Do what you gotta do!

Those of you who have been following along know that I am coming up on my three-year mark of the accident that shattered my knee ( it did more, but that seems to be the longest lasting effect).

I still wear a brace almost every day. I have gathered a plethora; light knits and compressions and hefty ones for the actual running. I may be addicted, as I am always looking for the “perfect” brace that won’t slide and will give excellent support.

Sometimes at home I don’t wear one–but I can always go grab one if needed. I am amazed at how a little piece of compression nylon can make my leg feel so much better. I have tried to not use them at various points in the last couple years, and my leg always informs me the it really does still need them.

And the point of this, you are wondering?

I had a wonderful surgeon who rebuilt my knee, and I am deeply indebted to him.  He was supportive about my future progress, although he really didn’t think I would like running. But he never suggested the knee supports.

That was a light bulb moment for me in the local drug store.  And I am so glad I stopped in front of the brace section that day. I probably wouldn’t  enjoy running without the braces; both the heavier ones for exercising and the lighter ones for every day.

But the point. The point is that sometimes you have to think outside the box, and if you want to try something, do it. Absolutely do whatever your doctor suggests, but feel free to add-on (safely-I would suggest caution when it comes to unusual medications. There was a very low risk factor putting a nylon brace on my leg!). You never know what will help your progress until you try. And if it doesn’t work, try something else!

Whose in charge here?

Apparently, my knees are.

My left knee has been increasingly uncomfortable recently, probably from the extra stress the last two years while I babied my right knee. I have been wearing a brace on both, but I think my summer of pushing further, faster has come back to bite me.

Since I am doing my yoga month, I took this week off from running. My run last Friday was uncomfortable.  Going down hills with my left leg feels like someone is sliding a knife under my patella from the top. Fortunately, it rebounds fairly quickly when I hit level ground. And I have discovered that “slaloming” down the hill helps my legs a great deal, although I am sure people are wondering why I am running back and forth as I run down the hill 🙂 Just getting a few extra steps in!

I went for my first run for the week this morning. Now, originally, I had planned a fairly short run. But as my knees felt ok (the one steep-ish downhill did hurt), I kept going just “a little further.” I went out about 2.5 miles. And made it back about 2 miles before my left knee told me, in no uncertain terms, that it was done.  I walked the last half mile.

I had a hard time giving in. But I remembered seeing an older marathon runner I knew limping along daily because he just refused to stop. I thought it was foolish at the time.

I decided not to be foolish. Everyone has injury issues, and not pressing on to make it worse is the smart thing to do. Walking didn’t hurt at all, so I guess Daisy will be getting a lot of exercise for the next week! And I will be looking for exercises to make my knee muscles and tendons stronger.

 

Weekly Rundown

I can’t say last week was the best, as time was not cooperating with me. Holidays 🙂 I had to work some long days to cover coworkers (of course, I took Friday off, so they had to cover me). And then on Saturday….ah, well, Saturday.

Monday: I ran on the treadmill, happily hitting 2 miles in 25 minutes. I really do need to find another treadmill, as this one only goes to 6MPH. At this point that is not an issue, but I hope to get beyond the 10 minute mile over the course of the winter.

Tuesday: I did 18 minutes of yoga first thing in the morning, stretching my muscles and cracking my joints as I went. Definitely more of an afternoon yoga person.  I went walking with my friend before work as well. We were supposed to walk outside, but as it was 3F outside; we decided inside the hospital  would work as well.  We did about 2 miles, lapping each floor twice with a couple repeats before heading to the cafe for our reward: coffee!

Wednesday: Off because I worked 6:30am to 5pm. Somehow I just didn’t have the gumption to exercise afterwards, especially with the housework, horses and feeding the husband.

Thursday: same, all over again.

Friday: Off, as I had Christmas at my house. I thought I would have enough time to exercise in between the cooking and preparing, but I was wrong. We had a wonderful day, however!

Saturday: after three days of not exercising, I was rearing to go. I put a coat on Daisy and headed out for a walk. We decided to do 2 miles and I was thinking on getting on the treadmill to run as it was going so well. On the way back I heard a car so I pulled Daisy in and stepped off the road to get out of the way. And that is when it went to hell.
Although the snow looked even with the road, it was actually a ditch. My left foot went down (deeper than my knee) and my right knee bent.
My leg has been feeling strong, and the bending I do feels easier, but it is still about a 90 degree bend. Not sure how far it bent, it happened so fast; but I am pretty sure from the pain and scream I let out it was a lot more than 90 degrees.  The car very  nicely stopped and offered help. The gentleman (a neighbor I got to meet) picked me up (I was on my back on the snow) and offered a ride home.But I knew it would stiffen up, and by the time we exchanged names and stories, I felt up to walking on it again. So Daisy and I limped the half mile home, where I took Tylenol, put some muscle rub on and sat in my armchair.

Sunday: well, I couldn’t take it off, not after three days this week. I worked the leg a bit, walking around the house and feeding the horses. Then I climbed (at a very slow pace) on the treadmill–over my husband’s objections. But I didn’t hurt myself: stubborn, not stupid, you know. I started at 2.oMPH, but it felt pretty good so I got up to 3.0 by the time I finished my half an hour. Leg was a little sore, but it was fine by the time I went to bed.