Since my first update was just two months post surgery, I thought I’d hop back on to give you the official 5 month update! If you are looking at knee surgery or wondering how to comeback, read that first post! I talk about all the tactics I used from physical therapy to strength training to the mental stuff.
What’s been happening since then?? In normal running style it’s been progress and little setbacks, frustrations and joys.
Overall: I’m glad I went through with surgery. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to 100% pre-injury range of motion.
What’s the Progress Been Like?
As I shared in the first update, I started trying to jog by week 5 though I’d heard most didn’t do that until week 10. My body felt ok and I pretty quickly got the green light, so I just started going!
Every run was a matter of listening to my body, stopping if there was pain and honestly a lot of walk breaks in between the running parts as I attempt to get back my endurance.
Here’s a little recap of my running mileage (lots of walking happened too, this is just the running)
Jan: 89 (as of today)
After December my physical therapist gave me a high five and then politely requested I not try to jump to 150 in January. I decide this was sound advice because I was tired!!
Instead, it was time to start getting more time on the trails and practicing speed work. The biggest thing has been getting over the mental fears: will I hurt myself, will I run too far and get stuck because it hurts. Slowly these too are going away.November initially felt like a set back because I was losing range of motion.
My PT and I got on it trying all kinds of new things, I started going to Pilates Reformer classes and slowly we worked back to where I was in October. It wasn’t truly until the end of December that I got to about 92% of original range of motion and that’s about where I’m staying.
How Does The Knee Feel?
Walking is no longer painful.
I’m not taping my knee up for anything.
If my hips get out of whack, my knee let’s me know.
I usually stop running when it starts to really ache, but that ache goes away pretty quickly when I stop.
I’m finally running downhill pain free (that took until mid-month 4).
I could probably push my runs if I took pain relievers, but I don’t try to quell inflammation because that is the body learning to repair itself! (seriously read about this!)
This was life for nearly all of 2017, crazy tape lines…now running without them feels pretty fabulous! If you need taping tips, read this it really works!
Does Running Feel the Same?
For a long time the answer was no and I was freaked out. For a few months, I found myself doing weird prancing things when I hit the streets and still needing to walk when I hit the downhill or technical trails.
However, this month it’s finally started to feel like the old days…except my endurance is in the toilet! And in fact, I’d say that mental struggle is probably harder than the knee recovery right now.
My brain expectation from 15 years of running still hasn’t caught up to being injured for almost a year.So…I just keep doing what I have been doing. Challenging myself, getting stronger, enjoying the ability to run pain free.
I know the rest will come. I have to get my brain to go back to the beginning and embrace each new milestone.
Was it Worth It?
I can’t answer this for every runner, but in my case it was absolutely worth it. While the recovery may not put me back to where I was pre-injury, I’m 90% better than before surgery.
By August I couldn’t run a couple miles without taping my knee up and running was only slightly more comfortable than walking which was downright painful. Now, I’m not using any tape and walking is pain-free, running is mostly pain-free and I have no reason to believe I won’t keep increasing my speed and distance.
Any other questions you have on recovery hit me up!
How do you mentally handle feeling like you should be able to do more?
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