It’s been a little while since I wrote about what I’m up to in my fitness life. 2018 hasn’t exactly been off to a roaring start: I’m officially benched due to injury.
I first started having pain in my right knee while hiking the Na Pali Coast, as I mentioned in last week’s post. In the weeks that followed, I limited my running volume to give my knee some space to heal. That said, I couldn’t resist going on a couple more very challenging hikes during that time. Not surprisingly, the pain lingered.
Around Christmas, I noticed the pain started to shift both in location and intensity. I reached a point where I couldn’t walk up or down stairs without relying heavily on handrails. Some days, I even had a mild limp walking normally. Things were not moving in a positive direction as I’d hoped. It was pretty clear that I wasn’t equipped to deal with whatever this injury had morphed into.
I went to my PT for an assessment, and he settled on LCL injury. There’s no obvious reason the injury developed. It seems to have been an accumulation of a few different factors rather than any acute event. We started a gentle rehab plan and I received strict orders not to run or hike. Although frustrating, the mandate wasn’t really a problem. After all, if I can’t walk down the hall without pain, a trail run is hardly on the radar.
Fortunately, I’m able to do yoga, indoor cycling, aerial silks, and core/arm exercises, all with a degree of caution and moderation. On the one hand, I’m grateful to be dealing with injury during winter rather than summer. That said, we’ve been having an unusually mild, dry winter that’s perfect for getting outside. It’s been painful to spend weekend after weekend cooped up indoors.
In the last week or two, I’ve finally started to see some improvement, but I still have a ways to go. Based on my progression so far, I expect I still have several more weeks before I can start easing back into my normal activities.
Unfortunately, I expect I’ll more or less be starting from scratch once this injury resolves. As much as I’d like to go right back to 9-mile weekend runs, I’ll have to start with low mileage and be patient about re-building my base. I’m hoping that indoor biking is helping me maintain leg strength and cardiovascular capacity, but time will tell.
As anyone who’s been injured can probably attest, being sidelined has done a number on my mental wellbeing. For one thing, the ever-present pain is mentally taxing. Missing out on my usual dose of sunshine and fresh air is tough, too. Just sitting outside or driving somewhere isn’t quite the same.
Beyond that, I rely heavily on my workout routine to help manage stress and balance my mood. I notice that I always go through a sort of withdrawal if my routine is off for more than a couple weeks at a time. As a result, I have very little patience, I easily spiral into patterns of anxious and discouraged thoughts, and everything feels just a bit more unmanageable. My modified routine helps stave off the worst of it, but I still have my bad days. Between the frustration of injury and the scaled back workout routine, I’m getting hit from both sides.
That’s where things are at for me right now. If you’ve noticed that my fitness-related posts have dropped off lately, this is definitely a big reason for that. With any luck, I’ll have more positive things to share soon!