I saw a new doctor (Gerard Varlotta at NYU) yesterday and he gave me some hope. He confirmed my self-diagnosis (aided by Assaf) of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (or "runner's knee"). He diagnosed a tight iliotibial (IT) band, weak hip flexors and some noticeable muscle imbalances, all of which are contributing factors to my issues. It's not a structural issue, it's biomechanical and should be relatively easy to fix. The most important thing for me to do is work on stretching and strengthening my lower body and core. (It seems nonsensical that a runner or triathlete wouldn't have strong legs and hips. I mean where does the power come from? How come all that running and cycling doesn't result in a strong lower body? These are all good questions for me to figure out and issues to address as I treat this injury...)
Anyway, off to PT I go - my first appointment is on Tuesday. In order to decrease the swelling in my knee, Dr. Varlotta also gave me a cortisone shot and actually said that I could start running as soon as this weekend. When I expressed shock at that, he said that he knows how compulsive runners are and would prefer that I wait until I started the PT before I did any running, but that I had to give it at least a couple days to let the cortosone work. Fair enough.
And I'll wait. I'll exercise restraint, patience and some plain-old good sense and stay out of my running shoes for a few more days.
This is all good news, and I'm a happier boy. I'm still nervous about my season, but much more hopeful than I was 48 hours ago. Boston's definitely off the table.
Indoor Bike - April 3
Time: 45 minutes
Average heart rate: 111
Swim - April 4
Distance: 2,300 yards
Time: 50 minutes