Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Forgive Me For I Have Sinned

I have a confession.  I have been a bad runner and athlete in general. 

I have committed the number cardinal sin of running and I am ashamed. 

I have not listened to my body, my pain, or my own advice. 

For the past month, I have been running and running hard with runner's knee and I have not done a single thing to help my condition.  I have only made it worse and now I am feeling the consequences. 

If you are not familiar with runner's knee let me explain.  Runner's knee is one of the most common running injuries and results from overuse and bad alignment from constant pressure on the knee joints. Your knee moves up and down in a narrow little groove in your thigh bone. It's a nifty design: when your legs and feet are working efficiently, your knee moves smoothly and comfortably with every step. But trouble appears when your kneecap moves out of its track, or rubs up against its sides. That trouble becomes pain when you factor in nearly 1000 steps per cartilage-grinding mile. Over time the cushioning cartilage around the knee becomes worn. That smarts. And that's runner's knee.

I have had runner's knee before, only it was in my left knee.  It came about at the beginning of the year, just as I started to increase my mileage after taking a long break from running.  I even went to the doctor and was told to take precaution, rest, ice, elevate, avoid hills, run with a knee sleeve, do quad strengthening exercises, and stretch.  I did all of this and within a few weeks, my knee got better; however, just as my left knee started to heal, my right knee began to feel the same pain. 

So for the past month or so, I've been dealing with the same pain in my opposite knee.  I'm guessing with the increased mileage and all of the extra pressure that was placed on it, it was only time until the other knee would feel the same effects. 

This time however, I have been plain stupid and I'll admit it.  I've been ignoring the pain, hoping it will go away.  I have not been icing after my runs, I have not been stretching before or after, I have no been foam rolling enough, I have not been elevating my knee when sitting, I have not been using the heating pad at night, and I've not been avoiding speed or hills. 

Thus, here I sit, barely able to walk down stairs and suffering through each run and I'm finally able to say "that's enough."  From here on, if I ever want to run any more races or keep running for that matter, I have to take a more proactive approach to being mindful of my knees.  From now on, I will be following the R.I.C.E regime before and after every run.  I am going to take a break from any speed work or hills.  Just nice easy paced runs on flat surfaces for a few weeks.  With my 1/2 marathon just weeks away, I have got to take this more seriously.  

It starts now, so as I write this, I assure you I'm practicing what I preach. 

Heating pad for 20 min every night. 

Wow, that was a lot of talk over my little knee.  Let's move on, shall we?

After a painful run and not icing (I know I know but I said it starts now and it obviously didn't start this morning), I ate breakfast. 

1/4 Cup Kashi Go Lean, 1 small mango, 1 kiwi, berries, Pineapple Chobani, Granola and Chia Sprinkles 

Does something seem like it's missing from this meal?  I noticed it just as I was halfway through.  No nut butter??!?!?!  I couldn't believe it myself, but there was just no room for the almond butter in this one.  I'll have to make up for that deficiently later. 

When I came home for lunch today, I noticed that Sammy was not around.  He is always waiting for me either on the couch or at the top of the steps.  I called his name and he didn't show.  Weird.  I called his name again and still no Sammy.  Finally, I went over to the kitchen, opened the smoked salmon and immediately, the little guy came rushing down the stairs.  He LOVES smoked salmon and I guess the simple whiff entices him enough out of a very deep sleep.  He is obviously my dog. ;) 

Of course I had to share a nibble of the salmon with him.  But the rest of it went on this incredible sandwich. 

That would be smoked salmon on Cinnamon Raisin Ezikel Bread with Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Sliced Peach

Side Salad of romaine, Cucumber, Broccoli, Blueberries, Walnuts, Cranberries and walnuts

Trying to make up for the nut butter from this morning, I paired a few carrot sticks with PB2.  Unfortunately, the PB2 was rancid! I forgot I even had this jar and I hardly used any of it, but after one bit, I checked the expiration date and it had gone bad in March.  So I guess this stuff doesn't last very long. 

Nut Buter Fail Number 2 of the day!! :(  

The lunch on a whole was fantastic, despite the rancid peanut butter. 

After a long day at work, I came home and followed my new promise of healing my knee by doing 20 min of quad stretching and strengthening moves.  Felt so good!  

When Toly got home, we went on a walk with Sammy and then I got started on dinner. 

A very quick, simple but delicious recipe tonight. 

Smoky Refried Bean Soup 

This soup was so simple to make and came together in no time.  I had some leftover vegetarian refried beans and I needed a way to use them up.  After doing some searching, I found this awesome soup recipe. 

This is all it takes. 
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 15 ounces fatfree refried beans
  • 15 ounces black beans, cooked
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 – 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

You basically put all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook for 20 min.  That's all! See, so simple but so delicious! 

I also sauteed some tempeh and added this to my bowl.  It made the soup much more meaty and hearty. 

Toly had sautéed ground beef and cheese. 

With a small bowl of tortilla chips to share between us. 
We both loved this soup.  I will definitely be making it again. 

And that is more than enough from me.  Sorry, it was a long one tonight, but it seems that I had a lot on my mind. 

Thanks for listening. ;) 

Have you ever had runners knee or any other injury from running?



