For my very observant running friends or non-running friends that were tired of hearing about my running or races; there has been a lack of running posts since New Years Eve. Unfortunately, I tore my meniscus in my right knee during a Half Marathon that I was running. Reader’s Digest version: I’ll be having surgery on my knee tomorrow morning.
I’ve been pretty bummed that I haven’t been able to run with friends and experience the sport that I love. The picture on the right is the last picture of me running. Yes, it was cold on New Years Eve. I have suited up several times since, but have not been able to run more than a block to get past the pain.
Initially I thought the injury was my hamstring because of the initial location of the pain. I was seeing an awesome Chiro-sports doctor who has taking great care of me. With treatment, I still couldn’t run more than a block without the pain being killer. I experienced the pain when I ran with each impact of the ground. We finally had an MRI done and saw the damage.
I’m not 27 Anymore!
Here's how it happened. I've volunteered in the New Years Double race over the last few years and thought it was my time to run it. I was going to run a Half Marathon on New Years Eve and then another on New Years Day. I was thinking of it as a Marathon with a very long break between the first and second part of the race. Anyhow, I'm in the middle of the race, having a good time, pacing well and I'm coming out of a tunnel underneath a road. At the end of the tunnel is a ramp. Along the ramp, there's a handrail. Thinking that I'm 27 instead of 47, I grab the handrail to swing myself around the sharp turn. BIG mistake... I had a huge pain shoot through my right leg. I thought it was my hamstring as the pain was more in the back of my leg. I walked up the ramp and tried to run again, but the pain was too much as I couldn't plant my leg from the impact.
I had a friend that was working the race drive me back to the start line. I met with the medical staff and they didn't see anything major from a torn ligament standpoint, however, recommended that I don't proceed. This is the first race that I couldn't finish in close to 100 races. I was totally bummed!
As I mentioned, I met with an Orthopedic Doctor which shared the results of the MRI. This doctor was highly recommended to me and is also a triathlete. So, he knows what’s going on in my head. In his words, he would have preferred that I break my leg instead of this injury. I could heal from a broken leg. He explained that a radial meniscus tear is one of the worst injuries for a runner. (It’s the tear shown on the right in the picture) My heart almost broke when he said that this injury might be career ending. I felt like I just lost a best friend in that doctor’s office.
He explained the knee arthroscopy surgery and how he could possibly stitch together the torn meniscus. He definitely didn’t have a lot of optimism during this explanation. He said that he gave the procedure a 50/50 chance of repairing the meniscus, A big challenge is the meniscus is like crab meat and might not be able to get a good stitch. He won’t know until he gets in there. If he cannot stitch it together, he’ll clean it up as well as possible.
Besides wanting to run, I’m also having the surgery done to prolong the signs of arthritis that are appearing in my knees. If I don’t have this surgery, then the onset of the arthritis would be sooner. It’s rough getting older!
He’s in control
I haven’t mentioned any of this on Twitter or Facebook as I like to keep all or most of my posts as positive as possible. It’s easy to be a bit down when you cannot do something that you love. However, the positive in this is that God has given me a peace throughout the experience. Yes, I miss being able to lace up and run, but there are bigger things… such as my comforting and loving family.
I’ve been planning on the worst and hoping for the best. I might have to take up cycling as I can handle no-impact type of activities. However, I’m not sure if I can get into wearing spandex, lycra, or whatever you call it.
I’m ready to get the surgery over tomorrow to see what can be done, what I can do, and ultimately, what He will do. I’ll post an update after the surgery.