Funny. While I'm new to trail running, I have yet to have a close encounter of the antler-ed kind. Yet just a month ago, while on an early morning run in West Orange, two bucks ran right out in front of me. I think the lack of trees makes deer do crazy things.
As for my knee, it always tightens up after road running. However, this time it's swollen on the right side of my knee cap and extremely painful after sitting a while. I aggravated it further on an elliptical trainer at the Y on Saturday. Now, I'm on a regimen of ice and heat to speed the healing. I hope to be on the trail by this weekend (although I won't be chasing Tom ;-).
Sounds like it is your ITB. Ice and heat are a good start. Foam rolling, stretching, and strengthening the muscles in your hips will also help a great deal.
After you are in good shape, it is important to try to figure out what caused the pain, otherwise it will come back. Did you increase weekly mileage too fast, too much speed work, an imbalance in running form, running on a surface that you are not used to, etc?
But MOST importantly, don't rush back to running if you still have the pain, no matter how much you want to. I really mean it, it won't be worth it. It is a lot better to take off three weeks and heal proper, then to lose three months!
Rest up and enjoy the time off, the trails aren't going anywhere.
"This is Watchung, not Siberia. Nothing bad will happen"...except bear attacks apparently!
Thanks for the advice, guys. For someone who never ran further than the local Dunkin Donuts until this year, I'm amazed at how lousy I feel without running.
I suspect that i simply aggravated a mild injury that I've been ignoring up to this point. My body's way of telling me to slow down and smell the donuts.
Anyway, i'm feeling much better than yesterday and the day before that (Advil-free). I'll take it easy for as long as necessary.