Thursday afternoon I made the drive down to Austin Sports Medicine at 38th and North Lamar.

An office building I was hoping I would never revisit after last December’s bout with shin issues.

I had met back then with Dr. Jim Fernandez, a native Texan and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Tech University where he got his MD.  Board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

I don’t know what any of that means, but I like Jim a lot and he knows what he is talking about.

They were running a little late in the office, so my 3:30 p.m. appointment turned into something more like 4:00.  All the while I was playing over and over in my head the timeline.  Capital 10K in a couple of weeks, Cooper River Bridge Run the following Saturday, Run for the Red Marathon on May 15th.

Was there any way I would be able to run those races?  Could I run even one of them?

A little bit after 4:00 p.m. I went in for X-rays.

A couple of front shots of my knees, one from the side and another from the top while I laid on the table.   I had a quick consult with an assistant and then it was time for some more waiting while Dr. Fernandez finished up with another patient.

It was good to see Jim when he walked in the room even though that was pretty much the last place I wanted to be on earth at the time.  It was comforting to know that I trusted Jim completely, whatever he told me we had to do to get back running, I was prepared for.  He gave me great advice in the past and I have not thought about those pesky shin pains in more than 14 months.  17 races, 3 marathons, two half-marathons, plenty of PR’s – Jim knows his stuff.

As it turns out, we got some pretty great news on Thursday.

My X-rays look great, especially for a runner as Jim said – there were no signs of any structural issues, no wear or tears.  The X-rays looked perfect.

Jim then proceeded to pull, squeeze, twist, turn, tug and rotate my knee just about every way imaginable.

There was nothing loose, no biting stabs of pain, in fact I could not feel anything at all throughout the examination.

More good news.

As it turns out, as I had suspected out in Arizona, I had some inflammation around my Patella Tendon on the inside of my knee.  Prescription is for Rest from Running, Anti-Inflamatory medication and ice three times a day.

In about another week or so I can try to resume running and once I am pain-free I will be cleared to get back to training.

In the meantime I can continue to ride my tri-bike to keep my cardio in as good a shape as possible.  There is an outside chance I will be able to make it to the starting line of the Cap 10K – but in my mind I need at least three pain-free runs before I even think about making that event.

The Cooper River Bridge Run seems a bit more realistic on April 2nd.  I don’t think I’ll be able to really “race” there and chase my 10K PR of 38:06 – but if I can enjoy the event and come in around 40 minutes, I think that would be a pretty big victory.

As for my dreams of a May Marathon …. Doesn’t look like it is going to happen.

I was going to be making the trip out to the Run for the Red Pocono Marathon for one reason and one reason only.  Taking another shot at a 3 hour Marathon.

I’m not there for the medal or simply to finish the event.  It was going to be an “A” race that would require some top notch preparation.  Unless things go better than expected next week when I go for my test run, it looks like Run for the Red has waved bye-bye to me for 2011.

That’s o.k., it will make the ramp up to the NYC Marathon in November that much sweeter.  It will be 9 months since we crossed the finish line of the Austin Marathon – after another summer of speed work – we will hopefully be better, stronger and faster than we have ever been before.

Something about chasing a big goal on one of the biggest marathon stages in the world appeals to me.

I’d be lying however if I didn’t share my disappointment.  I was really looking forward to the race in May.

For now, we bike.  Just focus on what I can do right now to get back, before you know it, we’ll be back out there crushing once again.

Thanks for all the well-wishes and kind words.  And a special thanks to Dr. Fernandez.  Enjoyed seeing you on Thursday.  I hope it is a long, LONG time before I see you again!

Compliments of my friend Bob from Riverhead, NY

  1. tbrush3 says:

    All things considered that is good news Joe. I hate rest and downtime but sometimes our bodies make us do it. I am glad it is as simple as that for you.

  2. Jodi Higgins says:

    So glad to hear this Joe! Rest up my friend and enjoy those dates with the tri-bike in the meantime!

  3. luau says:

    All in all, good news. Sorry about May, but now you can focus on NYC…Fifth Avenue is a real bitch, but I am sure you will take it!

  4. Jim in Maine says:

    Yep – moreover good news indeed. Glad to read this and know you will make the best of it Joe.

  5. Kevin says:

    Just a new reader stopping by. I was at that same doctor’s office on Wednesday, alas, I didnt get good news, but I get to rest and come back stronger for the fall marathon season. Good stuff in your blog. See you on the trails.

  6. How long did it take for your patellar tendinitis to go away? I was diagnosed with it 10 days ago and haven’t run since. It is slowly going away but I am also training for the NYC Marathon. I have stiffness in my shins and calves from it that reduces mobility and flexibility. I was curious as to how long it took you to make a full recovery.

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