I posted this to the Yahoo CM group and thought I should include it here as well:
> Here is my last question: with grade 4 CMP in the right knee and
> grade 3 CMP in the left knee, and 3 knee surgeries, I have come to
> accept the fact that my running days are over (I am a 31 year old
> triathlete and marathoner…no longer I guess). What do I do now???
I know how you feel, and for many on this board that were not competitive athletes, it is hard for them to understand where we come from. Adventure racing was a huge part of my life before my knee went south, and some advice you will receive will be just happy to be walking. And I actually agree that at some point, you may have to accept that.
Personally, I have not yet given up on getting back to racing, though I am getting closer to that every month. 😦 The type of racing I did was 2 to 3 day races, in which we would run/trek 40-60 miles, mountain bike 100+ miles, paddle 20-50 miles, do rope skills, etc. So it was pretty extreme. Now, post surgery, it has taken a long time to get back to running 30 minutes, and even then I have minor discomfort in the knee the next day. But I have learned not to push so hard, to take it easy, and see how the knee reacts. Rest, ice, and sometimes NSAIDs, but I do try to limit that.
If I can’t get back to racing competitively, my next goal is to race for fun. If not 2 to 3 day races, short ones like 3 or 4 hours. If that is not to be, then I hope to be able to do some short mountain bike races, or do short orienteering events (which I have been pretty successful at the last few months). But if that is not to be, I hope to be able to do a weekend back pack trip. And if I can’t even do that, then I hope to be able to play with my kids — kick a soccer ball, or play tag, etc. And finally, if none of that is to be, then I hope to just walk around normally, pain free.
But, finally, I have to move. For some reason exercise is just ingrained in me. So if I can’t run or hike or walk or bike, then I will do other things, like an elliptical, or swim, or yoga, or lift weights, or do physically demanding work around my house.
Adjusting one’s perspective is necessary for so many things in life. Yet another thing in which we’ll have to “deny yourself” in the interest of the greater good. It’s still depressing though.