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A week ago, I was feeling pretty discouraged about my knee.  The swelling was pretty much unchanged, which meant I was still hobbling around to a degree that was noticed by other people.  Both of my physical therapy appointments were… well, they were sort of iffy, as the knee didn’t really want to cooperate with doing anything.  Both PTs that I saw looked at my knee and inquired as to when I would get in to see the doctor next.  One of them even went so far as to mention that, yeah, this was sort of a lot of swelling for as far out of surgery as I was and it was a little… unusual.  Great.  Exactly what I wanted to hear.

So when I left town for a weekend in Chicago, I thought nothing of the fact that I wouldn’t be anywhere near an exercise bike for several days.  When I came home with a cold and decided to sleep instead of going to the gym?  I didn’t care.  And that was apparently exactly what my knee needed, because it has been worlds better this week than it has since the surgery.  I’m back to driving my own car and can even get comfortable sleeping on my stomach.  If I think about it, I can even walk just about normally.  They’re little things, for sure, but they’re little things that I haven’t been able to do in a month, so it’s pretty exciting.

Even more exciting is that since the knee was behaving, I was able to work it pretty hard in both of my PT appointments this week.  No complaints, no angry post-PT swelling or discomfort.  Just a much more functional knee than I have seen in quite some time.

Even with this week’s jump forward, I’ve basically let go of any time-based goals related to running, which has let me focus on what I can do now and how to improve that.  Even with the improved motion, that leg is still far weaker than the other one.  Today, the PT had me do some basic leg raises with a 2-pound ankle weight, and that was depressingly difficult.  Clearly there is still some work to be done there.  (On the flip side, though, doing those leg raises with a 1-pound ankle weight was almost impossible two weeks ago, but now it’s absolutely no problem.  So there’s progress being made.)

Here’s hoping that the upward trend continues.

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At the beginning of last week, if you had asked me how my knee was doing I would have told you it was fantastic.  I was getting more motion back and, right after icing it, I could almost walk totally normally.  The swelling was down, it wasn’t hurting anymore…. it was all moving in the right direction.

Then I ran out of the prescription anti-inflammatories I was taking, which at first was hugely exciting.  I’d been feeling completely run down and it seemed like they were to blame (especially since one of the side effects on the bottle was “drowsiness”).  My theory was pretty much proven correct when I couldn’t sleep the first night I didn’t take them, but I wasn’t too worried.  I figured my sleep cycle would even out in a few days and then everything would be A-OK.

I took my last dose of the drugs Wednesday morning, so when my knee was a little puffier than usual at my PT appointment Thursday evening, I didn’t think too much of it.  The knee did not approve of said PT appointment and complained mightily as I worked on new and exciting ways to straighten out my leg.  As I was leaving, the PT advised me to call the doctor for a refill if the ice didn’t help the extra swelling that was hanging out in there.  I sort of nodded and smiled and said, “we’ll see,” not really wanting to go that route unless I absolutely had to.

When I woke up Friday morning, my knee was incredibly stiff and swollen, all from being under the warm bedcovers all night.  I decided I’d call the doctor after my morning class, to get the refill process going just in case.  I still wasn’t convinced I absolutely needed to, but the refill would be free and it couldn’t hurt to have it lying around, right?  Exactly.

Friday evening there was a potluck after class, and after a few hours of standing around in a really warm room, my knee was puffy and warm and really, really uncomfortable.  I’d gone from not really caring if I got a refill or not to checking my email every 30 seconds to see if Walgreen’s had it ready or not.  Clearly, while I was ready to be off the drugs, my knee was not.

Sadly, the story didn’t end there.  When I called the doctor’s office to get a refill, they told me to call the pharmacy, who would then call the doctor for approval.  OK.  So I did that.  Sadly, it appears that the pharmacy and doctor’s office didn’t connect on Friday, so my refill is still waiting for an approval.  And my knee is still increasingly puffy and temperamental.

The good news is that it’s not really any more painful, but it definitely feels like a step backwards.  I can’t stay on the exercise bike as long, it’s much harder to move comfortably if I’ve had it in the same position for a while and, well, it’s just not as comfortable.  Considering how good it felt last week, this is more than a little annoying.  Unfortunately there’s not a whole lot I can do about it, but I’m doing what I can – icing it, keeping it up and remembering that it’ll get better.

