Posts Tagged ‘Injury


My Visit to the Orthopedic Doctor

It’s that season again which I really dislike: forced off season due to injuries.  For the nth time, it’s my right knee again.  And to figure out what went wrong, I had a visit to an orthopedic doctor.

Actual x-ray of my knee

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PhotoVendo Moment

Each race is unique and memorable and capturing those moments are made easier by PhotoVendo, the brainchild of Ben M. Chan (photographer on the run).  You can’t always bring someone along to take your photos and not everyone has an SLR camera, and it’s definitely difficult to bring a camera along in-race and take photos along the way, but just about every runner wants to have a photo of themselves while running—this is where this service comes in handy.

PhotoVendo has been around several races already and is quickly becoming part of the norm.  The previously concluded UP ICTUS Run gave more runners an opportunity to enjoy their services by giving free prints of photos taken on their area.  This was my first race photo printed from PhotoVendo and it definitely won’t be the last.  I sure would love to order the high-resolution copy of that photo but it wasn’t available on their site (hope they would, our group photo from Unicef Run wasn’t available either).  There was this photo from PhotoVendo that I really liked:



This race was a struggle for me as I was running with an injury at the time, and I think you can see that from this photo.

Thank you PhotoVendo for your services, although I’m not paying a customer yet, I’m definitely sold!  I just have a few “requests” or “unsolicited suggestions:”

  • Be able to order photos from different races.  I like it better to order many items at one time since I won’t be using a credit card for my purchases.
  • Be able to order our group photos.  I tried searching for our group photo last Unicef Run using all the race numbers of everyone in the photo but I didn’t locate it.
  • Probably have an account system so we could just log in and not type our delivery address every time we place an order or make alterations to our orders.

Sorry for being a demanding (but non-profitable) client, I’ll be one soon (promise!).  I look forward to more great photos from you guys.  Keep up the good work!


Nike Run Clinic Session 09

You thought I’d lost count didn’t you?  Well I actually did, I just had to count the sessions since my last appearance.  I missed the clinic so much that even if I’m anything but good I just had to attend it—and I’m glad I did.

After two weeks of being AWOL I’m finally back to blogging about the clinic.  Being away for a relatively long time, I noticed a notable drop in participant count, early Christmas vacation perhaps.  We’re probably just about half of the typical count.

I didn’t see some of the familiar faces I’m used to seeing but I was able to see some new friends from (sorry I didn’t recognize you early, I don’t really see well in low lighting 🙂 ) so I wasn’t really “alone.”

Back to the clinic: this week is called “Recovery Week 1” and its aim (from the Nike Run Clinic website):

To recover by decreasing mileage and intensity of the workout after 3 straight loading periods.  Before performance reaches a plateau, we have to give the body time to recover.  After the recovery week, intensity of the training workout will increase or progress.

I figured I can handle this session since it was lighter than the usual:

Program: 3K Warm-up, Stretching, Drills
Main Set: 2×14 Different Drill Exercises (High Knees, Butt Kick, Back Pedal, etc.), 2× Core, Abs and Pelvic Exercises (plank, bridges, etc.)

I guess my knee was obvious so the coaches advised me to take it easy and just walk.  I already had a 2K walk on the way to Ultra so I was pretty much warmed up for the drills.

The drills and my knee injury proved to be beneficial as the coaches noticed what was causing my knee problem: my running form.  I thought that my form was good since I’ve run quite a few races and never had a problem until this injury.  It seems that my right foot doesn’t fall the right way as with my left so an injury was really bound to happen sooner or later.  It turns out that these “little” things matter when you run long distances, and for me to progress to longer distances it has to be corrected.  Now that I know I can do something about it.  Thanks to the coaches and of course Nike.

I did pretty much all that was listed except for the run in which I managed only a little over 1K (plus some walks to complement my shortcomings).  The drills and stretching were as usual very interesting and it can be a bit tough too, thankfully it’s not too tough for my knee.

If you still haven’t noticed, the schedules on the clinic website have been updated so you may now reserve slots from December until March (yes we have an assignment run on Christmas and New Year!).

I’d love to join the next few sessions for the year if my body allows me to, but realistically we also need to know when to stop.  After all, recovery is needed for us to improve.  With that said, I hate to admit it but this session could probably be my last for the year!  I sure am going to miss it this yuletide season (now I can recover the weight that I lost 🙂 ) so to my classmates run safe and Happy Holidays!


100K Here I Come!

Believe it or not, I only started running, in races of course, last August, and roughly four (4) months since I started, my first 100K (race-only cumulative distance) is almost here.

Before December I had set a goal of reaching my first 100K this year but back then it was mathematically impossible because of the insufficient number of announced races at the time (and back then my limit was 10K).  Thankfully come December more races were announced, on quite short notices, so now I have the opportunity to—and I’m grabbing it!

