Here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2010:

Quit smoking. (Oops...I already did that back in November. How convenient. Check.)

Get organized. (This was last year’s resolution, too.)

Compete in an Olympic distance triathlon.

Unfortunately, this last one is going to be a problem. Though I’m a strong swimmer and a decent biker (not that I don’t disgrace myself when clipping out of my pedals in traffic), most observers would agree that I’m a fairly crappy runner. 

Though I have no trouble with a brisk 5-K as for a sprint-length triathlon, training for the Olympic’s longer run is problematic. Because once I start running three miles every day or two my knees start to hurt. And that scares me. So I back off and concentrate on my swimming, instead. 

So what’s a girl to do when her knees start to hurt? 

Friendly triathletes have diagnosed my troubles as “IT band related, of course.” Couple this comment with a long look that says I must be a C-level vet not to know something so basic and I get to feeling a little defensive. 

I mean, seeing as pets don’t have an IT (iliotibial) band––much less any trouble with it––I have a hard time making the connection. And should I be taking a layperson’s word anyway when it comes to something so delicate as my knees? 

No matter what’s happening with my knees, though, one thing I do have to confess is that I’ve been slow to take the obvious next step: glucosamine.

As much as I recommend this joint-targeted nutraceutical for my patients...as much as it seems clearly to aid in their arthritic comfort (for more than half of them, anyway)...as much as I know humans (athletes included) who swear by its pain relieving effects...why would I not immediately pick up a bottle? Hmmm...

More interesting, even, is the recognition that while glucosamine probably gets recommended more than any other drug or nutraceutical in my personal practice, my boyfriend (a vet surgeon) recommends almost none at all. Yet he takes it every day and urges me to do the same. Go figure. 

But then, surgeons are for surgery and general practitioners are for recommending things like vitamins and nutritional supplements. Still, the irony’s obvious. And in case you want some more irony, here’s an added twist: IT band troubles don’t seem to be specifically amenable to glucosamine therapy.

Nevertheless, I think it's high time I copped to my age and started taking it. Can't hurt. That's what I always tell my patients' parents, anyway. Why wouldn't I take my own advice?