The past two years have not been kind to me in regards to running, and it is my own damn fault! I brushed off solid advice from friends, fellow runners and even my wife. When I began my running journey in 2012 I bit hard like a pit bull, I was obsessed and ran constantly. I ran 2 and 3 times a day on average of 13-15 miles daily, the weight was melting off. In 2013 I had my first injury (Torn hip flexor) and I ran a half marathon with it to a point I was in tears crossing the finish line the pain was excruciating.
I had other injuries along the way that sidelined me periodically but it was Christmas morning 2018 that began my downward spiral. On that early morning run (5 miles) with my friend Ken we were finishing up and had went our separate ways to head to our homes. In that last mile or so I was feeling some discomfort in my right knee but didn’t think too much of it. Just about home I couldn’t run as the discomfort turned to pain, I could barely walk also. As I limped towards the house I managed to grab my phone that I had tucked into our mailbox as I left and called my wife to come down and get me. She was not pleased I woke her!
Once in the house I couldn’t climb our stairs until several hours later once some of the pain subsided. I would see a doctor a few days later and they ordered an MRI. I learned I tore my meniscus and needed surgery in early 2019. While the doctors were in there they discovered some arthritis and did their best to scrap it out but could not get it all.
After several months of recovery I started running again slowly (Yeah right🤣🤣). But that didn’t last as I quickly ramped up my running and mileage once again. You’d think I would have learned! Since then I’ve had on and off setbacks and ran my final race on July 4th 2021, a local 4 mile race right here close to home. Not long after that race I started to have some pain in my left knee so I stopped running completely. Back to the doctors for another MRI only to discover my left meniscus had a slight tear. The doctors told me STOP running! But did I listen?
In November 2021 I started feeling pain in my left heel but figured it was just plantar fasciitis, however I was wrong. In February 2022 I finally went to the foot doctor and they X-rayed my foot to find I have a heel spur which is into my achilles tendon. The surgery would consist of removing my achilles in order to remove the spur and reattaching the achilles. This would have me down for months!
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2022 we tried a procedure to possibly ward off surgery. I spent two weeks out of work and in a boot, so far that procedure it seems to be working, fingers crossed. However I have not been running for almost a year now. I’m not going to lie I do really miss it and crave to run again! I’ve tried cycling, don’t love it. Too many people on their phones while driving. I’ve tried spin classes, they are ok. Then recently I discovered swimming, and with swimming nothing hurts (Yay). Currently I swim 30 minutes, 3 mornings a week and so far I feel good. I will admit it is hard to get up especially this time of year with the cold mornings and head for the pool. And I find it even harder for me not to push to do more. I’m trying to work on the mentality that less is more. An inner struggle for most of my life!
And lastly I’m so tempted to run my favorite race come this March, the Parade Day Mile. 🤣😂
July 4th 2021 finishing the 4 on the 4th Endwell, NY. Photo by: Van Zandbergen Photography