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Earlier this week, I had my post-op appointment and got cleared to start hitting the exercise bike for short periods of time with no resistance.  I was also told that as long as I did that and range of motion exercises on my own, I’d probably be fine without physical therapy.  However, if I wanted to go that route?  My insurance would cover it, because we have really, really good insurance.

I went the PT route.  I figured that in addition to making sure I had a well-rounded rehab, it would also keep me on track.  Having to check once or twice a week with another person would keep me on my exercises, and it would also give me someone to bounce ideas off of, and they could tell me if it was going to be a good idea or bad idea.  Basically, I’m using the PT as a babysitter to make sure I don’t try to do too much too soon.  While there’s very little chance of me hurting anything in my knee, I could definitely piss it off pretty good and set myself back a good week or so.  No thanks.

Hey, insurance will cover it.  Thank you, Giant Software Company.

So I had my evaluation appointment Wednesday morning, and it sucked even more than I thought it would.  I knew they were going to test my range of motion.  I knew they were going to see how much motion they could get out of my knee (i.e., more than I can).  I knew it was going to be uncomfortable, but I wildly underestimated by just how much.  As I was sort-of whining to a couple people about that, they all said the same thing: “Hey, this experience as a patient will just make you a better therapist down the line!”

Which, while true, is akin to hearing that a period of seriously sucky experiences “will build character.”  However, they did have a point, because up until this week, I had no idea that post-injury and post-operative PT were so wildly different.  Post-injury PT is a bit uncomfortable, but it’s in ways that you’re pretty much used to.  If you’re active enough to hurt yourself, you know how it feels to do tough strengthening exercises and stretching.  Sure, having someone use manual therapy to loosen up your IT band isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but you don’t really have to do anything besides sit there and take it.

Post-op PT, however, is all about moving whatever joint it is that doesn’t want to move.  It wants to stay in one spot until all of the swelling is down.  It doesn’t want to stretch the range of motion it has available, and it most certainly does not want to hang out at the end range of motion.  Yet, that’s exactly what you need to do.  And you can’t just sit there and take it, you have to actually do it to yourself.

Yeah, that’s a difference I wasn’t really expecting.

However.  I’ve been good and doing my exercises and I’m continuing to see small improvements every day.  A little bit more motion here, a little less discomfort there.  On Wednesday morning I could barely get through one set of 10 leg lifts, and tonight at the gym I busted out 3 sets of them without a problem.  (That’s another thing I was horrified to see: how much strength I lost out of that leg in less than a week.)  I’ve hit the bike for 10 minutes the past couple of days, and while the first few minutes are a little rough, by the end of the time it feels awesome.  The motion’s getting a bit smoother, and today I made it a little further than I did yesterday.  As long as my knee doesn’t feel awful in the morning, I might try and see how 15 minutes goes.

I can’t wait until I get back to running, but that’s still several weeks away.  So for now I’m focusing on what I can attain in the next week or two.  15 or 20 minutes on the bike.  Sleeping on my stomach again.  Driving my own (manual transmission) car.  I’m not quite there yet, but I’m thinking that two out of three in the next week is totally reasonable.

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Recovering… Slowly

When I woke up Wednesday morning, I felt awesome.  Nothing hurt and, sure, I couldn’t move my knee a whole lot because it was still pretty swollen, but I felt like a million bucks.  So I went to class that afternoon.  Where I then spent 3 hours trying to figure out how to sit up in a chair and still have my leg in a comfortable position.  By the time I was on the way home, I was absolutely exhausted.  Because I was one day out of surgery and heading off to class like nothing had happened.

That seems to be a theme that’s carried through until, well, today.  I seem to be the only one who’s shocked by the fact that simply going through a day of classes wears me out, because I’m the only one that keeps forgetting I had surgery last week.  Relatively minor surgery, sure, but I still had surgery.  I sort of got the memo when I came home Thursday afternoon and took a 3-hour nap before having dinner and then going directly to bed.  Friday was a little better, but an all-day training for Girls on the Run coaches on Saturday was enough to completely wear me out.  I finally sort-of learned my lesson and spent Sunday camped out on the couch, only getting up and out for the one errand I had to get done.

Y’all, I’ve been sleeping for about 12 hours a night for the past few days.  When I say that a regular day of classes wears me out, I am not kidding.  Heck, yesterday I slept that much after a strenuous day of lying on the couch.  It feels a little pathetic, is what I’m saying.

