Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Not Much Longer

Had a follow-up appointment with the sports medicine folks today. Knee is healing up quick and I'll be able to run again on Wednesday, if not sooner. The physician's assistant said, with hesitation after I pressed her, that I could give it a try on Monday, but would have to go slow and immediately stop at the slightest bit of pain or discomfort. I don't want to risk anything though, and while it'll be hard, I'll probably just wait until Wednesday. Maybe on Monday if the weather is okay I'll take the bike out, which the P.A. said was a good idea since it's less impact.

With that, I'm definitely running the Sugarloaf Marathon on May 20th. More as a training run and I'll be taking it very slow and easy. My dad will likely be coming up to run it with me, which will be fun.

On another note, is off to a really great start! If you haven't checked it out yet, please do so. Feel free to register and chime in. I'm optimistic it will continue to grow and become a friendly and easy to use forum for ultramarathoners to network with one another.

Happy running everyone. Looking forward to posting about training runs instead of injuries very soon.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bandages Off, Walking Without Crutches

Recovery is going great! I'm in no real pain and the only thing I really feel is some general soreness in the knee. I also don't have to wear the water cast anymore, though I might still for a few days only because I can fill it with ice water and that can only help reduce the swelling. I can walk comfortably on it now, though range of motion is somewhat stiff. Good timing, as spring has finally arrived and I'm itching to get outside and enjoy the weather!

Today I was able to remove the bandages for the first time and get a look at it. It's still a bit swollen, but nothing out of the ordinary. I was amazed at how small the three incisions were. So small that stitches weren't even required. I have a follow-up appointment with the doctors on Wednesday, and will have a better idea exactly when I can start running again at that point, but I suspect it'll be by very early May.

Left knee is the one that was operated on:

Here are some pics of the torn meniscus, starting at the middle row to the left. I shredded it pretty good! Note how it folded in on itself on the bottom middle picture:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Surgery Success and a New Ultra Forum

I had the surgery to repair the torn meniscus this morning and everything went great! The surgery was at the Orthopedic Associates of Portland and the staff there were very professional and down to earth. I came in with my friend Kate, and they prepped me in the back room which included shaving the hair around my knee and putting in the IV. Once I was ready to go, I was then wheeled into the surgery room where the anethesiolgist and I talked about running while I breathed in air from an oxygen mask as the drugs to put me under were pumped into my IV. He told me I'd feel a burning sensation around the IV, and the last thing I remember was commenting that I could feel it and then I must have went under immediately after that.

The next thing I knew I was waking up about an hour and fifteen minutes later and seeing a nurse at the bed. I said hello and asked what time it was. Apparently I asked her what time it was four or five times, and also asked her if this was what smoking crack felt like. I also allegedly commented a little too loudly that a young woman who was also in the recovery room with her mother was cute. I guess I was feeling pretty good.

After I came to a little more, Dr. Brown came in and gave me details. They shaved down the meniscus, as it was indeed pretty torn. It was showing up funny on the MRI because it was also folded inward! No wonder it was bothering me. I got some cool pictures of it, and will post them once they're scanned in.

I'll be on crutches until Saturday and also have to wear a water cast until then. I'm in no pain whatsoever, other than the headache I have from not having my morning coffee (I'm playing catch-up now). Follow-up appointment is in one week, and I could very well be running in just two weeks. I asked the doctor if running the Sugarloaf Marathon on May 20th would be okay, and he said as long as there wasn't much swelling in the next few weeks, that would be fine. I obviously won't be running it fast, but just will do so more as a training run for the Vermont 100.

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes along the way. Also, if you're into ultramarathoning, I've started a new forum at . It's brand spanking new, and hopefully if all goes well it'll take off. So, check it out and feel free to register!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Good Luck Boston Marathoners!

