Home > Runner's Knee > I think I have “Runner’s Knee”!

I think I have “Runner’s Knee”!

Why do I think this you may ask???


Because when I was 1/2 way done and on my way home during my 11 Mile Run on Saturday my Knee started to hurt quite a bit!  I was able to continue to run and actually made it home in a good time, but the pain was ever-present, especially when I took my last 2 walking breaks.  In fact, I opted out of taking one last walking break around Mile 10 as I it actually felt better to run then it did to walk and I just wanted to get home at that point. 

Also, this is not the 1st time I have felt pain around my knee before.  I have felt it recently after all of longer runs and when I was trying to run faster on my shorter runs.  However, the pain I felt during and after those runs was nothing like this run.  After this long run, my longest to date, that I completed in 2 hours and 20 minutes at an approximate 11:30 minute pace if you remove the 15 minutes of walking/bathroom/water breaks I took during the run, my knee HURT and wasn’t just “very sore and slightly painful” as it was after the other runs!  I mean I literally had to pull myself up the stairs to take a shower and on the way down after my shower I felt a few sharp stabs of pain on the right side of my knee (right knee) and had to hop down the stairs after that.  Basically, it hurt the anytime I had to walk on it.

What is “Runner’s Knee” or aka Chondromalacia Patellae???

Chondromalacia patellae (also known as CMP, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Runner’s Knee) is a term that goes back eighty years.  It originally meant “soft cartilage under the knee cap,” a presumed cause of pain at the front of the knee.  This condition often affects young, otherwise healthy athletes.

Chondromalacia is due to an irritation of the under surface of the kneecap.  The under surface of the kneecap, or patella, is covered with a layer of smooth cartilage.  This cartilage normally glides effortlessly across the knee during bending of the joint.  However, in some individuals, the kneecap tends to rub against one side of the knee-joint, and the cartilage surface become irritated, and knee pain is the result.

The term “chondromalacia” sometimes is used to describe abnormal-appearing cartilage anywhere in the body.  For example, a radiologist might note chondromalacia on an MRI of an ankle.

Pain at the front of the knee is common in young adults, especially soccer players, gymnasts, cycliara, rowers, tennis players, dancers, horseback riders, volleyball players and runners.  The pain of chondromalacia patellae is typically felt after prolonged sitting, like for a movie, and so is also called as movie sign or theater sign.

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.  Possible causes include a tight iliotibial band, neuromas, bursitis, overuse, malalignment, core instability, and patellar maltracking.

Pain at the front of the knee due to overuse can be addressed with a basic program consisting of RICE (rest, ice, compression & elevation), anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy.  (Source: Wikipedia)

Here’s an article about PFPS that I found at www.runnersworld.com that is very informative, especially on how to prevent and treat this very common running injury.

I also found it very interesting when I ran across an article on www.WebMD.com that listed the symptoms of Runner’s Knee as they matched my symptoms exactly:

  • Pain behind or around the kneecap, especially where the thighbone and the kneecap meet.
  • Pain when you bend the knee — when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or even sitting.
  • Pain that’s worse when walking downstairs (or downhill).
  • Slight swelling.
  • Popping or grinding sensation in my knee.

Guess that about covers it!  And, I can’t say with 100% certainty that is what I am experiencing as I would have to see a specialist to confirm that but after all my research on the subject I think that is what I have and I plan do the following to correct the issue so I can avoid having to see the doctor in the near future (hopefully).

  • Ice my knee after my longer runs or whenever I feel the pain!
  • Follow the stretching exercises I found at www.runnersworld.com.

  • Look for a patellar tendon strap that is supposed to relieve patellofemoral pain, help reduce knee/tendon pain and applies comfortable compression just below patella, reducing stress to knee area.


So in case you were wondering How My Run Went other than my Runner’s Knee pain, continue reading below……..

It all started at 7:30a.m. in the morning when I abruptly awoke from my sleepy slumber and a not so great dream that I do not remember much about now.  I saw the sunlight shining above the curtains so I knew it had to be after 7:00a.m. so I quickly jumped out of bed, headed to the bathroom “quietly” so I wouldn’t wake up the hubby, grabbed my glasses, headed out of the room and downstairs to get ready……when I confirmed the time on the microwave (was too dark in our room to see the wall clock, we have very dark curtains) and quickly headed to the restroom to get dressed (where I put my running cloths the night before)!

Afterwards I checked the temperature on the t.v. while I ate a low-sugar chocolate chip granola bar with a scoop of chunky peanut putter on it and a huge glass of water.  It was a balmy 74 degrees outside with a chance for rain later in the day.  I then put my shoes, iPod and watch on……then I headed for the door at 7:50a.m.

