July 14th marked 4-weeks since I had my knee surgery. Also, I have 5-weeks left until the Pikes Peak Marathon. Since the day I got injured myself all I do just take one day at the time because that is all that I can do. I tore my meniscus on May 23rd (on my first day being on vacation in Europe).
At that time, Even though I tried to stay calm and not to freak out too early, I was freaking out. After two sleepless nights and not being able to walk, I knew something was seriously wrong. Now, I can say this injury is the best thing that could have happened to me. Why? Because I had to face my deepest fears, I had to question myself why I want to run? What is the whole point? Also, I had a chance to slow down and see my life from a little bit different perspective.
For many years, I was working on my mind because I had to overcome my emotional traumas. I abandoned my body for a long time. Now, I had a chance to feel my body and learn not only listen to it but also, to care for my body. The most important my MIND started to connect with my BODY. I had time to answer all questions and face the truth about my concerns. My fear about failing, my fair about misleading people that help me to do what I am about to do in 5-weeks and 2-days. And, my fear of not being able to run anymore.
I still consider myself a new runner, and I am still growing as a runner and building my reputation among other runners. I have not even started to run seriously, and I got injured. Before I even found out what happened to my knee, I told myself, no matter what I will be running. I am not ready to quit yet. However, now after 4-weeks passed I know I will be running because I am just too stubborn. I never took better care of my body as I have been doing in the last 4-weeks. I started physical therapy as soon as I got surgery. I have a great staff working on my knee and making sure that I would get back to my running stronger like never before. There was not a day that I skipped icing or exercises that I was assigned to do. I listen what they are saying to me, and I am so proud that I am behaving.
My eating habits naturally became healthier, cleaner just because I started to take care of my body! I was always battling with food and more/less failing. Now, I no longer fight with food. I provide all good food to my body, and if I want a treat, I allow myself to have it without blaming myself or feeling ashamed. That is a big step for me, and these 4-weeks have been life changing. I started to integrate different exercises such as biking, swimming, exercises twice per day to strengthen my quads and glutes. I read and listen to books about other runners and what they are going through.
Here are some notes and dates about my recovery process.
-I injured myself May 23rd. I went to visit a country that I was born- Lithuania. I decided to go for a short 3miles run just to shake off all traveling mood. By mile 1, I heard how my meniscus popped. I kept running because I wanted to finish my 3 miles! It was hurting me, but I could handle the pain. Then, my knee locked and I got the sharp pain that made me stop for a second. I tried to shake off my leg and kept going. At the end of my short run, I was limping in so much pain. Hey, I finish my 3 miles run by holding 8:24 mi/min pace. Well, what can I say? Sometimes, we just do things like Scott Jurek said.
-I got MRI done in Europe on May 25th, and that was a time when I found out what was going on. I could not do a surgery there so I waited until I would get back to the United States 3 weeks later.
-I got back home on June 12th 10 pm.
I had an appointment with knee surgeon Dr. McAllister the next morning at 9 am. He explained everything and told me that if I want to run I need to get surgery. He decided not to wait and operate me the same week.
-My surgery was on Friday, June 16th.
-I had an appointment with Dr. McAllister a week later June 22nd.
-June 23rd I had my first physical therapy.
-June 24th I went hike for 4miles at Lost Valley trail flat road.
– June 25th (Sunday) I walked 5k Pride Run. I registered to run this race several months before, I just simply could not miss it, and I just wanted to see my running friends.
-June 30th I went for 5-miles hike at Lewis and Clark Trail.
I was and still am doing physical therapy twice per week, plus, I workout twice per day on my own.
-July 2nd, I needed to burn some energy, so I went for a bike ride. I did 50 miles. A few days earlier I asked my physical therapists if I could go for a bike ride… The first thing they said was yes, sure.” would be good for you.” However, a second later something came to their mind to ask me how many miles. Well, by then they knew that I was one of those crazy people as non-runners would call. I did tell them 50-miles…
What? You mean five and zero? Yes,… I did see their disapproval so I decided to compromise by saying I could do 45 miles,… Well, I end up riding 50-miles, and I was so proud to go the next day and tell them that I was not hurting and my knee was not swelling.
-July 4th, I did more hiking. 7miles! Each day I could count as the achievement to overcome my injury.
-July 8th, I biked 50 miles again, and I did 20 minutes faster than a week earlier, I got home, and I did my exercises. I was hanging around the house, and that is when evil thoughts came to my mind. It was such a beautiful evening, and I just could not let to pass it. So, I decided that I should go for a short run. I ran 200 feet, walked a bit and then I ran another 200 feet. I know it sounds like nothing, but that was the first run since I got the injury and only 3-weeks since I had surgery, People, I did not hurt myself, and my knee did not swell. Yes!!! Another small win.
-July 9th, Oh boy, I wish I would not have kept this track. I went hiking 3.9 miles at Castlewood, and I did stairs 5-times (for people who does not know Castlewood, there is a stair trail that approximately has 200 steep stairs path.) I got home, and in the evening I had those evil thoughts again! So, to end my day I ran half a mile, only!
To be honest, now I don’t know how my physical therapy staff can listen to all this.
-July 11th, I went to workout in the gym with a group of people. Then, I decided to go back to Castlewood and do some stairs. It was 102 degrees outside. I did 10-times up and down those stairs.
-July 13th I met with the personal trainer that I was working out before my injury and trip to Europe. He wanted to see what kind of shape I am in because he was training me for Pikes Peak Marathon. After I got done with him, I went hiking again for 4 miles.
This week, I got permission from my physical therapy staff to join my trail running friends for a short run. They told me to be smart, and I will. They taped my knee so my join would have more stability. Now, you all know my secrets and how I am healing. Just so you all know, since I had surgery I did not have any pain or swelling in my knee.
It is all about taking care of your body and training your mind.
THLE Running Team,
Climb for the kids 2017