I was a knee-surgery-aholic.
yesterday I had my 2 week follow-up appointment for my menisectomy. the knee is progressing nicely. it has returned to better range of motion than pre-surgery and never did swell, bruise, or cause much pain. I was cleared for jogging (doc doesn't prefer it though), stationary bike, elliptical, nordic track, and swimming. in the past elliptical, bike, and swimming have been my therapies of choice.
as much as I'm itching to begin running again I'm taking doc 'orders' (he actually likes to call them recommendations because as he says "people are going to do what they want"). he says to start little-by-little and non-impact activities will build and prepare the leg muscles for impact activities. I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical before I remembered that the doc said "start with a little bit." my knee was feeling so good and I would typically do at least 40 minutes so I hadn't even given it a second thought and the time had aleady flown past. so I went 5 more minutes and then cooled down. I went straight out to the living room and did some passive heel slides for range of motion. 5 hours later now I have no pain and no swelling, good signs.
for the core routine I'm beginning one can find more info on the runner's world website. I liked the whole article and appreciate that the workout is not about building a six pack, but is about developing a practical core with the mechanics of running in mind. I'm sure that with a change in diet though (less fat and sugar) a six pack would develop as a side result. in reading their description of how the different core muscle groups affect running I am not at all suprised that my lack of core strength has added to my knee issues. I'm committed to do everything possible to prevent further knee injuries and it appears to me that core strength is to be a big part of that. I'm sure that not going out and running 16 mile trail races without training will also help...
my mental state on the matter is still conflicted. I'm still struggling with the thought of not being able to trail run or play soccer again; of being that guy who can't participate because he has an old injury. I've never given that guy a second thought before, but now at the prospect of being him I have a new perspective, empathy, and respect for that position. again, the reality is that my quality of life for myself and for my family is more important than my own personal pursuits. the idol of reputation and physical ability needs to be laid down for the bigger picture. I can say it but it still makes me cringe.