I was supposed to exceed the 100K mark this year.  I already had a cumulative distance of 95K, so another 10K race would surpass it easily.  The only problem: my injury.  I was forced to register for 5K because of this.  Since my first 10K I don’t run 5K unless it’s the longest course or it’s a race before a big one (during back-to-backs).  I could take a much needed rest but the runner in me cannot be contained so I just said to myself “even if I had to crawl 5K I would just to reach my goal.”  My passion for running is keeping me going, even if there are obstacles (or injuries) that block my path.

I am especially thankful to the Nokia and UP ICTUS run: these two races made it possible for me to reach the hundred.  The Nokia run was announced on a short notice so it was unexpected but much needed for my goals, much like every cent counts to make a dollar.  The UP ICTUS run finally caps my first hundred, my last this year which was also announced quite recently only.  I should’ve taken the 10K course for the latter but as I mentioned earlier, my passion is stronger than my knee.  Fortunately the 10K route is just 2-laps that of the 5K’s so I don’t miss much except the distance.  Did I mention I hate lap races?

Some of my friends encouraged me to include my training runs in the count but I stick to counting race mileage only (or maybe kilometrage, since we use metric in the Philippines 🙂 ).  And I still plan to continue doing so, not that training is less important, but that every race for me is unique and I always take something from each one: new routes, new experiences, new friends, etc.—even if you ran the same route on different races there’s always something there that makes it unique.

The New Year is almost here, more races, more locations, more distance, and hopefully less injuries.  If I could do this much in a few months, I wonder what I can do in a year!


Runner’s Knee

Browsing on the Internet I stumbled upon what my injury is called: a runner’s knee.  According to Wikipedia, a runner’s knee, also called Chondromalacia patellae (CMP) or Patello-femoral Pain Syndrome, is a term for a large and disparate group of medical conditions that can cause pain in the front of the knee.  It is common in young adults, especially soccer players, cyclists, rowers, tennis players, ballet dancers, horseback riders, and runners. Snowboarders are especially prone to this injury, particularly those specializing in jumps where the knees are under great stress.  The condition may result from acute injury to the patella or from chronic friction between the patella and the groove in the femur through which it passes during motion of the knee.  CMP specifically refers to a knee that has been structurally damaged, while the more generic term Patello-femoral Pain Syndrome refers to the earlier stages of the condition, where symptoms are often fully reversible using treatments such as the RICE method (an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), anti-inflammatory painkillers, physiotherapy and treatment of any underlying cause of the pain.  It is often simply an overuse injury.

Now I know I’m a bit of a running addict for having an “overuse” injury.  Hopefully I get “fixed” soon—I can’t wait to get back to running.

Run safe and happy holidays!


Running With One Good Knee: The Yakult 10-Miler Chronicles

The Yakult 10-Miler was my longest run so far and my first attempt beyond 10K so it was venturing into unchartered territories.  It was a personal test of endurance for me since I’ve never run for more than an hour.  Everything was well days before this event which I was looking forward to until about until the day before the actual race—I somehow managed to damage my knee—oh boy.

Even before the Nokia run a day earlier I have some discomfort on one of my knee, I think it was still the one I got from last week’s Milo Marathon.  Right after the Nokia run did I feel much discomfort on my right knee that I decided to turn to science for assistance—I got myself a Patella support (no, it’s not your sideburns).  I really don’t want to give up this race, so even with only one good knee, and with the help of the support, I was able to continue this race.

I arrived early in CCP Complex but I really didn’t know where the start line was.  It was good that one of my friends who also joined the run told me where it was.


Christmas is definitely in the air, especially around CCP Complex

When is the early bird running late?
Before any run I always want to take a restroom break so I won’t have to worry about nature’s call along the way, especially when I don’t have an idea how long I’m going to be running.  So there I was queuing on one of the only four portalets (yes, only four portalets for the at least 4,000 runners) when suddenly the queue stopped moving forward—for a very long time!  Uh oh, somebody had a bad tummy!

Suddenly the starting shot was fired—the 16K had already begun!  Thankfully I already had a restroom break prior to coming to the venue so I didn’t really need it as much as some of the runners, so I just decided to go to the start line and run: a toll of about one to two minutes.  Too bad. There were still some runners left queuing at the portalets when I left, some of the guys just decided to find a tree (go figure) and some just decided run.

I felt really good running this race, it felt similar to that I felt on what I consider my first “real” run: the adidas King of the Road, and in some sense it really was since it’s a new distance for me.  I loved the sight of so many runners running up one of the flyovers stretching as far as I can see (since I was behind the pack).  It was still a bit dark when the race started, on time of course, and the weather was very nice.  I had no difficulty running at this early stage of the race.

