Here’s the rundown:
5/15/14: Surgery for my torn meniscus. I had a “repair” done, which is much different than a shave or trim, which happens in 90% of meniscus operations. The people who get those done are back running in 4 weeks, off crutches in just a few days, but lost part of their shock absorber. I was able to keep 100% of my meniscus, but spent 8 weeks on crutches. The first 6 weeks of that my knee was in brace, with weight bearing not introduced until almost 6 weeks. I spent every single day rehabbing, multiple times a day most of the time. I didn’t think going to Physical Therapy was helping as they weren’t pushing me hard enough so I stopped that after a little while. All my “rehab” work was done at home and then I started at the gym on the stationary bike as soon as I could get my knee to bend enough to complete a full cycle/spin. I’d pedal for 20 mins, then do all my stretches and strengthening. Every day.
7/18/14: 64 days post surgery, I took to the track and decided to “run” the straights and then walk the curves. The running portion was just as fast as my walking. It took me 48 mins and 58 seconds to complete a 5k. Took a few days off of running, continued my exercises and added in swimming, my next 5k time was 38:01, including running 2 full laps. 27:04, then 25:32. Then I started running 4 miles, then 5 miles. I started trail running.
I was coming home from runs with my repaired knee feeling wonderful. Eventually I started to have a flare up in my good leg of my IT band, a result of over compensating for the weak leg. (thus why it was feeling great, it wasn’t working very hard!)
I switched training styles and worked very hard on strengthening my muscles around it but it’s still there, but instead of bothering me at 3 miles into a run, it’s out past 14 miles that it starts to get bothersome. I’ll just keep working on it.
10/26/14: Less than 24 weeks post srgery and I decided to enter a 20k trail race to gauge how my leg would do on seriously difficult terrain at race speed. The course was brutal, and made worse by the fact that every rock and root was covered by leaves. I ended up winning and gained a bit of confidence.