On the plus side, I do feel like the knee is improving,  Sort of.  Since all they had to do was clean up some torn-up cartilage inside the joint, my main recovery task is to get rid of the post-op swelling.  Once that goes down, I should have my knee back.  So if I’m at home, I’ve got the knee up and ice is on it for 20 minutes or so every two hours.  I’m even sleeping with it elevated, partially because it keeps the swelling down and partially because it’s about the only way I can keep it comfortable.  The worst part about that?  I’m totally a stomach sleeper, which is a position that is pretty much unattainable (and only comfortable as long as I don’t move at all) in my current state.

I have busted into the big drugs a few times as I did get some pain from the incisional sites.  Happily, one dose at bedtime has proven to be enough to let me get to sleep and to control the pain throughout the next day.  (Also, I don’t really care as much if my knee hurts during the day, since I usually have something else to do or pay attention to that keeps me distracted from it.)  As a result, I’ve had some really, really, really strange dreams.

How’s the swelling, you ask?  Well, that really depends on when you ask me.  For the most part, it’s down significantly.  I probably have about 75% of my range of motion back, which is just enough to let me walk up stairs like a normal person, but not enough to let me go down stairs without having to step both feet down to the same stair before proceeding.  I also can’t quite straighten my leg fully, which means I’m still walking a little funny and can’t really support my weight on that leg for any length of time.  (The horrible, horrible downside to taking a gait analysis class right now: that’s ALL I THINK ABOUT when I’m hobbling around.  “Limited knee extension should result in forefoot contact. Why, yes, yes it does!”)  I felt like it was making noticeable improvement on a daily basis for the first few days  and now it’s just sort of hanging out at the same spot, which is a little annoying.  So I keep elevating it and icing it and thinking nice, happy, anti-inflammatory thoughts.

The other annoying thing is that all of that progress vanishes in about five minutes in the shower.  Thanks to my physical agents class this semester, I know exactly why that happens (dependent position of the leg + hot water/warm environment = super-swelling!), but it doesn’t make it any more comfortable.  When I hopped out of the shower this morning, my knee was back to the state it was immediately post-op, which meant I couldn’t really move it at all.  That was less than encouraging, even if it is motivating me to make my showering routine more efficient.  (The good news is that if I sit down, elevate the leg and wrap it up with the ace bandage they gave me, the swelling goes down pretty quickly.  But it’s still flaring up pretty good.)

I go back to the doctor tomorrow for my post-op checkup, and I’m guessing he’ll send me to PT where they’ll work on getting the inflammation gone for good.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll have my knee back by spring break (in 3 weeks) so I can actually get out and do something fun like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, but we’ll see what happens.

Is it annoying to still be in a “can’t do much, waiting to see how it goes” state with the knee?  A little, but the fact that I know it’s on an upswing helps greatly.  It still sucks right now, but it’ll be back to normal before I know it.

 

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All Done!

Today’s surgery went well, and I’m pleased to report that I’ve spent the afternoon resting at home under the close supervision of the cats.

The really good news is that the cartilage in my knee was just a little beat up, but not totally trashed.  That means that the doctor just had to do some trimming and smoothing on the cartilage on the back of my knee cap and on my lateral meniscus, but nothing more than that.  I’m not on crutches and the overall recovery should be pretty easy.

So far, the knee’s felt pretty good actually.  I haven’t had to bust out the big drugs yet, although I’m a little worried that at some point the drugs they gave me during surgery will wear off and I’ll wake up in a whole new world of pain tomorrow morning.  Hopefully that doesn’t happen, though.  I’ve been trying to keep it elevated and iced like I’m supposed to, which will hopefully help keep it feeling happy.

My plan is to stay home from class tomorrow to get some more rest in, although I might try to make it in for my afternoon class if I’m feeling my Wheaties.  I’m not making any final decisions on that until tomorrow, though, and I’m not setting an alarm for anything.  For tomorrow, I’ll get up whenever I get up, although Thursday and Friday I’m aiming to be back on my regular schedule.  Those might be two really long days, but then I can rest up over the weekend.

So, in summary: surgery went well, the knee should be all fixed up, and no crutches or leg brace.  Wins all around.

