Whhheeeewwwww this year packed quite the punch, as I had the opportunity to remember exactly what it feels like to be a beginner all over again!
I had a choice to either be frustrated by slow progress or to simply celebrate every single mile that I’ve been given post surgery! Luckily with age I’ve learned enough to decide I wanted to embrace the process and besides that I had so much fun!
Running After Knee Surgery
I’ve had a number of you reach out for updates on running after knee surgery since you’re also going through something. I’ve shared a couple of updates which are important:
- It started with an MRI that said all kinds of things, but wasn’t the actual issue in the end
- I started and continue doing these exercises for range of motion
- How I returned to running a few months after surgery
- 5 Months post surgery update
Also, while the first doctor recommended a total knee replacement, I didn’t settle for that answer. I spoke to a number of doctors and it took awhile for us to decide what to do because no one really understand why I couldn’t straighten my leg.
Eventually, we agreed to do an exploratory surgery. In that surgery, they did a lot of stuff:
- Cleaned up a frayed meniscus
- Reduced the fat pad behind my knee which had slid down some
- Cleaned up frayed cartilage
- Realigned my knee cap (it had been tracking over one side and thus rubbed off cartilage)
Now we are officially 16 months post surgery, does that make me a running toddler? Here’s what I can tell you…
- It took me a lot longer than I expected to feel like my old running self.
- I started building miles quickly by doing lots of shorter runs. I might do 2 miles in the morning and 2 in the evening at first and then later 3 and 3.
- I stopped using the KT Tape after surgery because I didn’t want my body to be relying on anything other than itself for support.
- I really do believe CBD oil helped me get over that final hump and start running 14-15 mile runs again. Endurance has always been my strength, but I had to remember that 18 months of not doing runs over 3 miles meant a slow build back.
- I still do daily PT work to keep my hips, glutes and core strong.
- I have gone back to my physical therapist every 2-3 months when I start to notice issues. We evaluate my stride, my weakness and I keep working on all of them.
- My knee still aches, but it doesn’t hurt. If you’ve had pain that will make sense. I know that long trail runs often leave me very stiff and I get nervous about injury, but overall the knee is strong, healthy and stable.
I’ve gotten so many emails this year from those of you going through knee surgery and wondering what the recovery process is like. I can tell you that sometimes it was slower than I wanted and my speed is still in progress, but my focus was on simply being able to run pain free.
I chose to act like a beginner and start over, only smarter thanks to all the years of running lessons. In that process, I finally stuck to strength training and core work. I remembered all the reasons that I love to run and I stopped judging runs as good or bad.
PAST PERFORMANCE (the miles)
Linked years are a recap from that year! Unfortunately, I didn’t start digitally tracking til half way through 2007, which means I’m not 100% of my numbers for the first 5 years of my running career. I’d love to know what my true total is (but know it’s over 20,000 miles)!
As noted before I don’t look at monthly or weekly mileage until December hits then I become curious. This year, I was quite literally blown away when I realized just how far I’ve come back since injury!!!
Now here’s to hoping the speed keeps coming back and well you know…maybe another full marathon.
Highest Month: December — honestly, I was just freaking excited as I started to realize how far I’d come this year.
Lowest Month: October 86.7 — recovery days after getting my sub two hour half marathon once again in Long Beach. That was my let’s go have a good time pace pre-surgery, so it felt like a big win to get back there.
Luckily I’ve been doing this post for many years now because the online tool that I used to track all of my workouts, suddenly shut down with no warning in March!!
I lost all my running logs, sniff!!! Now I shall use spreadsheets forever more!
|2018||40 hours||0||8 hours||1033 miles||62 hours|
|2017||100 hours||0||5 hours||820 miles||180 hours|
|2016||14 hours||0||20 hours||790 miles||110 hours|
|2015||12 hours||0||70 hours||730 miles||118 hours|
|2014||45 hours||0||5 hours?||690 miles||90 hours|
|2013||58 hours||1 hour||13 hours?||560 miles||120 hours|
|2012||70 hours||3 hours||unsure||620 miles||100 hours|
|2011||42 hours||2 hours||29 hours||980 miles||137 hours|
|2010||13 hours||3 hours||30 hours||1068 miles||86 hours|
Ok the lack of swimming is actually kind of embarrassing! I was on the swim team in high school after all…maybe that’s a 2019 goal.
Longest Run: 15 miles on the roads around our house
Most interesting run: The morning I went out for a run along the river in Austria was downright phenomenal. We’d already been putting in 10 miles walking a day, plus hiking and biking, but I needed that run. The solitary morning, watching the fog clear and castles appear on one hill and mountains on the horizon. Oh man, I wanted to go for hours, but we had a train to catch so it was just 6 really happy miles.
Most exciting #runnerd moment: No crazy VO2 max tests or running with celebs this year, but ummm….yeah I got a freaking book deal!!
How did this year compare? Joyful. Truly it was a joyful process coming back from this injury. I mean 2017 was a year of really reduce and rough running, so this year I knew I wouldn’t be who I was before and I embraced that process.
It allowed me to become a much stronger and more well rounded runner. I celebrated each mile and what a freaking gift.
Best race: Steamboat was my first race after knee surgery and it did not disappoint. It was beautiful from start to finish, I was next to my husband and though I could barely walk right after the race, I rant it pain free!
Favorite gear: Currently beyond obsessed with my Nike Epic React shoes…yup 3 pairs. They’re just cushy and comfy and I swear I never thought I’d be telling you I loved Nike. I haven’t worn them in nearly 10 years!
Goal for next year? Oh man this is my least favorite part of this annual post. It’s not so much that I’m afraid of setting goals, it’s that I’ve realized things change and mostly I’m focused on enjoying each run.
So my goals?
- Remain injury free
- Write a book that resonates with other runners
- Keep cranking down my half marathon time
- Smile more than worry about pace while running
Ok friends, that’s a wrap on 2018 and right now I’m feeling nothing but excited to see what next year will bring.
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