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.