Week 1 post surgery had me just working from home and little by little having the leg worked as much as normal as I could make it. Went to the surgeon for my one week follow up, and he finally cleared me up for non-weight bearing exercise as tolerated and for PT. Good because I had been on the bike since Day 4, ha.
My knee has been improving exponentially with each day. The first week at PT was nice and the exercises were good enough for me to improve without being sore all the time. I also restarted Pilates and little by little, the adjustments went away.
Then, at the start of Week 3, around Day 14, the PT told me to not forget my running shoes because we MIGHT head to the TM for some running. I felt like Darla from Finding Nemo when told Piranha is a fish, just like your present...
There is no better present for an injured runner than being told they could run. Ha.
Did two PT sessions last week with some warmup run/walking at 2:2 ratio on their TM. She also increased the weight bearing exercises to 140lbs for leg presses and calf raises, and 120lbs for one leg presses. Sheesh. My legs look very lean, even though I am used to weights, these are mega weights. I should do this more often!
So, being that I've already been run/walking for 12 minutes every PT day, I thought of heading outside for a "stroll" on Friday afternoon. The weather was nice, probably our last day in the 70s before the 90-100F months. I went outside and tried to keep the running portions very slow (probably not slow enough, lesson learned) and used the 2:1 range to keep it similar to hers. Mile 1 was OK, then I headed to 1.30 and started my running segment and CRACK, my ITB cracked so loud, I almost thought someone had thrown one of those cracking things kids do. Sheesh. I immediately stopped and said, hmmm, this is not good. I didn't feel bad, nor the leg felt worse, but CRACK? Seriously? Maybe it needed to crack but I was 1 mile away from home and I just decided to walk back. Just in case, you know. 18 years of running and never been injured for anything done by running itself, but hey, trip and tear a meniscus and all you can think is did I break something?
Got back home and felt OK, but iced the leg most of the night. Pilates on Saturday was a bit painful, in that the area was tight but we worked it out pretty well. I didn't feel anything by the end of the day.
So, I woke up on Sunday with both quads super sore (I guess the fascia release released a lot of pent up tightness from them on Saturday), but otherwise, fine. Decided to use the Treadmill this time (the high for the day was 88F so better). That way I could control the speed better than I could outside. Last thing I wanted was to see cars beside me and me thinking I was Superman, right?
Anyway, started with a 0.25 walk, then eased up with 1:1 run/walk range for a mile, that went well. Still super slow and keeping it at 4.5 on the Treadmill. Then 1:30/1 for Mile 2 and 4.5 speed. Kept the ratio at Mile 3 but raised it to 4.6. Then Mile 4 at 4.7. Then decided the last mile should be with a 2:1 ratio and 4.7. No pain, no tightness, no nothing. Really stopped at Mile 5 because I didn't want to overdo it (5 miles is not too long for someone used to running 2500 miles a year or thereabouts). But it felt like I could go on forever. No knee swelling, no super tightness areas, no nothing.
Today, at PT, my ITB was super tight. I don't think it was from this run but from the failed run from Friday. So, there are still areas to work on around the knee. But recovery is going wonderfully. I was tentatively hoping for 4 weeks off running post surgery. My first run was in Day 19. I can't complain!
Now for next week, I am planning on increasing the running ratios and the speed, little by little, and my goal will be to run 3:1 or even 4:1 by the end of the week. The faster I can increase the ratios without issue, the faster I can get to full running and better training. We'll see. The knee will guide me.