OK, I finally buckled down and went to the doctor.
No one likes doing this, but it's just not smart to avoid getting checked out, especially if you've got some pains or its just been awhile since your last visit.
As some of you know, I've been complaining about my left knee. In getting back into my running circuit after too long an absence, there are stresses that my (now older) knees are not used to enduring. This is why it's so important to build a base up slowly. Makes sense, yet my exuberance to get going again foiled my plan and now I'm paying the price.
I saw my doctor and he has recommended a sports doctor to thoroughly check out my knees, form, and fitness plans. In the meantime, it appears that I have a tendonitis problem. All will be well, it's just that my plans will now need to be adjusted for a slower period of building up my base. It also means saying goodbye to the Martian and Trail Half Marathon hopes (which were way too ambitious anyway). The Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon is still a possibility. I'll see what the sports doc has to say when I get checked out on April 22nd.
As for a more serious issue, I was really getting concerned about my heart. I have been having some chest pains for several weeks. As it turns out, my heart is fine (I always thought I had a good heart!). What is causing the discomfort is a combination of inflammation in the lungs from a winter battle with bronchitis as well as some pain coming from the cartilage connecting one of my ribs to my breastbone. Somehow, this cartilage was traumatized (I don't remember getting into any scuffles, but you should see the other guy!). This irritation is called costochondritis. I never have heard of this before, but now it's helped expand my vocubulary the hard way.
It was a relief to learn that all is fine and that these discomforts will soon pass. Had something more serious been diagnosed, we would have been on it pronto.
So you see it really makes sense to invest the time to go and see your doctor. Don't put it off thinking you could take the pain or shrug off lingering issues as something that may pass. Take care of yourself and as a result you'll be able to take care of others.
I hope your training plans are all going well. Let me know how you're doing by sending me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter as edmarathon.
All the best,