Monday, October 13, 2008

Knee Update - 7.5 months out.

So after the fiasco that was the Gilmore AR and increasing frustration with my inability to really run, I decided to take some time off of competing to concentrate on my knee rehab. I had made a lot of progress and in some ways my core strength is still improving, but I noticed that I haven't really been progressing in certain ways. Things I still struggle with: one leg hopping, or any hopping side to side at all, one legged squats, overall quad strength, cutting, side shuffling, slow jogging without limping, any cutting, speed of muscle firing (lifting actions are very slow). Looking at this list, it is easy to see that I stopped doing my core rehab drills too early to get back to my favorite activities.

I realize that I am 7.5 months out of surgery so expecting to be 100% is ridiculous, but after a fast start to recovery, I feel that I have slowed down considerably. Is it safe to assume that since I have had two major knee injuries and subsequent surgeries in the past two years, it will take longer to get back to 100%? I am slowing starting to realize that although biking and biking are great for getting me back into shape, they allow me to favor one leg too easily and aren't helping my progress. I guess I need to focus on specific lifting and rehab drills. --BORING--

So I am at a quandary because I admit to not really knowing what to do in the gym to fix the specific weaknesses I have. I sort of feel lost as to whether I should go back to physical therapy or not. What I really want is a personal trainer who will work my whole body, but has my knee in mind as my number 1 priority. The problem with traditional therapy is that they only deal with the injury and not the whole body. I don't have time to go to therapy and try to fit in an additional workout every day. I work 9 hours a day, go to school 2 nights a week and volunteer another...I don't really even know that I have time for therapy.

So with all this overwhelming evidence, it seemed stupid to commit money to compete in bike or adventure racing at least for the rest of this year. I need to focus on boring things like one legged knee dips.....argh. Plus, I need to make sure that I am going to be able to hike the Incan Trail in Peru in November.

Basically, if anyone has any experience or advice, I am all ears.

And after all this chit chat about not competing for the rest of the year, I lied. I got an email Saturday morning asking if our adventure racing team wanted a last minute chance to defend our Extreme Heat series title in the night race finale that evening. With 6 hours to spare, Sarah and I jumped at the chance and raced the 20 mile course at McDowell Mountain Park under the full moon. I will give a report on that later, but I will say it was truly awesome and we won the women's division again to sweep the three race series. And my knee? Sucked hard core on the run over loose steep hills with all sorts of swelling and throbbing and I could have cared less at the time.

Sometimes you just have to redraw the line of pain.

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