Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Bike Comes Out of Hibernation

Biked 31.5 miles @ 15.8 mph average speed
Total time - 1:59:41
AHR - 140
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 40s, sunny.

Took the road bike out for the first time this season. Aside from my butt hurting because my seat is about as soft as granite, it was a great ride.

The good news is that my knee felt absolutely fine the entire ride. There was no pain, no discomfort, not even a hint of aggravation. It's nice to know I have biking to keep my cardio in check for a while.

This was also my first time biking with a HR monitor. I was curious to how it'd compare to running. I knew it'd likely be lower, but wasn't sure by how much. Basically it looks like at the pace I was going, overall it's about the same as a really slow LSD pace. Kind of makes me want to drop the hammer a little bit more next time I go out.

Friday, March 30, 2007

5K Jaunt

Ran 3.1 miles @ 8:54/mile pace.
AHR - 144
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 50s, sunny, windy.

Just a small 5K today after work with some fellow teachers. They took off while I was putting some stuff away in my car, so I kicked up the speed a little (~6:00/mile pace) to catch up with them a half mile later. That felt really good to do so. Afterwards, I hung back with one of the guys who was slowed a bit by shin splints which was good since my knee felt a tad more sore than the previous two runs. Still, it wasn't that bad.

Tomorrow I'm planning to take the road bike out, which I'm really looking forward to.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another Good Day

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:37/mile pace.
AHR = 150
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 40s, sunny, windy.

The doctor recommended running every other day, and I know it's very important to take it easy... but, throughout the day my knee felt not just fine, but there was no discomfort whatsoever, so I decided to run since I honestly felt I wasn't taking any big risks by doing so.

When I started running, I did feel it, but as more of a tightness, which I expected. It wasn't really an issue. I realize there'll be good days and not-so-good days though.

As for the run itself, I was with another runner who is working on getting his speed up, so the pace was good for me. Faster than yesterday, but still nothing crazy. My leg muscles definitely feel very tired from not being reconditioned yet. It's amazing how un-conditioned they've become. My legs feel like I've done back to back 15 milers. But, it's interesting to see my HR is still at the same level it was before the injury hiatus for that pace.

Tomorrow will be a rest day, or at the most a bike day (if not windy). But no running tomorrow, since I already violated the rule.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kicking Some Rust Off

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:53/mile pace.
AHR = 143
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 50s, cloudy changing to partly cloudy.

First run in over three weeks. Felt good. I wondered how I'd do and overall, better than expected. Ran with a coworker who had never run five miles before, so that helped me keep the pace in check.

I'm typing this about an hour after the run. Legs feel like they've almost done twice the distance, but that's just rust. My HR did stay nice and low (for me) though. That's a good sign. As for the knee, I of course could feel it. I suspect some days will be better than others. Today it was just a dull pain, but it didn't seem to affect my gait.

All in all, felt absolutely great to run again.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Surgery Scheduled, But Cleared to Run

Today's visit with the sports medicine doctor was a good one. I'm scheduled for surgery on April 18th (during my spring break), but it's not so much to do repairs as it is to see what's going on inside my knee arthroscopically. The surgery is minimally invasive, and not that big of a deal.

This is great news. My doc says that the MRI isn't showing the whole picture (hence the surgery), but whatever damage is going on in there is quite minimal. So minimal, in fact, that it's safe to run on. I just have to take it easy and self-monitor the pain. He says the three weeks rest that I gave it was perfect, and I have the green light from him to start running again. He recommended only running every other day and taking it easy though, but bike riding is fine, so the road bike will be getting some good use on my days when I'm not running. Good timing, as the weather is warming up.

Dr. Brown of Orthopedic Associates of Portland is my sports doctor. He's got a terrific resume (most notably being the team doctor for the men and women's U.S. soccer teams at the World Cup).

I'm quite pleased with what he had to say, and am REALLY looking forward to going for a run tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Won the Lotto!

No, not Powerball. The lotto for the Mt. Washington Road Race. I feel very lucky to get in again this year. I anticipate I'll be running again by then, though how fast I'll make it up the mountain remains questionable. Did the 7.6 mile all uphill trek last year in 1:39:04. It's a buttkicker of epic proportions for sure.

