Ahh January 1st, the day we get to re-set, re-start and begin again for things we want to accomplish in our lives. More than resolutions, but less than habits. Well, at least we say we will.
For me, it was a day to reflect and challenge myself.
The day when I did my first run since May 9th and the first run of more than a few telephone poles since surgery on November 28th. Most people and the medical pros, all will say it is too soon, but at the same time, I needed to know how good my rehab has gone and where the knee actually is.
It felt weird, strange, a little overwhelming, and exciting all at the same time, the idea of going for a run. Yes, I was nervous about whether the left knee would hold up to what I had planned, and yet at the same time not really worried.
I know that the knee is 100% better than it was on November 27th (the day before surgery), but I also know that I have a LOT more healing to do before I can simply “just run”.
How’d the run go?
I played around with getting the Garmin 245 for about half an hour, attempting to set it up to do my workout. I told myself that I didn’t want to keep looking down at the watch screen and needed to set up a workout to beep at me at the correct points. I even brought along the Timex setup with my countdown timer ready just in case I screwed up how I set the workout up on the Garmin (I’ve done that before).
In the back of my mind, I am sure that I was procrastinating about getting going and facing the reality of where I really am. Versus the fantasy me that would simply walk out the door and run a few pain-free miles and not have anything hurt at all.
Which I knew would definitely be a fantasy.
Realistically I fully expected parts of the run to be uncomfortable, and that I would most likely be rather sore when I got done.
The planned workout:
- 5:00 minute walk – warm-up
- 5 x 1:00 run with 1:00 minute walk
- 5:00 minute walk – cool-down.
Then I changed up to go running for the first time in months.
I walked for 5:00 minutes then did 10 x1:00 minute easy jogs with 1:00 minute rests. Yeah, I know I was supposed to stop at 5, but being the over-achiever I am, I felt good and did more than I was supposed to. Nothing overly fast, not that I really cared about the pace.
The totals were 2.0 miles in 27:48 and yes, I count the entire thing as a run.
Although, I didn’t quite get the full 30:00 minute workout in because I stopped and talked to neighbors for a few minutes when I stopped at their mailbox. They were outside and waved me over. After talking for a few minutes and the neighbor warned me not to do too much because I’m now officially part of the old fart’s club. We chuckled and I walked back to the house which took 3-4 minutes to cool down.
No matter, I had my first run of 2023.
The Topo Ultrafly 3’s also got its initial run and did quite well. They are a firmer shoe than I am used to, but I love the wider toe box and after finally figuring out the correct size (I am a 7.5 or 8.0 in Topo shoes, not an 8.5 or 9.0), the heel slip problems with past Topos weren’t an issue. Having the heel lift in the right shoe didn’t bother me during the run and disappeared after the first couple of repeats.
The knee didn’t feel too bad and never got above a 3 on the discomfort scale, so that was good, but after the last repeat, I knew it was time to stop.
Running did tucker me out more than walking or the elliptical, but damn it I ran. The right hamstring still ain’t behaving as well as I’d like, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was last year, let’s hope that it clears itself up as I slowly get back to running. The heel inserts weren’t really all that noticeable while I was running, but I wonder if the change in angles might be affecting different parts of the right leg. We will see.
The knee was a bit grumpy the rest of the day and I woke up to a little more morning grumpiness than usual, but otherwise didn’t seem too much worse for wear after the run. Although, I will probably not do a cardio session today, just to be careful.
While I might love the idea of getting back to running, I have a feeling that 5 weeks after surgery is a little too early to run on any kind of regular basis, according to how the knee felt by evening. For a while longer the running will be restricted to telephone poles during walks or after finishing walking a mile or two. I’m not going to plan on starting my return to running plan for a couple more weeks. My cardio focus for a few more weeks will be doing time on the elliptical.
As I write this post on Tuesday morning, I can tell the body worked muscles and ligaments that haven’t been abused…err worked for a while. Even so, I needed to figure out where I am and I did yesterday. My run gave me the reality check I needed to gauge where I actually am, versus where I wanted to be. The knee let me know I have a long way to go before I start running regularly again, but it did tell me how far I have come as well since my surgery.
Which was important to me.
No matter what, it did feel good to run again and yes, I will get back to it regularly (eventually) as the knee heals and I whip this old body back into shape over the next few months.
Keep smiling and working towards your goals – I am.