Saturday, February 24, 2007


Today was a beautiful day: sunny sky, dry air, new snow and temperatures that haven’t been above freezing in more than a week ... leaving nothing but powder dusting as far as the roads and trails stretch. In short, perfect conditions.

I, however, can’t say the same about myself. Still have that mysterious knee pain. I’m unable to bend my right knee at more than a 30 degree angle without pushing through a lot of pain. It has good periods and bad, but what doesn’t change is how weak and sore it feels, regardless of what angle I have it at.

Since it’s been a week, I’m beginning to have a lot of empathy for what Geoff when through earlier this month, struggling with mysterious foot pains. It’s really frustrating, especially since I don’t know the diagnosis or even the cause. I had that theory about overextending it in a posthole, but who knows?

The worst part, beyond everyone asking me ‘Why are you limping?’ is that all of this pent-up energy is just pooling and fermenting inside of me. I’ve had to cut back my caffeine intake. Today, I went to the gym to do some upper-body weight lifting and pedal the stationary bike with my left leg while propping my right on the frame — just to get some of the shakes out. I even walked on the treadmill for a little while. My knee loosened up and felt great all afternoon, but this evening is back to being stiff.

I’m thinking about going to see a doctor this week. But if I’m going to drop a big co-pay on an ‘expert,’ I’d like something a little more substantial than vague guesses. Geoff received a lot of good info by reaching out to other ultrarunners on the Web. So I thought I’d do the same.

If you’re still reading after my gripe fest, maybe you can help me. My problem is stiff/soreness on the top of my knee, mostly in the tissue immediately around my kneecap. It’s tender enough that it hurts when I press down on the top of my knee. There was some swelling for three or four days, but that’s mostly gone down. It is getting better, just slowly. I’m not sure if the pain is in muscle or tendons. It’s basically right in the joint.

Has anyone out there ever experienced something like this? Since I don’t know exactly how it happened, any information will give be a leg to stand on, so to speak.

Thanks again. I know the importance of recovery and the virtue of patience. But recent comments about “major reconstructive surgery” just have me a little worried.

But if I can’t bike in this beautiful winter weather, at least I have a good sporting event to watch. The 350-mile Iditarod Invitational began today, which means that every 12 hours or so, some names will appear in white text on a black screen, telling me where each hardcore winter racer is located and when they rolled through. The updates are slow and not very visual, but for me, this is more exciting than the Superbowl. Go Pete!