When I turned 30 I ran my first (and only) marathon. I had been running daily at work for a couple of years and had participated in several short to mid-distance fun runs in the San Diego area with a small group from work. The 10K runs were always enjoyable; I never ran at the front of the pack preferring to keep a pleasant 7 minute pace and just jog along. I don’t think I was quite ready for the amount of running/training it would take to get up to the 26.2 miles of a marathon. But I was game and I was pleased with my eventual 3 1/2 hour race time.
Doing things in inverse order, I ran a 15K race thru Torrey Pines sometime after the marathon. I was surprised at how my time had gotten better along with my enjoyment. I loved running, just loved it. And it was something I could do and definitely see signs of improvement.
However, 13 years later, after experiencing quite a bit of pain in my knee which I attributed to running on hard surfaces, I finally decided to do something about it. Laproscopic surgery was the result and repairing the torn meniscus greatly reduced my discomfort. But I found I couldn’t run anymore. At the time, the surgeon had said I also had arthritis in both knees (did you play football in college, he asked? uh…no). Watchful waiting was prescribed at the time.
It’s now 25 years after that first surgery and I am getting ready to go in again. But the years haven’t been so kind to my bones and arthritis has taken it’s toll. Like many others my age, I will be getting a total knee replacement. I’m looking forward to starting over: walking at first with my cane and in time, greater distances.
But reading through the literature I was surprised to see that I won’t be doing any running after recovery: “Following surgery, you will be advised to avoid some types of activity, including jogging and high impact sports, for the rest of your life…” We’ve been doing ballroom dancing (low impact sport?) for the past 6 years so I’m hoping to get back to that routine. But it doesn’t look like I will be competing in any senior division half marathons in the future.
There have been a number of times in the past when I have had to start over. When I moved to San Diego after college graduation; when I joined the Army; when I moved to Virginia. All have had their challenges and I’ve been excited for a fresh start. This time it’s reassuring to have a partner at my side as I start over. At least she can help me get to my walker! We shall see what lies ahead.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7