You can find an in depth report of this race and others on my website http://ultrahighs.weebly.com/
Basically as you can see, my knee took a killing - It took me until the Thursday after The Spine to really come to terms with it, I still felt gutted, but came around to the fact that SHIT HAPPENS, MOVE ON!!!!! So I focused on the issues at hand - I concentrated solely on getting the swelling down, I saw the physio straight away and made a list of short term goals.
I got it into my head that I was going to have some down time. I had another race which was already booked last year - SDW50 which is at the beginning April, so this became my end goal, which set up the short term goals.
My initial goal was to make sure that within 2 weeks post race I would see the knee consultant, have an MRI and have the operation. This was achieved.
The initial view was that I had a rather nasty bucket handle tear in my medial meniscus, which was stopping my knee from being able to go straight. 3 weeks of not being able to straighten your leg is not fun!
The operation happened on 27th January and on coming around, I was informed that the operation had been a bit tricky and instead of a 25minute procedure, it went on for 70 minutes. Apparently the tear in the Medial Meniscus had been a bit of a hum dinger and had really got well and truly wedged into the knee joint. (Apparently, trying to force it back in on the side of the mountain was not one of my greatest ideas!! ) But, the main thing I wanted to hear was – “The knee’s in remarkably good condition considering the miles it’s been through, you’ll be back racing again as long as you make sure that you take recovery easy and strengthen up the muscles around the knee” – NICE was my first thought, ooooh that hurts a bit was my second.
The next goal was put into place as I was lying on the bed in hospital, I worked out I had 10 weeks before the next race. So, working and leaving myself no tapering I figured 4 weeks of good solid quality training should leave me good to go.
That left me with 6 weeks of recovery, so I set out my goals;
1st week – Nice and easy on crutches with light strengthen work on the quads and hamstring muscles and into see physio.
2nd week – Nice and easy, physio, moving off crutches as soon as possible, loads of light strengthening work and oh yes to re-start my stretching, core & upper body workouts as well as getting into the gym. Hoping to be allowed to start static bike.
3rd week – As week 2, but starting to push harder, with as above and looking to be on the cross trainer by the end of the week.
4th week – As week 3, but concentrating of more leg strength and increasing the time on bike and cross trainer.
5th week – Strength work BUT making sure I get to run!!!!
6th week – As week 5 but starting to ease back into running so that I make the new Trail Ferret weekend running endurance camp on 14th March down in North Devon.
Well week 1 & 2 went to plan, the knee responded well and I was allowed to get on the bike on 7th Feb while at the physio for 15 minutes. This felt real good and as I hobbled out of the physio she told me to increase it by 5 minutes on Sunday.
Well I did more than that, in fact the next day I went down the gym for 2 hours and pushed out 40 minutes on the bike. You see I’m a pusher and I cannot hold back, the knee was feeling good so I pushed it.
Sunday felt good, so I went back down the gym for another 90 minutes and pushed out another 40 minutes on the bike with greater resistance than the previous day.
Week 3 went well to plan but at the end of the week I missed the goal of being on the Cross Trainer - long story short physio said NO! but hey I was really starting to push on the static bike which was a bonus.
So plenty of core and gym work on a daily basis to strengthen up the knee muscles and the cardio base build started.
In addition to the above I started back doing core & upper body workouts every morning since the beginning of week 2 which helped big time and in week 4 I am now starting to feel my core strength coming back.
so I now find myself wired up twice daily for 30 minutes to assist in the re-building of the muscles around the knee. This little machine is really helping.
Well we are now in week 4 post operation and I've been hitting the gym most days. I was rather frustrated on Friday after seeing my Physio - I was hoping that she would give me a green light for the Cross Trainer, but she still wants me to have another week of no impact work as it's still a tad puffy - apparently that's my fault as I'm a wally because I've been doing single leg dips when I shouldn't have been (there for week 6 - now she tells me!!!!!) when she said I need to take it real slow, she meant it. - I didn't have the bottle to tell her that on Wednesday afternoon I went on the Cross Trainer for 10 minutes, oh and now I think about it the Curved treadmill for 5 minutes on Thursday afternoon. Whoops, but F**k did it feel good!
So being a person who just sits back I went straight down the gym yesterday and pushed out 20 miles in 70 minutes on the static bike at a greater resistance and then went onto leg presses and upper body strength work - That's all no impact right!!! - I can safely say I haven't worked that hard for a while, it was over 2 hours of hard work.
Well as I write this blog, I start week 5 and I'm going to be good and not do any impact work or single leg dips - Honest - I WANT to run in week 6 so I'm not going to jeopardise this, I'll still push BUT in the right way.
TrainAsONE are looking at my current rehabilitation programme and are working on the statics to see how much fitness I have managed to retain and this will be used to implement a training schedule for once I can run again.
I am now strictly following my short term goals and as long as all goes to plan I’ll be on the start line on 5th April for the SDW50. As to whether I will be pushing hard in the race or using it as a training run for later races, I cannot tell, we will just have to wait and see – I’ll know at 9.00 am on the 5th as the starter goes!! J