposition? My left knee couldn't carry me that much and so I was having a hard time balancing on one leg.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Doctor's Appointment

Last Tuesday I went to see the doctor due to chronic knee pain. I think this started last September but it got worse on November after (or during) my 32K run for Leg 3. I could barely run after the 21K mark and I almost limped my way through the last 5k.

But as you know this did not stop me. I still went on to do a 16K, 10Ks, and then a couple of 21K races, the last being at Goldilocks.

Is this what they call a runner's knee? I don't know for sure yet but it's quite painful and I haven't been able to run or even walk properly since the last run. I feel so lousy and heavy, mostly heavy. Maybe it was weight gain or maybe it was that I did not train and recover enough for that 32K run. A lot of maybe's and so I went to Asian Hospital to find out.

While waiting, I picked up a magazine called MIMS Med Review because one of the articles in it had "Chronic Pain" in the title. To my surprise, the article was a nose-bleed one especially to a commoner like me.

The article was "The Place of Pharmacological Treatment in Chronic Pain" by Dr. Mick Serpell, FRCA, and it started with "The processing of nociception involves multiple neural pathways, transmitters and receptors..." I should have stopped there because all I could think of was Inception but I read on dreamily until about 3 pages in and I already finished stuff on NSAIDs, codeine, and opioid drugs.

It was like mental bloodbath in that article but amidst all that confusion, I think I understood something. This phrase was highlighted and I sort of get it:
"It is easier to keep pain at bay rather than trying to control it after it has resurfaced."
It made sense and I should have understood this earlier. Dr. Serpell was saying that "...rapid control of pain symptoms can reduce the risk of chronicity" and this mirrors what many runners and bloggers already say: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

It is natural to feel pain but you should know when to take it easy so that you can enjoy what you love doing for a longer time.

My advice is not new but I would like to say it as a reminder to myself:
1. Train well and get enough rest and nutrition.
2. Give yourself time to recover.
3. When you feel pain, do the famous RICE (Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate) and see if the pain is only temporary.
4. If unsure, consult your doctor immediately.

I want to add that you should keep your weight at the optimum level. Like I said, I feel heavy and lousy lately and maybe that affected my running form and the impact on my knees.

Doctor's advice was for me to stop running for a while. I was expecting that.

But I fear I might violate that in the near future. :P