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The Big Day

Well, today’s it.  The day that the doctors get to look inside my knee to see exactly how much damage I’ve done to it and, hopefully, the day that they fix it.  I’m mostly excited about this.  Sure, I’m excited to get started on the road back to running and cycling and to be able to try snowshoeing, but the knee has taken a turn for the worse, so my immediate goals are much smaller.  I’m excited to be able to walk down stairs without my knee clicking and popping.  I’m super excited to be able to walk around campus at school without having to ice my knee down that night because I taking that extra trip over to the library was just too much for it.

I really wish I was kidding about that last thing, but I’m not.  That knee is not in a good place right now and is pretty much just decorative.  It’s totally worth missing a few days of school to get it fixed ASAP, for sure.

All that said, I’m also a little nervous about it.  I’m nervous I’ll wake up from surgery in a leg brace, because navigating school on crutches is going to be hideously inconvenient.  I’m nervous that they’ll need to use the microfracture option, because I’m guessing having someone drill into the back of your kneecap is the sort of thing that will be incredibly painful for several days afterwards.  (I’ve got the Really Good Drugs on hand to help that, but still: ow.)  I’m nervous that it’ll turn out that I’ll need more surgery because they need to grow new cartilage for my knee, so while I’ll escape the pain in the ass of dealing with crutches and school, I’ll have to spend most of my summer on them.  Which will fully and completely hose any racing plans I might want to have this year.

What I am really, really looking forward to, though?  Finally knowing what I’m going to have to deal with, recovery-wise.  The total open-endedness of it has been the hardest part of this whole thing, and if nothing else, by tonight my knee will be one step closer to getting better and I’ll know exactly what comes next.

So long, degenerating gimpy knee.  Hello, healing gimpy knee!  It’ll be nice to see you.

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First, some bad news: my blogging gig over at Sweat and the City has come to an end.  They decided to downsize the site and focus on their workout diaries and bootcamp programs, and the guest blogs were a casualty of that.

However, for those of you that just can’t get enough of my semi-focused ramblings, I have good news!  I’ve landed a gig as the Seattle marathon fitness examiner over at Examiner.com, where I’ll be posting marathon and running-related tidbits a couple of times a week.  I’ll be concentrating on the Seattle area for most of the articles, but you’ll see the occasional General Running Information post, too.  (That said, if you’ve got information on Seattle-based races, vendors, or running-related happenings, let me know!  I can always use article fodder.)

New posts over there will be listed on my profile page and I’ll be putting notifications on Twitter as well.

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Well, maybe just a little bit, but only because I really, really miss being able to go out and do something without worrying about how it’s going to feel the next day.  It’s not like I’m counting down to the surgery or anything.

OK, maybe I am.  A little bit.  (10 days!)

However, in between all of this knee stuff, I’ve been chugging through the beginning of my second semester of PT school.  In short, it’s going to be awesome, although it’s going to be a lot more work.  We’ve got four classes that are all obviously, directly relevant to the clinical work we’ll be doing after we graduate.  We’re starting to learn some treatment modalities and techniques as well as the how and when of using them.  We’re also seeing a lot of wound pictures.  Which is what happens when you have a wound care expert teaching one of your classes, I suppose.

(In that class, we have yet to get through an entire lecture without seeing a wound picture.  Some lectures have had more numerous and more grisly pictures than others, but there’s been at least one every class.  I was starting to think we were going to get through our diabetes lecture on Friday without seeing one, but then BAM!  Foot ulcer!)

(Which actually, was just a small picture and was totally not all that disturbing.  But it was still there.)

(Also, that class has convinced several of us that we have no desire to do wound care, ever.  God bless the people that spend their days cleaning out festering bed sores and hopefully I will never have to be one of them because: ew.)

We are also being absolutely drowned in reading.  I’m even finding myself doing the optional reading for my neuroanatomy class, because I think the optional textbook is really awesome and useful.  (Our primary textbook was written by a neuroscientist and the optional one was written by a physical therapist.  It’s actually really nice to get both perspectives on the material – one is insanely detailed and one is focused on what things mean clinically.)  I’m just glad that I can read pretty quickly, because I have no idea how I’d be getting through it otherwise.

