My Patella-ella-ella

*Apologies if that Rihanna song gets stuck in your head.

So, I’ve been doing the Couch-to-5K workout for the past several weeks. It’s taking me longer than it’s supposed to, because I am… well, I’m pretty horribly out of shape, so I’m not advancing to the next level until I feel like I’ve gotten a handle on the current one. (Read that as: when I’m pretty sure that increasing the length of running time isn’t going to make my lungs pop out of my chest and leave me dead on the sidewalk.)

Oh, also, I gave up on working out in the gym because I realized that having to gather up my membership card, water bottle, etc., and the drive there & back added an extra half hour, and I’d prefer to use that time sleeping. So now I just run around the neighborhood.

Anyway, I was doing ok, but yesterday I hurt my knee again. It’s the same problem I always have with my knee; any sort of strenuous exercise always makes my knee hurt (see: the 30-Day Shred). Years ago, my mom diagnosed it as, “You got your Grandmother’s knees,” because my dad’s mom always had issues with her knees too. I was running with my knee brace on, and I was wearing my Vibram Five Fingers, which are supposed to help with joint pain. And I was totally fine while I was running; I mean, I felt like I was going to die, like I always do, but my knees were fine. Then I got home, took my knee brace off, and my leg sort of buckled and my knee tried to go backward like a flamingo. Dammit.

I was thinking that this new injury would mean the end of the Couch-to-5K, and I was really pissed because I honestly like it. I like running around outside when it’s still dark outside and seeing the sunrise. (I am not a fan of running past the teenagers waiting for the school bus, but you know, whatever.) So I decided to make an appointment with a sports medicine doctor. Which is sort of hilarious given how completely un-athletic I am. But I wanted an official diagnosis of exactly what it is that’s wrong with my knee, and what I can do to fix it.

My fear was that they’d just say sorry, you got some crap DNA, and tell me that I’d never be able to do any type of strenuous exercise. Which would pretty much be the end of the world for me because if the only form of exercise I can do is, say, swimming? No. If I’m required to put on a swimsuit to work out, it’s a pretty safe bet that I’m just not ever gonna do it. Then it’d be, hello 200+ pounds, nice to see you again.

Anyway, the news was much better than I thought. Turns out that my patella (kneecap bone) is slightly shifted (on both of my knees, although since my right leg is dominant, that seems to be the one that always gets injured first), and they gave me some exercises and stretches I can do to try to correct it. After doing these exercises twice a day, I should be a lot better in about three or four weeks.

Bonus: after my appointment, I got to call Dave at work and tell him that part of my physical therapy involves tying myself to our bed. It’s nothing that kinky, honestly, it’s just an elastic band that I have to attach to the foot of our bed and then tether it around my ankle to do some of the stretches. So it’s fine and totally G-rated. But man, listening to him do a spit-take with his coffee that early in the morning? Priceless.

So it was all good news. And in the meantime, since I don’t want to give up the progress I’ve made with the Couch-to-5K, I’m going to be power-walking in my new Skechers Shape-Ups, since those are also supposed to help with joint pain. (Aside: between the Shape-Ups and the VFFs, I feel like I’m starting an Ugly Shoe Collection. What is wrong with me? I used to buy cute shoes. Now I’m all about buying what’s “functional.” It’s sad, really.)

And when my knees are feeling stronger, I’m gonna jump right back into the Couch-to-5K. Only, you know, not literally jump, since that might screw up my knees again, and lord knows we don’t want that.