1st Month Anniversary

Wednesday, 13 February 2008  |  Bullish Insights

It has been one month to this day since I last ran.

This kind of long-lasting injury can easily lead an obssesed runner like me to jump off the skyway, rob a bank, or watch Wowawee all day. But, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could easily keep my composure—or better yet, my sanity despite the absence of a run. The farthest I had gone to relieve myself of this pent up anger and frustration was to gorge on Lay’s potato chips all day.

Lucky for me, I was too busy the past month to get too depressed about this hellish situation. How could I even find the time to mope? I got into so many new activities—swimming, weights, yogilates, therapy—just to strengthen and stretch these leg muscles so that I could run again. Work also poured in enough to keep me busy with nary a time to shed a tear about my lost marathon goal.

For now, my objective is to run for 15 mins. straight without feeling any tightness or soreness thereafter. Just last week, I walked for 10 mins. on the treadmill and felt soreness in my knee again. The pain was not intense but it bothered me nonetheless. It got me wondering when this knee would ever heal. What was taking so long? Was I doing enough? How could I speed up recovery?

I continued with my drills, swimming, and weights and fortunately my work paid off. This morning I attempted the treadmill again for a 10 minute walk. The results were more encouraging. I felt no pain, nada, nothing. It may be too early to tell that things will progress from here on but I’m certainly more hopeful about it now. Please let this be the start of better days ahead.  I don’t know how much longer I can wait.

Everything But A Run

Wednesday, 23 January 2008  |  Bullish Insights

It’s been 10 miserable days since Clark—the race that ended with me limping my way back to the hotel. I initially thought the pain would go away by itself, like all the other times I pushed my body beyond its limits and found myself on the road again just a couple of days after, but I was sorely mistaken.

The right side of my right knee has been a major pain—literally and figuratively. On good days, the injury is just bothersome. But, on most days, I am “Erap”—the name my hubby affably gave me when I was a preggy woman who wobbled instead of walked—as I limp my way from point to point, especially through flights of stairs. It’s especially painful for me when I step out of the car or get out of bed in the morning. I even had two consecutive sleepless nights wherein I was in agonizing pain as I could barely straighten my leg.

These 10 days have been the longest I’ve ever gone without a run. My doctor gave me the go-signal to run, but after a mere 40-min walk on the treadmill left me in utter pain, I decided otherwise.


It’s been tough—a bad mix of frustration, boredom, and intense, gut-wrenching pain—but I’m coping. The past days, it seems that I’ve been doing anything and everything I can to get back into running again…except to actually do the deed itself:


Strengthening Exercises. I’ve been in therapy for over two weeks now. I’ve been a very good girl. As therapists ordered, I obediently do my exercises to strengthen my VMO, the weak part of my quadriceps which is causing my ITB to pull my knee caps outward. No matter how slow those 20 seconds go by as I do those oh so boring squats (yawn), I push myself (yawn) to finish them if it would mean it will let me run sooner.

Stretching. I’ve been stretching those tight ITB’s too. On two occassions, I even allowed those masochistic therapists (I’m just kidding…I love these people) to release my ITB, something I thought would be akin to a gentle massage but turned out to be quite the opposite: the pain brought back memories of the time I spent in the delivery room helplessly feeling the intense contractions while screaming for an epidural.


Weights. I started going to Gold’s Gym already. I’ve had an aversion to the gym the past few years due to my traumatic experience at another gym, but I figured I had to bite the bullet since strengthening exercises is the prescribed antidote to this nightmarish injury.

Cross Training. Aside from weight training, I now have the opportunity to join spinning classes, use the elliptical and stationary bikes, and try out Yogilates. It’s quite exciting actually. A whole new world of exercises is before me and it’s all for the taking. At the same time though, seeing all those treadmills with people using them makes me cry out in envy. Running is still my first love and I’m only at the gym to supplement my running.

I’m trying my darndest best to remain positive. Hoping against all hope that it won’t be long until I can just get out of bed, put on my running shoes, run to my heart’s content and end that run thinking about breakfast rather than my knees. Oh God, please don’t let me wait too long…

License To Run

Wednesday, 5 December 2007  |  Bullish Insights

So, I paid my doctor a visit yesterday. Until now, I don’t know how I should feel about his medical advice. Happy? Anxious? Relieved? Scared? Uhm…perhaps all of the above.


