In the fall of 1998, I blew out my right knee playing basketball. I remember the occasion because it happened around the same time that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham sustained a similar injury. Cunningham was back in the lineup six days after his operation; I didn’t get back on the court for six months.
I mention this because yesterday I noticed some stiffness in the back of my left knee after my walk. It’s uncomfortably similar to the pain I recall feeling behind my right knee back in ’98. I’m much more aware of my physical limitations these days than I was 10 years ago, so when I went to the gym last night I opted for a relatively easy 10-minute ride on the stationary bike, rather than my usual 25-minute sprint. This seemed to loosen up the knee a bit and allowed me to grunt my way through 30 minutes with the resistance machinery with no evident pain (in the knee, anyway).
Because I seldom really run anymore, I don’t see how I could have “runner’s knee” — can you overpronate when you walk? And, indeed, when I take the test at coolrunning.com, it appears whatever aches and pains I’m experiencing are not in that category.
My guess is that I’m simply not stretching properly after my walk. It’s something I struggle with at the gym, as well. I just don’t take the time to do it — partly because there isn’t a lot of room at the club for stretching and partly because I’ve never really known how to do it very well. (Hence my embarrassing lack of flexibility.)
But it seems that if I’m going to keep up my walking regimen, which I really enjoy, I’m going to have to find a way to work stretching into my routine, as well.