Of course, while I’ve been keeping up on the daily reading, I haven’t been doing as good of a job with studying material as we cover it.  (Not that I’ve ever been good at that, but that’s a separate discussion.)  Which means that as Irwin will be spending his weekend preparing for and watching the Super Bowl, I’ll be spending my weekend studying neuroanatomy in preparation for Tuesday’s exam.  One of us certainly knows how to party, that’s for sure.

And with that…. back to the books.

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Change of Plans

At some point last week, for reasons I can’t figure out, my knee decided to take a big old turn downhill.  I’m not sure what I did, but by the end of the week the simple act of driving to school and walking from my car to my classes and back was enough to piss it off and make it sore.  In our gait analysis lab, I even had a couple different people pick out the left knee as the injured one right away, as I was apparently walking funny on it (not standing on it as long, not bending that knee as much, etc).  It was, in all honesty, depressing and frustrating.  Here I was, trying to stay active and be nice to it and that was still too much.  No matter what I did, it was going to hurt, apparently.  Which means if my activity limiters are “don’t do anything that causes pain,” I was down to… well… sitting around and watching TV?

It would be a mild understatement to say that I did not handle this well.  Combined with a couple of annoying and unrelated things that happened and I was, ah, not very pleasant to be around.  At all.  To the point where Irwin politely suggested that perhaps I could move my surgery up a bit?  Get it done a little sooner than mid-March?  I resisted initially, mostly because I didn’t want to miss a couple of days of class.  Then I realized I’ve got a Friday coming up where I only have one class in the morning, since the instructor for our afternoon class is going to be out of town.  I could miss that Friday morning class.  That would be OK.  And I could probably get back to class on Monday after taking the weekend to rest.  That… would totally work.

I got all excited about it.  Suddenly, I was facing surgery in 2 weeks, not 6, and that sounded fantastic.  However, when I called the doctor, I was informed that they didn’t do surgery on Fridays.  They did, however, have an opening on the following Tuesday if I was interested.

At first, I was bummed.  Seriously bummed.  I couldn’t do surgery on a Tuesday.  I’d miss two days of class, and those two days would include 6 hours of neuroanatomy lecture.  Plus a lab.  That was just too much.  Or so I thought.

I kept it in the back of my mind, though, and talked it over with Irwin.  I talked it over with a friend of mine who’s had a couple of knee surgeries done, and they both said the same thing: Making up a couple of days of missed class was going to be far, far easier than dealing with another month of nearly-chronic soreness and the frustration of feeling like I can’t do anything.  I turned it over in my head and realized that they were totally right.  As an additional bonus for Irwin, I’d probably be a lot easier to live with if I was just dealing with recovery and catching up on missed school, too.

So I moved the surgery up.  By a whole month.  Instead of facing another 6 weeks of this crap, I’ve only got 2 more.  I can’t even tell you how much better I feel about it.  Yeah, it’ll be really freaking annoying if I end up in a leg brace and on crutches for 6 weeks (an unlikely, but possible, outcome), but that can get dealt with.  Especially because at that point, I’ll know that my knee is on the upswing instead of slowly continuing along a downward spiral.  Not to mention the fact that I’ll now have a four-week headstart on getting back to running for the summer races, which is extra-awesome.

Two weeks.  That I can do.

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The Knee. Again. Still.

At the end of last year, Irwin brought home a flyer for the gym advertising the triathlon team.  For a decently sized chunk of change, you got 9 months of access to a coach and weekly group workouts, which worked out to be a damn good deal.  Sure, this was after I’d stopped running to appease my knee, but I was doing physical therapy for it and convinced that it would be just a few more weeks until I’d be back out there.  I was planning on racing triathlons anyway this year, and having weekly group workouts just sounded like more fun that always training on my own.  So I signed up.

The first workout was a trail run on the Saturday after New Year’s.  I was waffling on whether or not I should go, since I just had the gum graft done that Monday.  However, after a week of sitting around the house resting, I had to do it.  I wasn’t sure what the knee would think of it, but I told myself that I’d just run a few miles and if it hurt at any time I’d stop.  The part I totally failed to consider was the fact that I was still mainlining ibuprofen to keep my mouth happy, so even if my knee hurt?  I wasn’t going to feel it.