Hearing that I got in definitely lifted my spirits. I'm meeting with the surgeon on Monday for a consultation. Will hopefully have the surgery scheduled very shortly thereafter that.

Thanks again for all of the well wishes on the previous post. Truth is, things could be much worse and a full recovery is normal if they just need to go clean out the knee arthroscopically, which should hopefully be the case. In the meantime, I've taken to birding to help me occupy the massive amounts of free time I now I have on my hands. May sound lame, but it's actually a lot of fun!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Torn Meniscus

Well, looks like I'll be out for a while. Doctor called and said I have a torn meniscus. Will likely need surgery. Seeing sports doctor next to determine course of action. To say this sucks would be an understatement of epic proportions.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Had the MRI done today, but unfortunately I won't be able to meet with the doctor until Friday. I was a bit disappointed because I'd rather just go to the orthopedist, but I agreed with the primary care doctor's office to come in Friday and let him look at it and evaluate it first. Just seems like a waste of time and $20 for the co-pay, but being new to this game, I'll do the song and dance I guess.

I did get a printout of my knee though. I knew prior to going in that the technicians aren't permitted to point out abnormalities because doing so would be considered practicing medicine, which they aren't licensed to do. However, I did ask if they could point out where my ACL and also which picture shows the outside of my left knee where the pain is. The ACL looks fine and intact to me, but I also profess my ignorance in the matter. Unfortunately, I forget which slide is the one of the outside of my knee, so I don't know what to look for. Ah well. I'm just looking forward to figuring out what exactly the deal is so I can move on.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Research and Waiting

This is approaching the longest I've gone without running since recovering from the Vermont 50 (took 6 days afterwards). I'm going batty. Part of that is because with the extra time on my hands, I've been doing research on ACL injuries. I'll be reading medical websites, blogs, forums, you name it and think I've definitely torn my ACL, then read something else a short time later and think no way.

While the primary care doctor did say I could run on it, I'm not comfortable doing so. I'd rather wait to hear what the sports doctor says and get a solid diagnosis before I push on.

A few notes on my thinking:
1. Most who tear an ACL report hearing a pop followed by a period of swelling in the knee. I never heard a pop, but felt something that could have been a pop, but maybe not. However, I never had any swelling whatsoever.
2. The pain started about a month ago. There were good days and bad days with it, with the former not feeling it at all and with the latter with occasional tinges of pain along with a constant discomfort.
3. The outside of my left knee is where the pain is, which has been the main area of my concern from the get go. Something is likely damaged there. Seems different than an ACL issue.
4. The knee does feel unstable, even when walking. Perhaps some of that is exaggerated though by fearing the worst.

That's about all I have to go on for now. I've read quite a few accounts with others on an initial misdiagnosis until after the MRI. I'm hoping that's the case with me. Seems like that'll be the tell-tale of it all.

Strictly for fun, if anyone would like to post their predictions on what this ailment is, feel free.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Doctor and the ACL

I had my doctor appointment this afternoon. I liked the doctor, and I didn't get the "running is bad for you" lecture that I thought I'd get (never seen this dude before). I told him about my training and race schedule, and he was understanding.

Things were somewhat inconclusive, but moving in the right direction. He bent my leg this way and that, asking if it hurt each time, and I told him when it did. He thinks it may be an issue with my ACL. I'm going to have an MRI done on it a week from today, and from there, I'm going to see a sports medicine specialist at Orthopedic Associates of Portland.

According to my primary care doctor, the worst case scenario, they'll need to do arthroscopic surgery to repair the ACL. Best case scenario, will just need to rest it for a week or two.

In the meantime, my doctor said I would be okay to still run on it. He said the risk of injuring it further was pretty minimal, and just to take Motrin before and after I run. At least that's good news. Unfortunately, temperatures are going to take a big dive tomorrow. Bring on Spring!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Stupid Knee

Ran 3.1 miles @ 7:36/mile pace.
AHR = 153
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Mid 20's, cloudy.

Wanted to run longer, but the left knee continues to act up. It's a nagging, tight feeling on the outside of the left knee that sends quick tinges of pain every few minutes while running. Even when walking around, at times during the past few weeks I've been limping slightly. Some days it's worse than others. Whatever. I'm sick of it and have an appointment with the doctor on Monday to have it looked at. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.