Monthly Archives: August 2010

Downs, and more downs

Lately, I’ve been experiencing some issues with my knee. I would classify these issues as minor setbacks in terms of recovery, but major inconveniences for me. After teaching all day, my right knee is so sore. It swells up and is sore for most of the day. While I do remember to ice it when I get home, I need to start heating and icing it much more. Also, I need to remember to take my prescription strength anti-inflammatory medication everyday. Is that even safe? I need to ask my doctor.

Also, my knee started this new annoying, and sometimes painful, habit of clicking and popping every time I straighten it, which is, to say the least, very annoying and frustrating. I notice it the most when I am doing leg extensions. So, for now, I was told by PT to only rehab my knee in the range of motion that doesn’t pop or click. Apparently, the popping and clicking is coming from beneath my knee, which is cause for concern.

I do have a doctor’s appointment this Monday though, so I am making it a point to make sure that I talk to my doctor and ask him about these two things. I feel like I am no longer making any progress toward recovery. I feel like I am at stagnation, and possibly even regressing. Hopefully it is all either nothing, or just a minor bump in the road. For now however, I need to be extra cautious with my rehab and ice and heat constantly.

In addition to the above mentioned complications I started to notice, I was hit with a flood of emotions the other day at the gym. While in the locker room washing my hands after my workout, I saw a girl walk in with a t-shirt from the St. Paul’s Harvest race that I was the overall female winner of last October. It was a small 10K race and my time of 45:19 earned me the title of Overall Female Winner. I remember that race like it was just yesterday. I knew I was in the lead. Actually, I held the lead female position for almost the entire race, but when I rounded the last corner and I heard the traffic directors mention that I was the first girl, it felt so great. I was so proud of myself. All summer last year, I trained so hard and I was at my peak performance. However, I digress. While in the locker room at the gym, I recalled this race, my win, my amazing (for me) time, the accomplishment I felt, the joy I felt, and every other feeling that accompanies running an awesome time (PR) and winning a race. All of those emotions, however, happened within a matter of seconds. Suddenly, a pang of despair hit me square in my chest. My heart ached and I fought back tears. Negative thoughts raced through my head. Thoughts about not ever getting back in that great of running shape again, thoughts of never racing again, thoughts of never running again. It was all too much.

It really is amazing how the sight of one t-shirt, one symbol of something so special to me, can bring about such a raging storm of emotions.


Two new upper-body exercises

When you go to the gym with your husband and do just two arm exercises with him, you are extremely sore the next day. This is the story of my life right now.

On Sunday, Zac and I went to the gym together. He warned me it would be a long day, and I still did my walking (1.25 miles in about 20 minutes) before heading off to the gym. I finished all of my physical therapy exercises for my leg early and began working out my upper body. After I completed my upper body workout, I tagged along with Zac for his final two exercises at the gym: bicep curls and a chest fly exercise. These exercise, however, were not your typical exercises.

For the bicep curls, I had a seat at the bicep curl machine that utilized free weights. (Free weights are much heavier and offer more resistance than resistance machines for the designated amount of weight used). I only did one set of bicep curls, but I did a ladder set than began with heavy weight and ended with light weight. Zac calls these burnouts. I started with 25lbs. Boy, it was heavy. After about eight reps at 25lbs I was feeling as if my muscles were going to explode from my arm. He told me to keep going and he removed a 5lb plate from the machine. I kept going, doing as many reps as I could, as he continued to take off another 5lb plate. I went from 25lbs to 20 lbs to 15 lbs and finally to 10lbs. At 10lbs, I did as many as I could until I completely exhausted my muscles. I lost count along the way, but I estimate I probably did about 40-something reps in this one set.

Then, for the chest fly exercise, we headed over to the cable machine. I lunged forward with one leg and completed 3 sets of 15 reps of chest flys on the cable machine.

 So, here I am, one day later with my arms and chest feeling like liquefied Jell-o. If you are looking for a new kind of bicep curl or chest fly, I highly suggest these ones. They are killer!

Not So Fast

I thought I would be walking with my running group by now, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. I was delivered some unwanted and discouraging news at physical therapy this week. While I am able to walk as exercise now, I can only walk on flat surfaces, meaning absolutely no hills. I live in an area that is all hills. I only have one running route that is completely flat, and it isn’t a route that my running group takes. Our Pacer route has lots of hills of all sizes and grade. My physical therapist explained to me that while I can walk now, hills are bad for me because they place extra stress on my knee and my still developing ACL graft. Bummer. Hopefully soon I can walk some hills because I need to start training for the half marathon I plan on walking in October. That race isn’t too far away and I want to make sure that I am capable of walking the thing without hurting my knee. I still have more than two months. If I can get up to about 9 or 10 miles of walking that would be ideal, but I have a feeling that teaching and standing up all day and walking around my classroom is already some training. Hopefully.


Progress with knee surgery is coming along pretty well. Last week I did the test on the Biodex Machine to measure my muscle strength. So far, I have regained 85.5 percent strength in my quad and 81 percent strength in my hamstring. Once I reach 90 percent or better, I won’t need physical therapy anymore. I will keep working out on this machine and testing on it with therapy.

Also, my doctor told me that I could start jogging at around the 4 month mark. That is in only a little more than a month! It does not seem even feasible yet though, because just walking around all day at school makes my knee stiff and sore. I think I will wait until my knee feels more normal to start running because it does not feel anywhere near normal yet. It still feels slightly foreign.