Dr. Rivera told me that my knee problem, the discoid lateral meniscus, needs no rest nor recovery. It’s a congenital problem that is and will be there regardless of the miles I run or don’t run. So, he basically gave me the license to run and train for the marathon. Woohoo!

What about the pain? The discomfort I’m currently feeling is due to the increased pounding on my knees as I train for the marathon. He prescribed a pain reliever before long runs or in case of any soreness or swelling.


Then, he went on to discuss what may have to be done after the marathon: arthroscopic surgery. Arthro what?! In this outpatient procedure, he will shape my D-shaped meniscus into the regular C-shape it should be. Recovery period would be six weeks. I’m not really fearful over the surgery, but more about the cost. Yikes, this won’t be cheap. (To my hubby: pretend you didn’t read this.)


I’m fearing the pain to come. For now, it’s bearable. It’s just a slight discomfort after a long or hard run. But, what if it becomes excruciating during the last few miles of the marathon? (Based on the high-intensity screaming and wailing I demonstrated during my normal deliveries with my two kids, it is proven that I have a very low tolerance for pain.) Will I be able to place mind over matter—or in my case, mind over meniscus?


Like most runners, I worried about hearing these two words “Stop running.” Thankfully, Dr. Rivera was a runner himself until he suffered a major injury that prevented him from continuing his passion. During the consultation, he spent a good five minutes wistfully recalling his L.A. marathon and how awesome it felt to cross the finish line. He said he wouldn’t deprive me of that.

So, here I am experiencing a grand mix of emotions unable to decipher if the news I received was bad or good. For now, I guess it’s good. The doctor ordered me to run, so that I shall do.

As for surgery day, now that’s another story…

Bad, Bad Day

Thursday, 29 November 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Whenever my 3-year-old daughter enters the car with me, this our dialogue:

Nia: “I need music, Mama.”
Me: “What song do you like?”
Nia: “Bad bad day. Number 18.”
Me: “Okay, You Had a Bad Day it is!”

Nia loves You Had a Bad Day by Daniel Powter.  My husband thinks the song is too negative, especially for a little girl to listen to on her way to preschool.  I like the melody so I never put much thought into it.  Until today…

Yup, I had a bad day indeed.

First, it took me two terribly long hours this morning to travel roughly a kilometer outside our village headed for my son’s school.  By that time, my son missed his school presentation and I was too pooped to complain.

Second, it’s been raining all day.  We have a trip planned for Subic tomorrow.  Will the weather have mercy on us and let the sun shine through?  Please.  Pretty please!

Last and definitely not the least, my knee is a bit sore again.  ARGH!  This time I am pissed.  In the beginning I was in panic.  Shortly after I was scared.  Now, I am just fuming.  (This bull is mad.)

Why am I not healed yet?!  I’ve been icing the injury thrice a day plus I got a massage last night.  I only ran an easy 5km all week.  (That’s a major sacrifice for me, you know?!)  I’ve been taking additional supplements that I’m hoping will help, but probably won’t make a difference such as calcium and vitamin B complex.  And, I’ve been religiously falling on my knees praying to the Saint-Who-Heals-All-Running-Injuries for a miracle.  Still, the meniscus irritablus knee problemus keeps on coming back like a nasty fly trying to land on your first post-race meal after a marathon.

So, next Tuesday, I have a date with my doctor to have this knee checked.  I’ll ask him if it’s actually feasible for me to run the marathon in February without asking for a wheelchair in the last 6 miles.  Pray for me, will ya?

For now, I shall continue to drown myself in my woes.  I shall continue to curse this wicked knee most especially for not allowing me to enjoy what would have been a beautiful long, slow run along the roads of Subic.  Sob sob.

Sore No More—Really!

Saturday, 24 November 2007  |  Running + Triathlon, Therapy + Injury

This time it’s for real… I am back! My 7-day forced abstinence from running is officially over. I am healed!

with Annie 112407

– Annie and I after our run. We look so poised! You wouldn’t believe that we were laughing like noisy high school girls before this shot. It was a happy happy day. –

I ran 7.7 km at Ayala Alabang today at a conservative 6.22 pace and there was absolutely no pain. None whatsoever! Not even a hint of a tiny popping sound from the smallest cartilage of my left knee.  Woohoo!

Good riddance knee injury! Don’t you dare come back!