ACL Post-Op Day 365

One year in. It’s been fun 🙂

Not quite back to 100%. Muscle mass, strength, and agility on the left side definitely does not match the right. But, overall, the knee is strong and sturdy. Getting back into yoga, swimming, and running was easy enough once I realized it best to just go slow and work on incremental improvements. I was even able to finish a half-marathon (which was my main goal post-surgery).

Back into softball again this summer, which where the new ACL is really being tested. Even though it’s just a recreational league, there’s still lots of sprinting while running bases and quick and sometimes awkward movements when out in the field. I can usually feel the soreness in the knee immediately after the game and into the next day. Admittedly, the focus on training for the half ended up taking priority over ongoing strength and agility training which is partially to blame. Thankfully, the soreness goes down a few days later and the knee feels stronger by the next game.

No major goals from this point on other than keeping the ACL intact and trying to get closer to that elusive 100%.

ACL Post-op Day 225

running-progression.png

I ran 4km yesterday (on the treadmill).

That’s the longest I’ve done in over a year (not counting the wwwp5k since that was mostly walking).

(Incidentally, yesterday was also the 1-year anniversary of the “incident”!)

I’m slowly working my way to increase my overall running time and distance; to build back the endurance and strength I used to have (and hopefully more). Although, I had to take a break for pretty much all of December.

In a story all too common with injuries, I took things too fast once I was cleared for running back in October. We started slow at physio with a gentle progressions but I got eager and cranked up the speed too fast (trying to run 10ish minutes at 6mph) and tried too many long distance runs outside. It gave me crippling shin splints. Once they’d started, they were consistent: the shins would hurt no matter at what speed I ran (although, they were only bad during the run; post-run, the shins were fine).

At first, my physiotherapist thought it may be the shoes, so I switched over to a new pair. This didn’t make a difference and the shin splints continued. Took a break for a week but still nothing. By this time (late-November), I was discharged from physio at the hospital (thank you Trillium!) so I decided to go back to see Lindsay at Toronto Physiotherapy (who had worked with me on prehab before the surgery) in early December.

Lindsay did a few things:

  • Worked out a few kinks in my knees and legs using soft tissue release.
  • Showed me how to foam roll to work out those kinks myself.
  • Gave me some exercises to focus on specific muscle groups.

I ended up taking the rest of December off mostly due to a gum graft and then picked up running again earlier this month. This time definitely making sure to take it slow and making sure to stretch and foam roll (Canadian Running has some great videos on foam rolling) before every run.

I’m also continuing with strength training (split squats, deadlifts, squats, bridges, etc.) plus swimming once a week and sneaking in a yoga session when I can.

So far so good. I’ve been able to slowly increase my running time but intentionally keeping the speed/pace slow and consistent (5mph) and taking breaks as needed. If the weather cooperates, I may head outside for a run, but until then, the treadmill continues to be good enough.

All going well, I’ll be doing the Star Wars Dark Side 5K at Disney World in April, the Goodlife 10K in May, and the 5K Run for Heart in June. It’ll be a fun spring!

🏃🏃🏃🏃