I've posted about running a lot. Like here, and here and here, and here. And feel free to snoop around and find a dozen more...maybe even more than that. Today is my last post about running. Forever. Not because I am sure you are tired of hearing about it, but because I will not be running any more.
It's been 22 years in the making, but two weeks ago I heard the words I was dreading all this time, "you will need a knee replacement someday..." But not until I am over 50. In the meantime, my orthopedic surgeon (now know as Doc) said, "I wish you wouldn't run but I know you love it and I don't have to tell you to give it up just yet. Do it while you can because your days are numbered..." I thought we were measuring in years. Not number of runs. And I didn't know the number was 2. Yes, that's right. Two 3-mile runs.
So, a little history.
My BFF, Angie, is a "coach" with the Beachbody company. You know, the people who make the workout DVDs such as P90X and TurboFire. Anyway, it's a bit like Amway, but my Doc said that I needed to do more cross training and I hate the gym so an at-home, cost effective DVD was my weapon of choice. I began doing the T25 workouts and LOVE them. Since starting them in November, I've lost almost 20 pounds and about 2" off my waist. They work and they are 25 minutes five times a week. Can't argue with those results or the time commitment.
Three weeks ago, I was in the final 30 seconds of the video, doing an in-place full-body run when I heard a "POP" noise and felt shooting pain down my leg. The same knee that I've already had five surgeries on. A week and an MRI later, I learned that the good news was that I didn't tear, sprain, strain or break anything. The bad news is that I have moderate cartilage degeneration in my right knee and from time to time I will do something that will slough off another layer of the cartilage causing severe pain and swelling. Eventually they will probably have to do a debridement surgery to get it out of there, but not until it is debilitating. Awesome. So I have that to look forward to.
Fast forward to this week. Back at the DVD workouts for a couple weeks, I look at my training plan and realize it's time to start running. I've registered for the Colfax half marathon on May 19 and need to get those miles in! I ran on Sunday for the first time since before Christmas and felt pretty strong. My knee was a little stiff and achy, but overall, I was confident I was doing great. I worked out in the living room on Monday and Tuesday and went out on Wednesday for another 3 miler. I felt great. Strong. Free. Able. By the time I hit the 5k mark (3.15 miles) I was stiff, achy and ready to stop. Thankfully I was only a block from home. By the time I hit the shower an hour later, I was in a great deal of pain and my knee looked like I had inflated a balloon inside. I had no range of motion and couldn't navigate the stairs very well. It got worse as the night progressed. Tears, Advil, TED (compression & anti-embolism) sock and an hour of ice made it a little better, but the pain kept me up last night. My hourglass had expired on a perfectly sunny and warm Wednesday in February.
This morning, after several more tears, and a very long conversation with the most perfect and supportive husband on Earth, I decided to hang up my Garmin permanently. And being full of the stubborn gene, that was no easy decision to make. But this is what is best for me and most importantly, best for my family.
I have no regrets. I can say that I have completed four half-marathons. And it all started with this blog post... And re-reading that, I really do believe that the decision to stop took as much Bravery, Strength and Smarts as the decision to begin. Thanks Mom.