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Monday, May 5, 2014

To be honest, I have been putting of this post for a while now, for a few reasons, the main one being that it means it is happening. My other reasons are include that this may not be the happiest of posts and I strive for my blog to not be a negative place and also because it is a little more personal, but hey, I try to be really candid with y'all.  I apologize if this post is long / not as happy as my usual posts. 

A little over a year ago, in fact just five days after my 23rd birthday I completed my second half-marathon. It was rough. I had trained a lot more for the second that I had the first, yet I felt so much worse. I blamed several things including my weight, the weather and also the fact that the route was slightly more hilly than the first I had run. In retrospect, while I know those were all factors, I should have listened to my body then. But, in my mind, I had crossed that finish line, so I was fine. 

My first half-marathon medal- Detroit Half-Marathon October 2012
My second half-marathon medal- Lansing Half-Marathon April 2013
I took a break from running for a bit and when I attempted to start again I was faced with dreadful knee pain. I was busy and getting ready for graduation and then my move so I occupied myself with other activities including bike riding and TRX. By the time I moved to Georgia, my exercise routine had gotten away from me. 

In October, Morgan finally convinced me to start coming to the gym in our apartment complex with her. We were going daily and I was using the elliptical. My knee would hurt me but I would just work my way through it. Around February, I was getting bored with the elliptical and I wasn't finding it super challenging anymore so I decided I would do one of my old treadmill interval workouts. (Basically just a combination of sprinting and jogging for periods of time.) 

When I woke up the next morning, my knee was the size of a melon. I could hardly walk due to the swelling. I ended up taking myself to the ER where they drained the fluid from my knee and gave me a cortisone shot. (OUCH!) They said I probably had just sprained my knee and  and a mild case of runners knee, but scheduled me a follow up appointment with an orthopedic doctor four weeks later. By the time this appointment came, my knee was no better. The doctor was concerned that the cortisone did nothing to help my pain and was also concerned about my prior knee history (surgery in high school) so he scheduled me an MRI. 

I got the results about a week later. The cartilage in my knee has basically died and left a very jagged edge (it really looks like an alligator took a chomp out of it) that is catching on my bones, as well as causing some bone on bone grinding. I am super squeamish so I won't go into much more detail than that (google it if you want...its gross). It is hard to say when this happened, exactly, it is very possible it has been like this for a good portion of my life. I have a relatively high pain tolerance, but I have always had problems with this knee, throughout my running career. 

Moral of the story is that I will be having knee surgery to patch up the cartilage on May 22. Because of the location of the damage I will be unable to walk for 4 weeks following the surgery. Needless to say, life is going to be difficult for a bit this summer. The good news is that after everything is all healed my knee should be back in good working order, and I MIGHT be able to run again six months post-op. (keep your fingers crossed for me.) 

In other good news, y'all will probably see a lot more from me here, since I won't be out and about for a while! 
 
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