iStock_000019281067XSmall-500[1]So I did something today at the gym I haven’t done in around two months, run. Despite doing alternative cardio activities during that time, there is no true substitute for running.  I STRUGGLED to put in 20 minutes at mostly a 6.3 mph pace (9:30 miles), which is not fast at all.  I was legitimately considering bailing before the 20 minutes were up, I felt that miserable.

My lack of running has been due to the varying degrees of soreness and stiffness in my right knee.  I first injured my knee in late 99 or early 2000.  I was playing in a winter indoor sixes volleyball league and was coming down after jumping up for a block.  When I landed I had a searing pain in the knee which was later diagnosed as a meniscus tear. During the time leading up to the injury I had been supplementing with creatine which caused me to gain a lot of weight/strength quickly. Unfortunately I think it also was a contributor to the the knee injury.

I had arthroscopic surgery on the knee to cut away the ripped meniscus since it is a part of the body that never truly can heal itself.  After the surgery I had many frustrating months trying to get back into volleyball form, something I was very passionate about.  I had near constant swelling and soreness after the surgery.  It hampered what I could do and I hated it.

Shortly after I moved to Florida and still experiencing pain in that same knee I saw another joint guy.  He was well respected and had done work on athletes like Johnny Bench.  He scoped me for a second time.  It was basically a clean up operation where he trimmed and cleaned whatever he could.  The second surgery was more successful than the first.  My doctor told me if I didn’t want to have a knee replacement by the time I am 50 I should abandon impact activities on my knees. Of course I disregarded that advice.

Slowly I was able to build up the supporting muscles around the knee which seemed to help stabilize it and eventually make it less painful.  I got back to the point where for a couple summers I was playing competitive vball with Randall in numerous tournaments. I even relaunched my running a few years after that, running three half marathons, a distance I would have never dreamed I could cover 10 years earlier.

Now of course there have been been periods of time where knee issues have flared up like after the muddy Pottstown Rumble I played in with Charlie or the second Tough Mudder I did with Charlie as well where the knee was swollen to elephant like proportions.  I have always been able to eventually find my way back to a state that would allow me to continue my active lifestyle.  I am hoping this is the beginning of me starting that process once again.

My non-expert diagnosis of the pain I get is it is the result of something breaking loose inside the joint, causing inflammation and discomfort until it somehow dissolves or relocates to a less troublesome spot. Or, I could just have no cartilage/meniscus left at this point….  Today during the middle part of the 20 minute run I felt some discomfort in the joint but not enough for me to stop.  In a weird way I hope the treadmill impact will help dissolve whatever has been ailing me.

Today’s Workout

Run/ride brick

20 minutes treadmill run -2.12 miles covered

10 minutes recumbent bike – 2.52 miles covered