  1. Oh girlie! Take care of those knees (I know you will!) I think I may have had runners knee in high school, but didn't know what it was. It was totally painful though. Beautiful breakfast as per usual and I need to try that soup (book marking). I didn't know PB2 went bad so quick- going to check the date on mine now!!

  2. Runners knee put me on the sideline for about two weeks! It sucked!

    I think foam rolling is the key. You really need to keep the surrounding muscles loose. Holler at me if you want the strengthening exercises I got at PT. I'd be glad to help out :)

  3. oh no girl--rest up. your body will THANK YOU and you'll be back in shape in no time.

  4. Sorry about your knee probs, Lauren! My legs find one injury after another to try out. I definitely feel your pain (no pun intended). You've reminded me to go get ice from the freezer--thanks.

    Do your body good and get some rest!

  5. Eeek thanks for the reminder that I need to take better care of my achy knee as I increase millage! Hope it feels better soon and heat helps

  6. I've had a lot of little running injuries in my 8 years of running but always just ran through them and they went away. But now being pregnant and feeling pain I can't do that and haven't run in 2 months. I'm dying inside but know its good for me and baby that I just wait one more month then restart again!

  7. All of your food looks great! That refried bean soup recipe looks delicious :) Definitely one that I have to try out!

  8. Well I am glad that you are going to do what it takes to get better :D It's really important! But I know that you know what :) Just remind yourself that you love running, and that taking these extra steps will help make you able to run for many many years to come.

    Sammy!!! How adorable :D I share some things with Matilda too sometimes. Everything on your menu today sounded delicious!!! Especially your dinner.. m'mm I'm imagining crumbling the tortillas in there.. or using them as a spoon hehe.


  9. I only wish it was a bit cooler so I could enjoy some of that tasty soup. I'm so sorry about your knee...you need to take the time to let your body heal (which I know can be a hard thing to do when you enjoy being as active as we are!)

  10. Take care of yourself girl and you are so right to LISTEN to your body!!! Just take it easy!!!

    Loving this soup you made, this would be great for the fall!!! xoxo

  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your knee! I dislocated my patella when I was 14, and it still gives me trouble. I know it's such a pain (literally), but I think of the fact that I still CAN run and move around. I don't want to be too hard on my body, because even with a bad knee, it's still a hell of a lot better than most people have it :) Hope your knee feels better soon love!! xoxo

  12. I've never had runner's knee, but I hope yours starts feeling better!

  13. Hi Lauren, I definitely feel your pain. I'm currently taking a break from running and icing my knee while I type! I too started feeling knee pain as I increased my mileage and kept working through it until it was excrutiating to walk (not smart!). I also tried healing while ellipticaling or biking, but the activity wasn't letting my knee heal properly. So I'm really taking a break from all cardio (which is hard!), and I can really feel the difference in my knee. It's healing quickly, and I hope to be running again soon. As frustrating as this is, I'm seeing it as a brief break to enable a healthier, stronger body.

    Point being, don't be afraid to cut out cardio!! I'm still continuing with strength training (upper body only) and core work - and truly - my weight hasn't been affected. My advice is to make health your priority, do whatever it takes to heal your knee (even if that means doing nothing!), and you WILL come back a happier, healthier, pain-free runner.

    Listen to your body!

  14. Omigosh your soup looks absolutely wonderful. Your post made my knee hurt. I fought with my runner's knee for a very long time. Being in college made me not have that much access to ice so I was always missing the ice part of RICE. And pretty much every other point on that list as well haha.

  15. yikes, sorry about the running issues! that does not sound fun, but at least you are taking care of it :) that photo of you and S is so adorable. i love both your mugs.

    that sandwich combo just blew me away. salmon, goat cheese, and.. the kicker, PEACH! i love your creativity! you are the one who got me to try almond butter and pear sandwiches!

    refried bean soup sounds great. definitely will have to go into our winter soup rotation :)


  16. Hi Lauren, I'm in exactly the same boat. I'm currently dealing with a piriformis muscle injury and am off running for a while. I am finding it REALLY hard to just lie down and rest, even though I know I should. I tried swimming, walking, biking in lieu of running but found that my hip just was not getting better. Finally, I've accepted that I need to just cut out the cardio (Soooo difficult because it's such a mood booster and energizer) and I finally feel like it's getting better. I will have to miss the half marathon I was training for but I realized that running means to much to me to risk injury again with one race. I'm also guilty of not being proactive about preventing injury; because runs always make me feel so great I thought I didn't need to stretch or ice or rest after long runs. Lesson Learned. Fingers crossed that you're back on the road soon!

  17. Hey Lauren! I'm new to the blogging world so we don't know each other yet...but I just had to comment on this entry because that refried beans soup looks AWESOME! I've always loved refried beans and constantly wonder what else I can do with them...I'm definitely going to give this recipe a shot.

    I've been an athlete all my life so I've been to hell and back in terms of knee injuries, and I tore my meniscus in high school so I am feeling your pain. I'm also a runner and was training for a half marathon in the spring before I was halted by injury. It SUCKS to sit inside/on the stationary bike when all you wanna do is run...but hang in there and you'll be back at it soon! Enjoy the rest!!