Sunday, March 13, 2016

Running Is Something I Used To Do

I swear, March is a month that always sucks for me. I've lost many friends and family to cancer and always remember them this month especially. I also get a lot of bad news in March for some reason and this year is no exception.

On Tuesday, I went to my ortho appointment to go over my MRI results. If you recall in January, the day after my first run since NYC, I slipped on dog piss and slammed down on both knee caps. It has been swollen and painful since then. I actually already knew the results, but I just didn't know what he was going to do. My worst case scenario was another scope (it would be my third surgery on my right knee) and not being able to run for a couple I thought. 

He told me that I barely have a mecinus and it is fraying. Not quite bone on bone, but getting closer. I also have a ton more arthritis since 2000. He basically said the more I run, the quicker I'm in for a full knee replacement in about five to fifteen years. The more I run, the quicker everything is going to wear down and fray. 

"You can't run anymore." 

"Yeah, ok, seriously, when I can I run again?

"How old do you want to be when you have your knee replacement?"

I just stared at him. "Are you serious?"

Oh, yeah, he was serious. 

"But I have races and plans......" I started to say as qualifying or even running the Boston Marathon for charity flew in my head.

"Well, you can still bike, swim, use the elliptical." 

"None of those are running and I don't want to do that. I hate biking. I don't have a pool and who the hell enjoys the elliptical?! " Needles to say, I was getting a bit upset. 

"What if I lose weight?" I was desperate at this point, mentally clearing out our pantry and thinking about eating kale for the next year. 

"I'd say if you lost between thirty to fifty pounds, you might be able to jog once or twice a week."

"WHAT?! That's it?! Once or twice a WEEK?!"

After that I stopping listening to his nonsense about how swimming and the elliptical are great workouts and blah, blah blah, blah.

I left his office in shock and sat in my car for a few minutes just staring at the wheel. No running? But, that's what I like to do. It challenges me and it's something that I've put a lot of time and effort into. I've done fun races, earned medals and met great people. I was one of the 18% last year that got into the largest marathon in the world by chance. 

I can tell you when someone says that they aren't able to run anymore, here are a few tips on what NOT to say:

"Well, it's not the end of the world."

"At least you have your health!"

"Oh, you'll get over it! Running is awful!"

"You should feel lucky that you can walk, some people aren't even able to walk, you know?"

"See? It is bad for your knees!" 

On a side note, none of my knee surgeries had to do with running at all. The first one was because I slipped off the edge of a trampoline and when I landed, I slipped on wet grass and busted it. A few months later, I was playing red light, green light and I stopped at the red and my knee just collapsed. The second time, I even know to be honest what happened, but it just ended up being a bunch of damaged cartilage. So, there! 

Since I haven't really told many people yet, I'm sure there will be more responses that will make me glare at you hatefully. 

To be honest, I'm still trying to process it all.  I've got two races in April that I think I will just walk and then, I don't know. I don't really have any other hobbies I was passionate about as running. Just kinda at a loss now. 

I know eventually I'll feel better and be able to look at my twitter and instagram friends who post about running and races without feeling sad and envious. I know eventually I'll cancel my subscription to Runners World and Women's Running. I know eventually I'll be able to enjoy hearing about running, racing or the excitement of the Boston Marathon. I know eventually if won't hurt me to say, "I use to run" or "when I ran".

Today isn't that day. 

So, are you in the "I Used To Be A Runner" club? What advice have you got for me? 


  1. Yes, I joined the Crippled Loser club almost 5 yrs ago, when I finished my last half w/horrendous foot pain... Thought I might have gotten a stress fracture but no, "JUST" the collapse of my 2nd metatarsals of my horrible, no good, very bad flat feet!
    (The podiatrist told me if I kept running the bone would penetrate the ball of my foot)
    Actually just had my bike tuned up to make another go at the MS150 bike ride (end of April)... Prob be posting about MY training on SparkPeople.
    (Oh, & deepest sympathy BTW - I know how you feel Jen! I was never a talented runner, but I was certainly proud of my half-dozen half marathon medals!)

  2. Sending love! I would be devastated to hear that as well :(

  3. Maybe this is a dumb question, but if you recover from the current injury and start running again and end up needing a knee replacement, is that the worst possible thing? Is knee replacement something you would want to avoid at all costs? (because it kinda sounds like with your history you may need one sooner than perhaps an average person). If you figure you'll get a replacement anyhow, why not run (when you can)? Also, can you run at all after a replacement? Anyhow, after reading your post, I kinda felt like crying because I could only imagine being in your position and how devastated I would feel. Sincerely... the best of luck to you and I hope for the best possible outcome.

    1. That is actually what I was thinking!Thank you!

    2. That is actually what I was thinking!Thank you!

  4. Hang in there! Years ago after my first marathon a coworker overheard me talking about the race to someone else and butted into the conversation to say running is bad for my knees. I told her in total seriousness that my knees feel fine and if one went bad I'd just get a new one! Life's too may have to change your running goals and such for the future, but find a couple of docs (and maybe even a podiatrist) that are runners and have them help you find a medium in your running that makes you happy. Lots of people have been in the situation you are and were able to save their running, just get the right people in your life that can help you do the same!