Between runners here in blogland and others I know in person, there are at least a half a dozen that I know of running in the Boston Marathon on Monday. Wish the weather could be better for everyone. I'd be lying if a small, selfish part of me was glad the weather is going to be what it is only because I failed to qualify, but the overriding sentiment is I wish it could be better. But for those of you running, kick some butt and I hope it's a memorable experience!

Knee has been feeling tight this week. Opted not to run today despite the fantastic weather, but did do some hiking at the Scarborough Marsh where I saw a bald eagle. I also bushwacked in the woods behind my house, following a creek from the pond down to a bog where it runs through. It's not running, but exploring like that is still a lot of fun. Loved doing stuff like that when I was a kid and still do.

Surgery in four days. Then it'll only get better from there. Thanks for all of the well wishes thus far.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One Week Away

Ran 2.25 miles @ 8:47/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 138/161
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Upper 40s, sunny.

Nice weather today, but the knee was bothering me so I cut the planned five miler today down to two and a quarter.

Surgery is one week today. I'm really looking forward to it, simply so I can move on and be done with this crap! I feel like a rotting piece of fruit from not running as much. Ah well, this could be much worse and things will only get better so no real worries.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Pineland Farms

Ran 8.7 miles @ 9:04/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 152/172
Trails coated with packed snow.
Extremely hilly.
Lower-mid 20s, sunny.

I met up with my friend Ian at Pineland Farms for some trail running, but neither of us were sure if it'd be possible because of the snow storm we got a few days ago. I brought along my XC skis just in case, Ian his snowshoes, and an extra pair for me if we deemed that was the route we'd go (I own a pair, but they're essentially boats. Not good for running). Turns out the trails were packed down enough so we ran.

The hills were of course buttkickers and even though the snow was packed, it still made the going slower but at the same timed provided a great workout. I was pleased with how I did overall, though the knee does feel pretty darn sore and will need some rest. Ian planned on a much longer run, so I left him to that once I got in the mileage I wanted to do. Good day.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Meditative Feeling

Ran 7.1 miles @ 8:00/mile pace
AHR - 154 MHR - 174
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 30s, windy, partly sunny.

Hit the hills near the school I work at today, and it felt great. This is the longest distance I've run in a while. Overall, it went pretty well. One thing I've always liked about running is the meditative-like state my mind goes into. I'm thinking about everything, anything and nothing, and usually it's all three at once. It's peaceful and relaxing, and I felt it significantly more today than in any other run after my three weeks of rest. That was nice.

Wasn't pushing it on the pace, and just ran by feel as far as comfort levels. Great hills on this course, with the first 2.5 miles climbing a doozy of a hill that gets progressively steeper. Handled that just fine and cruised the rest.

One moment when I was crossing the road my knee did seize up on me a little in the form of a dull feeling that was akin to a sprain. I kept going and the feeling gradually dissolved itself during the run. Good that it didn't get worse, but it also served as a reminder to take it easy until surgery.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Overcast Skies

Ran 3.1 miles @ 8:21/mile pace.
AHR - 142
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 30s, misting.

Looks like we're in for one of those stretches where we won't see the sun for several days. Nothing like running to help fight off any traces of S.A.D. Today I took it easy, just ran the 5K loop we have measured out at the school. Ran it with a co-worker who set a new PR for himself.

Knee felt okay, which these days means a light, dull ache. It's manageable, and I'm just thankful I can run a little until the surgery.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hello Again, Hills

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:31/mile pace.
AHR - 164
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 50s, sunny.

Why hello again, hills. Remember me? It's been a while. Yes, nice to see you too. I enjoyed the run today, thanks for letting me train on your backs. I'm glad that you didn't aggravate my knee at all today. Just a very dull sensation that wasn't really even noticable. That was good to know. And thanks for getting my HR up there again and making me feel like a real athlete again. Hope we can meet again soon, but if not, please don't think its anything you did wrong. It's likely the stupid knee, but that will be fixed soon, so no real worries. So, until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and thanks again.