The course ran on two flyovers (another first for me) which were the only deviation from the mostly flat and straight course.  Even before I got near the first turn-around the lead pack was already on the way back, about 20 minutes into the race.  On the first turn-around (about 4K into the race) the runners were spread out wide so I had so “uninvitedly” join some group of runners to maintain a constant pace.  I was afraid of exerting too much or too little effort—it was still a long distance to go so I can’t afford to spend all my energy this early in the race, nor spend too little that my pace would suffer.  Of course I had to change groups every once in a while whenever I felt that they were going slower than my intended average or were running faster than my normal pace.  Running in groups just makes running feel easier and prevents you from being bored.

An hour onto the race, I kept thinking of those long distance socks.  I was wearing my run fast socks but since they were really thin I realized I missed soft cushioning socks.  Now I wished I wore my cushioning socks that I got as a Christmas gift!

Seeing a turn-around sign really give you additional motivation to continue running, until you realize it was a turn-around for 3K!  Hehe I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or just drop in place.  Then another sign, what only 5K?  Just a little more, we’re almost there, I kept saying to myself.  I even thought “are they sure this is just 16K?” because the 16K turn-around seemed like forever.  It was an almost perfectly straight course of about 8K (self-approximation) so you’d really feel impatient not seeing that much awaited 16K turn-around sign.  And of course eventually you’ll get there, now we’re talking.

After getting the second loop cord it was like running back home after a long run.  Reality check: it’s still about 4K to go!  I looked at my elapsed time, wow!  I can still achieve my goal of an hour and a half for this race!  Run Forest, run!

The road signs of Roxas Blvd. indicate important landmarks and distances so you’ll have an idea how long it could take you to reach it.  Because the road was virtually a straight line you always see these landmarks ahead but it’s a bit difficult to estimate how far it is.  The first sign I saw, I looked for PICC (site of the finish line): 2.25K.  Just a little bit more.

After running for quite some time I was really starting to feel my right knee.  Every time my right foot lands I felt my knee.  1.25K to PICC, what? I can see CCP, almost there.

CCP, last 500M… I can see the finish line… finally!  After running for more than an hour, my knee really hurt.  One step at a time, we’ll burn this distance away, one step at a time, and then, at exactly 1:27:47 I crossed the clock below the finish line.  It was over!  16K successfully conquered!  I could finally relax, get my bottle (a bottle) of Yakult, and get my finisher’s shirt.


This was the start/finish line. I can’t believe I missed that huge Yakult.

I came in just in time for the awarding ceremonies of the winners.  The overall winner for 16K finished with a time of 52:10, amazing.  Naturally, runners were still coming in as the awarding went through so I was lucky I caught it.  While my time wasn’t even close to the winning time I was very happy because I beat my goal (high end) of 1:30:00 for 16K, and note that I started 1-2 minutes late.  And this time I was able to use the portalets without much hassle (and of course I used a different portalet than the one I queued for earlier).


This was the vehicle in front of the leading runners with the time elapsed watch on top. You normally see it for a short while, unless you’re running behind it.

I was glad to be able to meet some of my co-members at forums while running and some more behind the finish line.  Meeting people with the same interest as you is always pleasant.  Glad to meet you guys!  I won’t mention them individually because I might forget some.

Ironically, I can run but I can’t walk.  Apparently, walking transfers much more pressure on your knees than running do.  I was able to complete 16K of running but I was limping my way around after the race.  The patella support helped a lot to relieve some of the strain but still—walking (in this case, limping) gives much more pain than running.  What a way to end the weekend and start the new week: damaged but happy and fulfilled.  Just don’t ask me to climb stairs.


Injury: A Runner’s Nightmare

An injury, regardless of its severity, and as long as it prevents you from running—is a runner’s nightmare.

For the first time I got injured in a race, and it’s not even because of exerting too much effort nor problems with the way I ran: it’s primarily because of “evasive running,” that is running while trying to avoid “human obstacles.”  This happened during the previous Milo Marathon where you have to be always aware of what others were doing because some suddenly stop in front of you, some abruptly changes direction to cross path in front of you, and some were just simply playing.  Imagine doing that for the first 2.5K. The last few meters were just crazy: it’s virtually impossible to run straight because of the volume of people running their own path.  These sudden stops and lateral movements take their toll on your ankles and knees (so I felt that I went on a basketball game instead of a run).

“The spirit is strong but the flesh (in this case, the ankles and knees) is weak.”

Although it’s not that bad, it’s enough to stop me from running, which I really hate.  I was supposed to be with the Nike Run Clinic session at the Ultra last night but I was advised by my friends to just take a rest.  I was still in denial the entire day—I even wore my running shoes at the office and brought my running clothes, but eventually I have to listen to my body and accept the fact that I can’t run.  Don’t you just hate it that every part of you wants so badly to run but the few other parts that resist you prevail?

I missed the Run Clinic. The good thing about the Run Clinic session earlier (Session 05) was that it was identical to last Tuesday’s so if you check my blog for that you have an idea what happened.  It’s just too bad I wasn’t able to join my classmates in doing the laps and other activities (and they even had picture-taking, huhu).  Just when I was able to arrive early!

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