Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

Tag: injury Page 1 of 3

Knee status – 12/1/19

I keep saying… it’s getting better and it is. Normal movement pain is down to 1-2% range, flexibility is +90%, strength is over 90% as well. Yet, I cannot run without significant discomfort and fear of re-injury.

The picture above helps with my explanation of this injury. All of the soft tissue items were impacted by this injury event.

The meniscus was the original damage back in July, then when I overdid it by running 6 miles in September everything else was damaged.

The ligaments on both sides and the patella have caused the most pain throughout this recovery. We take our working knees for granted way too much, well, at least I have not been as grateful as I should have been for working joints.

After the 6 mile mistake, kneeling and bending that knee included extreme pain. Mobility, range, and pressure were very limited. There were even periods where pain would shoot through the knee just sitting still.

The weeks following have been a series of mat exercises, yoga, Pilates, and any other gradual stretching it allowed me. Daily bike rides and walks have been instrumental in the healing process.

I’m not going to press it. Now that we’re into December we’ll continue to adjust to whatever winter brings and I’m hopeful this may be the month I can attempt to run again.

Useful tools @ Original Strength

A friend told me to check out Tim Anderson over at Original Strength and I am glad I did. I am still checking out the videos over at YouTube as there are tons of useful resources available to introduce some very helpful tools.

The concept of a “reset” is an underlying theme and one key routine is rocking. At first I was thinking that is too simple, however, when I started I quickly realized how much work my knee still required. These resets are great physical therapy!

The knee is getting better. While it’s not ready for running, flexibility is improving and pain intensity lowering. Riding the bike is not a problem for it, for which I am very grateful. I have been able to walk two to three miles a day. I wish I could say the walks are pain free, but not yet.

Sept 2019 summary

I ran 11 total miles in September. Yeah, I know, sad. But, I learned I can run again and that I shouldn’t push so hard after an injury. Yup, I re-injured the knee on the second run. The first run of 5-miles left me recovering fairly well and I was ready to run again in 2 days. I now know I should have stayed with less than 5-miles, for when I exceeded five, I felt the pain increase and at the end of 6-miles I was done.

The injury isn’t as bad as the beginning of August, but enough to know I’ll be riding the bike for several more weeks to recover. I have continued walking at least 2-focused-miles a day as well. Focused miles means, I went on a 2-mile walk, not just that I had X number of steps in a day.

Not that riding the bike is bad, it’s just not the same workout as running. Below are the bicycle stats for September 2019.

Speaking of the bike, at the end of September, I’m 18 miles short of 1000 miles on it, not too bad for a low-end bike. I did replace the rear tire at 850 miles as it was pretty worn out, but overall it’s holding up well!

The combined walk-run-bike summary is below.

Gratitude on the 1st day of Fall – I ran again!

I ran again today. The first time in over 6 weeks. I ran so slow it makes me laugh, but I ran.

I was like all Forrest Gump out there once I got past the fear of re-injuring my knees. The first mile was very cautious, but after that I didn’t want to stop! Just a little more… just until the next intersection… just go until the next mile is complete…

Before I started the run, I had made a deal with myself to pay attention and listen to my body. Don’t over do it! I did listen, but it was so amazing being able to run (even slowly) on my knees where I was concerned I’d never run again. I did listen… mostly…

Perhaps you’re not a runner and think this is crazy and maybe it is a bit, but as a runner, this is a big deal. It’s like being set free from a long captivity, like getting outside on that first warm Spring day after a long cold and dark winter. It’s refreshing and I’m grateful!

I ran 5 miles. I stayed close to home, just in case. I believed the knees were doing better when I could feel other body parts start complaining louder than my knees had previously. The patella, the plantar, the quads all started to chime in as if to say “hey wait, where have you been?”, it was great.

I forced myself to quit at 5 miles, then did a 2-mile walk to celebrate.

The bike has been a great way to keep my cardio in shape as there were no issues with breathing or heart-rate. I’m going to experiment with mixing the bike in my routine going forward as I have felt the benefits from it.

Happy Fall 2019! Running is back on the menu! 🙂

A few weeks on the bike

I am grateful to have a bicycle! I’ve had to convert to a cyclist while this knee injury recovers. I am using the bike as part of my physical therapy. My Sports-Ortho was cool about me doing my own therapy once I explained what I was doing and my recovery plan. Of course, he offered to be of further assistance if I needed it, we’ll see.

Picture of the Mongoose Bedlam bicycle
The Mongoose Bedlam

The knee is getting better day-by-day, I can do my regular stretching/yoga/pilates again and have been able to walk a few miles at a time without issue. I’m not ready to give it a run though as the memory of that pain is keeping me cautious. My plan is to attempt a slow run, two weeks after it doesn’t bother me doing these other low-impact activities.

I have over 375 miles on the bike since August 4th (3 weeks). I’ve been averaging 19 miles each morning at an average pace of 14.5 MPH. Maintaining this pace keeps me exuding an effort almost the entire ride, with very little coasting (not that we have much for hills around here). The rear tire is showing a little wear but overall the bike is holding up well, even today while the entire ride was in the rain.

This bike has the shock-absorption front forks and the rear independent suspension. Most bike have similar front forks nowadays, but the rear is not as common. Personally, I like the extra impact reduction of the rear suspension.

You may wonder why I use a mountain-style bike as basically a road bike. The answer is that the roads I ride are not city streets, they are country roads, sometimes dirt and often rough. These are (to use the common term) tar-and-chip roads which are maintained by adding oil and loose rock during the summer months. This loose rock adds a certain element of “surprise” to a road-ride in which those narrow road-cycle tires don’t perform well at keeping you upright. Plus the rock accumulates at intersections and roadsides for additional excitement.

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