half marathon done

JenHB Member Posts: 130

A bit of background first: I've always been active and did my first ever marathon (26.2 miles) in April 2021. I had a booked place at my local half marathon (the Robin Hood) end of September but then in August my knee suddenly became very swollen so just walking short distances on the flat was 'interesting' so I had no choice but to transfer my place to 2022. This was then the start of my arthritis journey and I was started on methotrexate in March this year.

By now, my joints seemed to be relatively happy so I decided to do the Robin Hood (basically, it was either use my place or lose it).

So, on Sunday I was able to complete the half marathon - I used a run-walk strategy and am very pleased with my time (2hr 22min).

It's now Wednesday evening and (so far) my joints haven't started grumbling at me which I'm also very happy about.


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,022


    Well done you @JenHB 😊 You must be so pleased with yourself. A good memory made there.

    Looks like your joints are not going to punish you for this.

    Take care

    Toni xx

  • CCM
    CCM Member Posts: 113

    Way to go, @JenHB Show the devil who is boss.


  • CCM
    CCM Member Posts: 113

  • Saturday30
    Saturday30 Member Posts: 3
    edited 10. May 2023, 17:09

    Well done ! I was looking for success stories from people who like to run and this is inspiring 😊

  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 214

    That’s such fantastic news. I start my first does of Methotrexate tomorrow. X

  • JC1978
    JC1978 Member Posts: 21


    Wow! I'm in awe!

    You must be so proud of yourself!!

    Thank you for posting this, it's so encouraging to hear your journey! I'm glad the methotrexate is working for you! Did you use any kind of support for your knees when doing your half-marathon?

    It'd be interesting to know about your training schedule and how you overcome any difficulties.

    Jenny xx

  • Naomi33
    Naomi33 Moderator Posts: 151

    Well done @JenHB !!

    Onwards and upwards little well BIG win for you.

    Keep posting and hopefully more marathons in the future 🤞👍

    Best wishes @Naomi33

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • JenHB
    JenHB Member Posts: 130

    @JC1978 - I didn't use any knee supports and in terms of training tried getting out for a short run-walk at least twice a week (and had at least a day between them). I used run 2min walk 30secs (I think...) and had these intervals set on my watch so it was a matter of listening to the beeps. I definitely struggled a lot more with energy levels in the week afterwards than I have done after previous ones.

    I had been given various knee exercises by the physio at the start of the year and was very good at also doing them a couple of times a week (I need to get back into the habit of doing these)

    I also think that I was approaching this HM with a different mindset - i.e. I want to enjoy it and wasn't trying to beat a previous time. I had also mentally decided that I was going to walk up the hills and follow the run-walk strategy as well as if I wasn't enjoying it or knees started hurting I would stop!

    As an aside, I was meant to do this half marathon again this year (it is my local one) but the week before my knees hadn't been feeling quite right so I didn't even start!

    Hope this helps you - I hasten to add I'm not at all medical!

  • DawnEcc
    DawnEcc Member Posts: 8

    This is great news for me too as I was running 4 times a week before I got my diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis. I’m 5 weeks into a combination of Methotrexate & steroids & hoping to start running again next week 😊My muscles & tendons seem to be affected as well as joints. Congratulations on your HM & thank you for giving me hope x

  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 635

    Hi @DawnEcc  

    Welcome to the versus arthritis forum. 

    You have Psoriatic Arthritis and are taking methotrexate & steroids. You’re are a keen runner and hope to start running again shortly. 

    It’s great to see that you’ve already posted in a live discussion. 

    Just in case you haven’t visited our website, these links be relevant:



    I hope that you can get back to exercising very soon and that you find the forum a supportive environment in doing so. 

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Hi @DawnEcc,

    It was picking up tendon injuries and muscle strains whilst Running which led me to have an XRay done and from there being diagnosed with OsteoArthritis in both knees, this was around 18 months ago. Since then I've done a great deal of reading up on my condition, this website has been an aobsolute Godsend.

    As I understand it, Arthritis causes joints to weaken and as the do, it's the surrounding tissues and tendons which have to pick up the slack and that's why they hurt. Ultimately, it's the strengthening of these via physio an exercise which will help them cope better (so less pain) and aid stability for the joints themselves.

    If you find you're suffering 1st thing in the morning or after any exercise, I've found the following helped me:

    1: A deep tissue massaging gun (loads for sale on Amazon) - rubbed up and down muscles and tendons it soothes and helps prevent locks

    2: Elasticated supports (if you siffer in your knees and ankles), aid stability and the compression can help

    3: FlexiSeq gel - expensive but helps reduce stiffness, crunching and grinding

    4: Red Tiger Balm and 5KIND Hemp Gel help to soothe muscles and tendons

    5: A TENS machine for immediate relief

    6: Ice cold compresses (for inflammation, fever, itching and throbbing), hot water bottles, a wheatbag and showers/baths for stiffness

    7: Regular, daily stretches, i/e hamstrings and ACLs, etc help to keep things supple.

    Hope some of these may help


  • DawnEcc
    DawnEcc Member Posts: 8

    Hi Jon

    Thank you for taking the time to provide so much information. Mine weirdly started in my feet/ankles followed by Psoriasis in that area. I’ve had so many Physiotherapists baffled as they couldn’t find an ‘injury’ but the tendon pain was painful & debilitating.

    Ive recently had awful pain in my quad, groin & knee & haven’t been able to run for 6 weeks. Getting out of bed in the morning has been so painful, it felt like all of my muscles were contracting & when I used a roller, I could feel hard knots which were so painful. I went to see a new physio & he did some acupuncture around my back, hip & thigh. The relief was almost instant!

