42at40 week fifteen: well, here’s where we’re at…

I almost decided not to write another update until after race day.

Candice running in her neighbourhood
This run was a hard one. Even though it’s shorts weather.

But I realized it wouldn’t be honest to my journey if I did that.

Let’s be totally real: I’ve developed patellar instability/patellofemoral pain syndrome on my left side (primarily lateral). This isn’t an official diagnosis, but both my physio and I agree that all signs point to that. It’s not something that is super concerning, and it can be rehabbed with exercises, time off, and getting back to activity slowly and smartly. I’ve also found taping to be helpful in keeping my kneecap in a better position anatomically.

But what does that mean for my race?

Well, let’s go back a bit. A week ago I was feeling ok. Physio had helped, and I did a 10k run on the weekend that was pretty good – just a blip at the 8k mark but nothing too serious. I talked about that in a previous post.

Monday and Tuesday I took as rest days. My legs were achy, but I tried not to put too much into that. Given I’d just done my big 32km run the week before, they should be kind of achy, you know?

Unfortunately, when I went out to do another 10km (at a slower pace) on Wednesday, my legs and hips were cranky for the whole run, and by about half way through, my knee started acting up with feeling like my patella (knee cap) was not in proper place. I’d run a bit, it would feel like it ‘slipped’, I’d slow down, it would work itself out, lather-rinse-repeat. This was not the first time this feeling had happened; I’d get it when going up or especially when going down the stairs sometimes. But it was the first time it was so pronounced on a run.

I was supposed to have another run on Friday just before physio, but I tossed that out and just took another rest day with a brisk walk about half way to physio, taking transit the rest of the way.

When I checked in with my physio after telling him all that had happened, he and I both agreed that I should not be running until race day. Now, I wasn’t to be sedentary – not at all! His advice was to keep active but take the pressure off the knee. If I absolutely needed to, I could come in and use the Alter-G for runs, but since I’m in the final week of taper anyhow, he didn’t even see that as necessary. Brisk walking (in proper shoes!) would be just as effective for me, given my goals and how I was feeling. I’d be fine to run my race in a week, as long as I did it smartly.

Other than the chat about strategy, he did several extra assessments, we determined what was going on and he gave me a number of gentle rehab exercises to do. We did some acupuncture and other treatments. We also tried out a lateral taping on my knee to keep my patella more in place – a different kind of taping from what I had last time.

Anyhow! After a week of achy legs, I’m happy to report today they feel much better and have been responding well to the exercises and taping. And my kneecap seems to be staying in place a lot better now. Resting has helped.

compression socks in bright colors
Some new socks for post-race recovery

So gameplan for Sunday’s marathon? Just have fun. Don’t worry about time, don’t worry if I have to walk for a little while. Take the hills easy. Enjoy the views. I’ll get to the finish line and all will be fine – that I’m very sure of.

See y’all after!