Monday, January 23, 2012

Long May You Run

I ran 8 miles on Sunday!  That's the farthest that I've run since before my last knee surgery in December 2009.  I miss the long run.  You know when your shorts are soaking wet from sweat by the time you get home?  Haven't had one of those in many, many years.   Here are some nice pictures of the inside of my knee during the surgery.  Pretty...

I had what is called a Micro-Fracture surgery.  This one was on the weight bearing surface of the femur.  What that means is crutches for 6 weeks and NO RUNNING for 6 months.  The doctor finds the "defect" in the cartilage and removes it and then proceeds to punch little holes in the bone to make is ooze, bleed and form "scar cartilage".   Back in 2002 I had the same thing happen to the other knee but it was on the front of the femur under the kneecap.  It was still 6 months of no running but this one had me in a brace from ankle to hip for about 3 weeks.  I'm lucky that I had really, really good surgeons both times.  The first one was in Dallas - Dr. Robert Scheinberg.  And the 2nd one was in Wilmington -
Dr. Bob O'Malley.  Both of them were really surprised by my recovery.  I was told by a cycling friend and pain management Doctor, Tom Florian in Fayetteville that he believes that I form scar tissue well.  Good for me!!  Yay!

So my knees hurt.  Pretty much all the time when I run.  The only time they don't hurt is in a race.  I think the endorphins and adreneline take over and mask the pain.  I really shouldn't run anymore but I just can't give it up yet.  I love to run. 

I'm training for the New Orleans Rock n' Roll Half Marathon.  So I have a few more "long" runs to come in the next few weeks.  I'm not looking forward to the knee pain but I really am looking forward to the time out there. 

I have a lot of friends on Team Aquaphor who are Ultra Distance runners, I envy them.  I wish I could have my 10 miler every weekend like the old days.  Some day I'll have to stop.  My husband keeps warning me that I'll have to have a knee replacement someday.  Maybe I can get Lindsey Wagner's bionic knees!

Here is a little history:

A little over 32 years ago I started running.  I was a freshman at Southern and thought I'd give it a try.  My very first run was in some Adidas Rom tennis shoes, I made it about a half a mile before I walked.  I remember it was fall and at night.  The next time I went out to run I ran for about a mile and a half.  Then I went to the local running store - I don't remember the name of the store but I remember I got some Brooks running shoes - they were blue and white.  The salesperson didn't help me much, didn't look at my feet or anything and I ended up in exactly the wrong kind of shoe for my feet.  Back then Brooks was perfecting the Varus wedge, designed to help overpronators.  I have rigid feet and supinate so I promptly ended up with some knee pain from the shoes.  I don't remember what shoes I got next but I do remember buying Bill Rogers and Dolphin running shorts and even (gasp) wearing them to class. Sports bras weren't even around yet. 

When I was a sophomore or junior (I don't remember which) we still had to take two Physical Education classes to fulfill our course requirements.  I took a gymnastics class and then helped out with the tiny tot classes offered on campus.  I lived off campus - I think about 2 miles away from the gym and used to run to train with the gymnastics team and then run home afterwards. 

For my second P.E. class I took an Aerobics class, no not the "dance" aerobics class but a running class!  It was an 8am MWF class - bleh.  I was still working out with the gymnastics team and teaching and one day I was running to the workout - I was just by the football field and the Aerobics class instructor came driving by and told me "I see you running everywhere, you don't need to come to class anymore"!  SWEET!!  Easy A and no more 8am class!  Yay me!!

I didn't do my first race until years later - 1984.  The Sawmill Square Classic 5K in Laurel MS.  Went home after the race to get ready for work and didn't find out until later that I'd placed!  I think I still have that medal somewhere.  I had no idea how fast anyone ran, I'd always run by myself - ran a 22:00 5K that morning.