I am so glad to be training for only one event!! Well, only training for one type of event. Towards the end of triathlon training I started wishing for it just to be over. Making sure I got in swim, bike, bricks, and as well as a long walk was starting to take a toll on me. Don't get me wrong - I loved doing the triathlon and I'm so happy I did it. Completing it did a lot to prove to myself that I've still "got it" after being reduced to the sidelines for so long. (Quick recap - back in November I was hiking in the Cinque Terre in Italy and basically fell off the side of a cliff, tearing my MCL in the process. I like saying fell off cliff as it adds a little bit of flair, don't you think?) I've still got some ground to make up before I'm back to normal again but for the first time in a long time I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I wasn't officially diagnosed with an MCL tear until a few months after my injury when I had an MRI done. After the MRI showed I had an MCL tear & that I did not need surgery, the physical therapist I had been seeing basically told me there wasn't much more she could do and I was free to participate in whatever activities/sports/etc to the extent my knee pain let me. In other words, let the pain be my guide. Well okay. I took that advice and was on my way. But my knee wasn't really improving. It wasn't getting worse, but it was not improving. I was still having problems standing or sitting for any length of time. After a few months of little to no improvement, my chiropractor suggested I try another physical therapist, one she had used herself. My new physical therapist has been fantastic. Really working with me to build up the strength in not only my knee but my hips because everything is connected. The hip bone is connected to the knee bone.... I hadn't seen a lot of progress in regards to my knee pain, but I could tell I was getting stronger. That was until a few weeks ago when all of a sudden I realized my knee wasn't in nearly as much pain. I could sit or stand and when I started moving again, it wouldn't hurt. So this morning I went in for what I thought was going to be a normal physical therapy appointment. But instead, it ended up being my last. My physical therapist gave me a similar speech to the one I'd already heard - they'd done what they could and they thought I was in a good place and I didn't need to come back. With those words, I felt like a little baby bird being pushed out of the nest, unsure if I could fly on my own. I peppered her with questions - what about running? (No running for at least a couple more months, and then intervals. Slowly build up and be aware your mechanics may have changed.) What about other activities? (Nothing is off limits. Use pain as your guide.) When should I come back in, if at all? (If the knee pain flares up and doesn't go away after 48 hours, come back in.) So here I am - no longer in physical therapy. But I have a list of exercises and the recommendation that I get myself to a gym. In a lot of ways, this is no different than the first time I was set free from physical therapy, but yet, my knee is in such a better place and I feel more prepared. It is scary to me that they won't be there holding my hand.
And with that, let the regularly scheduled half marathon training begin! I'm still planning to walk the upcoming You Go Girl half marathon. I don't have much time left. Ack!! Better get cracking!