Musings on the (mostly recovered) knee and running outside.

I’ve been waiting to talk more about my knee until I felt as though I was (mostly) recovered (partially also not to jinx it, of course!), but after two fantastic outdoor runs this weekend, it felt like the perfect time.

What I’ve learned so far?

Patience is a freaking virtue. I hate to admit it, because it was incredibly difficult at first. Despite this injury being relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, and of knee injuries generally, I consider myself extremely fortunate that it’s really only taken about three months since the pain first started (December) through physical therapy (starting in January for 8 weeks) to being back to running almost as regularly as before.

Leg strength and those PT exercises really do work wonders. I actually really enjoyed going to physical therapy and learning where I have some weaknesses (a little in my hips, left quad only [odd!] mainly) and how to work those areas, and the opposing areas to strengthen and improve my legs overall. While I went into this thinking my legs are strong – and they are – knowing that there are small areas of weakness that, with a little strengthening daily, really REALLY makes a big difference!).

Slow and steady wins the race. Okay, that statement never quite made sense to me in the literal sense, BUT, this approach has really helped me a) not get frustrated that I am not back where I was endurance, distance and speed-wise as before and b) steadily work my way back to 3-4 runs per week (4 has not quite happened yet, but that’s also due to teaching a lot of classes lately each week – wheeee – and I am trying to be smart about it and not overdo it!) and steadily increase my pace. Not that speed is important to me, because it is not, but I lost a lot of my ‘regular’ treadmill pace in those months of not running and I am realistic in knowing it’ll take time to get back.

What did my outdoor runs this weekend teach me?

I feel so much more satisfied running outside than on the (dread)mill.Β Even though my runs were shorter, about 3.5 miles each, my legs just felt so much moreΒ worked than when I run on the mill. I LOVE that feeling. Absolutely adore it. Every area of my quads, glutes, hammies and shins felt it. I am sorer today as a result and ya know what? That hurts so good. THAT is what I missed about running on the mill this winter and not running at all. I LOVE that feeling.

My legs feel stronger and sturdier post-PT.Β I was amazed at how much stronger I felt as I ran. Saturday I ran for the first time with a (soon to be!) instructor at barre n9ne (she is another 60 day transformation story – check her story here, side note/plug!!) and it just felt like a good run (sans one side cramp). Happy, not stressy or hard in a bad way (struggling way). Sunday, I ran with M post teaching at the studio, and the run felt amazing. Every stride felt good. I didn’t feel tempted to stop at a few spots I usually do on the route we took. Strong and sturdy. Slow and steady. Wins the race. (see, I guess that statement does work…hehe)

And I can’t wait to run outside more, more, more!! After only running once outside before this in 2013 (gah!), with this girl (kindred!), it’s making me itch for more outdoor runs. The more, the better. Consistency will be key for me now. Come onnnnn spring!!

On that note, I hope you all had a great weekend…we certainly did, much more to share on that soon, but lest I jinx myself, I shall leave it at that πŸ˜‰


27 thoughts on “Musings on the (mostly recovered) knee and running outside.

  1. I am so glad your knee is better and you know where your weaknesses are/were so you can correct. No matter how strong we think we are, it’s crazy how just a slight imbalance can wreck you. Patience…Oh I need to find me some of that!

  2. I was utterly AMAZED at how much more ‘worked’ my legs felt after running outside FINALLY with Scott on Sunday. AND at how much more tired I was after that run settled into my bones over the course of the day. I LOVED that feeling though and it reminded me that no matter what: my body will never forget what it’s like to run and run hard, even if I’m not able to run as much as before and even if many of my runs wind up being indoors lately. The body never forgets. Just like your body didn’t forget how it felt to work the run while you recovered. And look at you now? Stronger and more in love with running than ever!

  3. Ahhhh yay πŸ™‚ I’m happy you’re back to running again! I made my first pt appointment to hopefully help me with my knee this morning for next week! Fingers crossed i get good results too πŸ™‚

  4. first off- seriously.. it’s crazy that your post today was about your knee. I literally just posted talking about my frustrations yesterday. Thank you for this- reading this makes me feel like this stupid nagging pain won’t be here forever and it is just motivating me MORE to get my butt to a doctor. I am SO glad you are feeling better. It is crazy to me how running a little makes your body CRAVE running more.

    1. TOTALLY crazy, we are on the same eerie page! I crave running too, but much more in spring/summer/fall! AND when I Can’t run. naturally πŸ˜‰

  5. YAY! Love reading this post and hearing that you are hitting the road. I love, love, love to run outside. I have not been on a treadmill in YEARS. Rain, snow, shine – I need the road. But yes! Sunshine trumps all. So a big CHEERS to Spring running. Let’s see where the road takes us shall we πŸ™‚

  6. Patience is something that I am being tested as well. And dang is it ever a virtue. Ugh. Way to hang in there.

    Something about fresh air and your surroundings moving always helps:) Glad you’re feeling stronger.

  7. I am so not patient! the healing part is so frustrating. I’m really proud of you for taking the time to heal and really work on getting good recovery! I’m so glad you enjoyed the outside runs! Great job on the progress my friend!

    1. The healing is frustrating even though I know it was the right thing to do. doesn’t mean my mind isn’t battling my body. But I did it, right?? Thank you!

  8. No joke, PT and stretching really do work! The hard part is making yourself do them!
    And running outside is so much more satisfying for some reason. Sounds like you’re making quite the comeback – just don’t overdo it!! You got this!

    1. PT stretches work wonders!! I have loved doing them, I can FEEL it working. Running IS more satisfying outside!! thank you! πŸ™‚ (I will be careful!)

  9. Yay!!! This post makes me so happy. So happy to hear that your knee is doing well and that you are feeling strong. Isn’t it amazing what perspective an injury can bring? I can so relate to just about everything. Patience is a freaking virtue – I think that I used all of mine up last year haha. Here’s to more happy outdoor runs!!

  10. Isn’t it amazing how those silly little PT exercises really do work? Small things with a big impact! So glad to hear you that you bounced back and are feeling better!

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