Which is exactly what happened.  I just ran 3 miles (which, given I’d just taken 6 weeks off for an injury was probably a bit on the ambitious side) and felt great the entire time, except for the part where I was totally sucking wind by the end of it.  But, you know, that’s what happens when you take 6 weeks off.  I was OK with that and thrilled to pieces that I’d managed to get out and run without any pain.  It was awesome.  I was back and ready to rock, yo.  Then, several hours later, the ibuprofen wore off.  For the first time in days, I didn’t notice it in my mouth, but my knee sure did.  It got sore and achy and swelled up like a balloon.

That wasn’t right.  After rest and physical therapy, it shouldn’t be swelling up like that.  Some soreness?  Sure.  Stiffness?  Sure.  A major inflammatory response?  Umm…. no.  Not unless there’s something seriously wrong within the knee that hasn’t improved with rest and PT.  Which means it’s time to get the ortho guy involved.  I spent Monday morning making phone calls to just about every orthopedic office in the area covered by my insurance.  The first place said they’d have to call me back, since their scheduler wasn’t in yet, so I left a message.  I gave them an hour before I started making other calls.  The best I could do was an appointment on February 1, which didn’t exactly thrill me, but I took it anyway.  And kept calling around trying to do better.  Sadly, there was no better.  February 1 it was.

Until lunchtime, when the first office called me back.  They had an opening tomorrow – did I want it?  YES.  I went in for x-rays and a visit with the doctor on Tuesday, had an MRI done on Wednesday, and had the results of that MRI on Friday morning.  My dream of getting the knee totally checked out that week (before I went back to school) was complete.  It was, in hindsight, completely impressive.

The good news is that the MRI did uncover something – I have a chunk of cartilage missing off the back of my kneecap.  The better news is that it’s totally fixable.  The bad news is that fixing it requires surgery, which means I’ll need to wait until I have a few days without school to get it done.  Which is in March, over my spring break.  For the first time in almost a year, I actually missed my old job a little bit.  Well, not my old job itself, but rather the freedom to take a few days off whenever I damn well pleased.  That option is, sadly, not available to students.  Sure, I could just miss a few days of school, but in this program?  That really isn’t my best plan.  Especially since the knee only hurts if I do something to piss it off, so it’s not exactly an emergency.

On the plus side, we were able to meet with the surgery scheduler that day and get everything set up, which means my knee is getting fixed on the Tuesday over spring break.  In the best case scenario, I’ll be up, around and able to run by the end of that week.  In the worst case scenario?  I’ll end up on crutches for several weeks and/or needing more surgery.  Unfortunately, that’s something I won’t know until after the surgery, since they won’t know until they get inside my knee exactly what they’re dealing with and how much work it’ll take to fix.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the best possible outcome and trying to be as nice to my knee as possible so I don’t make it any worse in the next 7 weeks.

At first I was totally pumped about the whole thing.  Not about having surgery, per se, but about the fact that we knew what was wrong with my knee and were going to be able to fix it.  Sure, I’d be off the running for another two months, but I could still bike and swim and do all sorts of other things.  I’d get my bike and swim in fantastic shape while I was waiting and then could focus on getting my running back in gear once the knee was fixed.  Then I discovered that biking is not, in fact, OK.  It’s OK as long as I hang out on an indoor exercise bike and take it easy, but biking outside where there’s wind?  No good.  Spin classes, where I can sub in increase cadence for increased resistance?  Also no good.  Bummer.

On the plus side, non-impact activities are OK, so I’ve still got swimming, yoga/pilates and weight training available to me.  I do plan on doing a lot of those between now and March, because the more core strength I can build up before the surgery the better off I’ll be as far as the recovery goes.  And I do still have access to a trainer through the triathlon club (despite the fact that I’ll have to skip out on the vast majority of the group workouts for now) who is helping me find other forms of cardio that’ll work for me and be a bit more intense than swimming laps.  (Which is good, because I really, really hate swimming on its own.  In addition to running so I can do triathlons?  Totally fine.  By itself?  Uggghhh.)

I did spend a big chunk of this week feeling down and discouraged over the whole thing, but there is a bright side.  My knee will get fixed, and even in the worst case scenario I’ll be running by the end of the year.  Sure, there’s a good chance that my racing plans for this summer are shot, but there’s always next year.  The doctor didn’t tell me to stop running altogether and when I told him how much running I wanted to be able to do post-surgery?  He didn’t try to talk me out of it.  Besides, now that I’m back in school?  The next 7 weeks are going to fly by before I even knew what hit me.

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