Exactly at 7:53a..m. I started running after a 2 minute walk.  Other than it feeling very warm and humid outside my run started out well and at an easy pace.  At around the 5 minute mark I started to SWEAT, which continued throughout the rest of my run getting worse and worse after every mile.  If you have ever lived or visited Florida you know how it is.  You can’t spend more than 5 minutes outside in the sun without sweat forming somewhere on your body. 

A bit after Mile 1 I decided to take my 1st walking break for 1 minute exactly.  You might have heard me say this before, walking breaks are VERY IMPORTANT to take during longer runs and you must take them early on for them to work best.  Check out the below for my reasoning for this:

  • The run/walk/run method, a/k/a, the “Galloway Method” that was invented by the famous marathon runner Jeff Galloway.  Basically you run for 4-10 minutes, then walking for 1-2 minutes, etc.  This gives you time to catch your breath, cool down and let your running muscles rest.  Many marathon runners use this method, running a mile then walking for 30 seconds to a minute and so forth, in order to keep themselves rested and their running steady throughout the entire race. 

Ok, back to the run!

Once I finished my walking break I headed into Mile 2 & 3, which were as easy-going as Mile 1.  The course took me past a golf course that was beautiful at that time in the morning………very green, fresh, natural and pristine looking!  Wish I would have had a my camera to capture the beautiful view, maybe next time.  I than ran past a school and right before the hilly portion of my route was about to start I took my 2nd walking break

1 minute later I was back to running and headed down my first hill, than up my first right after.  I am happy to report that I keep a good pace during both and was very happy to reach the top as it was a much larger hill on the way up than on the way down.  I hit a straight away at this point and had hoped to make it all the way to the shopping center about 2 miles away without taking another walking break but I didn’t quite make it and took my 3rd walking break a bit after Mile 4 and then I headed down a very long hill to the shopping center where I planned to hit the restroom and take a long drink from the drinking fountain outside.  ***If you have read my blog before you know I don’t take a water bottle or camelback with my on my runs as 1) I hate holding a water bottle while running and 2) I do not have (nor can afford) a camelback. ***

Upon hitting the shopping center I slowed to a walk and headed inside for approximately 5 minutes to do my business and then headed back outside to hit the pavement once again.  After passing the Exit Door to the store I heard someone call out “Laura” and I turned back to see my Aunt Debbie exiting with a huge cart of groceries.  What are the odds of that huh???  That I would walk by just as she was exiting the store!  Funny how things happen like that sometimes, oh and she does just live up the street so I guess the odds are a little less do to that.  We chatted for a few minutes and then I headed out of the shopping center and back on my route just as Mile 5 hit.

Seeing as I knew that my Aunt would be driving by while I was running I tried to look my best, which basically meant I ran faster than I usually do so I wouldn’t look like I was “loafing” along as I often feel I look while I am running……..all do to a time when I ran by a store front and caught an imagine of myself running that I DID NOT LIKE!  =(  My husband and friends who have seen me running say this is not the case but I just cannot erase that image from my head!

The faster pace stuck until just past my Aunts street and then slowed a bit until I was back to my normal pace right before Mile 6.  I would have loved to keep that pace until the end of my run as it felt VERY GOOD but I knew I would hit the wall well before the end of my run if I did so it was for the best and one day I will be able run at that faster pace more easily and maybe even for a long time.

I continued on past Mile 7 & 8 and as I hit an overpass I took my 4th walking break for 2 minutes.  Than I ran down the other side and that is when it hit, when my knee started to hurt!  =(

Luckily, I as I stated above I was able to run through it and it only hurt the worst when I walked so after Mile 8 I took my 5th and last walking break for 2 minutes.  Than I ran the rest of the way home……..past Mile 9 & 10 until finally hit Mile 11 right by home!  =)  The last few miles were HARD but not unbearable.  Mainly, I was just very tired, sore and ready to be done.

That’s it folks!  Only one more long run to accomplish before the big race.  12 Miles next Saturday!  Hopefully my knee won’t hurt too bad and I will run it strong.  After that I have a 9.1 Mile practice “race run” the Saturday after and then the race finally after 4 months on Saturday, 9/25!  Can’t believe it is almost here. 

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! 

Categories: Runner's Knee Tags:
  1. Jenny
    September 7, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Hope your knee is feeling better!!

  2. September 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I think I have it too. I had knee pain when I ran Hood to Coast last weekend and I took 7 days off to rest but my first run was a lot of knee pain. I really think it’s an IT Band thing. 😦

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