    Ive got a massage gun but I was too sore to try it. I’ll look into a Tens machine. Im like you in that I research as much as I can so that I can be well informed & try to do what I can to keep running. It’s just given me so much hope that there are other runners in this community that are still running in spite of arthritis 😊

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 605

    Hi @DawnEcc

    I have PsA and also have enthesitis - apparently about a third of PsA sufferers also get enthesitis. It's maybe worth telling your rheumatologist that you've got problems with your tendons. Enthesitis is where the tendons and ligaments become inflamed at the point they attach to the bones. I've had it in my arms, legs and feet - particularly about the sole and my heels - as if I've got plantar fasciitis. When I talked it through with my rheumatologist after scans she's certain it's enthesitis. I've also had pain in my groin area and my rheumatologist suggested that that's caused by PsA attacking my sacroiliac joints. It turns out that problems with your sacroiliac joints can cause groin pains. An MRI scan of my sacroiliac joints showed deterioration and that was one of the points of confirmation of my PsA diagnosis.

  • DawnEcc
    DawnEcc Member Posts: 8

    This is great news for me too as I was running 4 times a week before I got my diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis. I’m 5 weeks into a combination of Methotrexate & steroids & hoping to start running again next week 😊My muscles & tendons seem to be affected as well as joints. Congratulations on your HM & thank you for giving me hope x

  • DawnEcc
    DawnEcc Member Posts: 8

    Hi Jamie

    Thanks for your reply & advice 😊 I have read up on Enthesitis & spoke to the Rheumatologist at my first appointment about it. I’ve got my first appointment with the rheumatology nurse 17 Nov & I have quite a few questions to ask.

    I was referred to an Orthopaedic Consultant by my physio as she couldn’t pinpoint an injury in my thigh & as the pain kept moving around she thought I might have a stress fracture of the hip. The consultant nor myself think I do as I have full range of movement but my MRI is booked for a week tonight & I would like to know if there’s something else going on in there. Have you found anything to help with the pain caused by Enthesitis? I’ve also read that Methotrexate alone won’t help the pain. I had a swelling on the top of my wrist appear & pain in my thumb too!? It’s overwhelming to be honest & even though I research information online, it’s a lot to take onboard 😔

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 605
    edited 3. Nov 2023, 09:03

    Hi @DawnEcc

    When I've got swelling due to enthesitis I usually use hot cold packs that have been in the freezer. My right lower arm and wrist and my feet are the worst places I get it. I'm left handed so wear my watch on my right wrist so know when it swells as the wristband becomes tight - about 1cm of swelling normally. My right elbow also gets painful - like tennis elbow - and the rheumatologist says that's enthesitis as well. I use compression gloves on my hands - they help with my finger and thumb joints as well as keeping my hands warm. Since PsA first hit me my hands and feet get really cold - I wear thermal socks almost all year round as well as bed socks at night. I wear plantar fasciitis socks when my heels and soles are sore. I'm on sulfasalazine, MTX and a biosimilar of adalimumab and that combination has kept me stable this last 2 years. I've just resumed MTX after a 2 week hiatus due to the covid vaccination and this last week I've been worse than usual. Earlier this year I'd reduced my sulfasalazine and gone into a significant flare. My rheumatologist says the 3 drugs work together to give a better outcome than each individually - or as she put it 1+1+1>3. Both my rheumatologist and physio stress the need for me to keep moving so I walk the dog 50-60kms a week and do my exercises. I can't run as my left knee - where it all started - needs replaced so I walk with a limp. I've used capsaicin cream in the past which has helped but is unavailable at present and still use lidocaine patches when my joints or back are aching. I do a lot of hand exercises and I've got exercise putty - it's a bit like play dough - which help my finger joints.

    I was overwhelmed initially as it came on really quickly - about 6 weeks from initial flare up of my left knee to major issues with hands, shoulders and hips and then diagnosis of PsA. I've realised I need be more assertive in my dealings with medics and not assume every medic I meet has my best interests to the fore. I've changed my rheumatologist and GP and the ones I have now are far more supportive.

    I hope you get stabilized soon.

  • DawnEcc
    DawnEcc Member Posts: 8

    Wow! You’re undergoing a lot. I see the rheumatology nurse for the first time in 2 weeks. I’ve just finished my second lot of steroids alongside the MTX. I know i can’t take steroids long term but they really help. I wish I’d found this community 3 months ago as the wealth of knowledge & advice is amazing 😊

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 605

    Hi @DawnEcc

    Steroids helped greatly when I was most ill. The medics started by injecting the worst joints but latterly they just gave me a big shot in my rear end which spread through the body and helped all my joints. I don't know what I'd done without them. Each shot usually gave me 4-6 weeks of respite whilst the rheumatologist went through the process of 1st line, 2nd line DMARDS and then the biologic - about 11 months till I was stable. I think I had about 13 steroid injections in that time as well as 4 months of prednisolone steroid tablets as I took 3 bouts of pneumonia during this time. I remember asking to go home and the consultant telling me the steroids were giving me a false sense of wellbeing - but it was far better than the joint pain or the pneumonia symptoms so I'd take them whenever offered.

  • DawnEcc
    DawnEcc Member Posts: 8

    This is great news for me too as I was running 4 times a week before I got my diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis. I’m 5 weeks into a combination of Methotrexate & steroids & hoping to start running again next week 😊My muscles & tendons seem to be affected as well as joints. Congratulations on your HM & thank you for giving me hope x