So, since Ironman Canada, I've been dealing with my knee. Well, let's back up....since May, well probably late April, I've been dealing with my knee. As soon as I crossed the finish line at NorthShore tri, I knew something was up. I could barely walk. I didn't crash, I didn't trip and twist something, I have no idea what happened, there wasn't an event, but I was in pain and it wasn't good. I iced and rested and limped around the rest of the day hoping I would wake up and it would be a fluke, just a random pain, but the next morning was worse, I couldn't put any weight on it. I knew something was seriously wrong, but what it was, I wasn't sure.
Triathlon is full of wonderful people...in my world BOCA (and the small triathlon community on Oahu) is full of AMAZING people that will always be there to lend a helping hand, knowledge or services when you are in need. I'm lucky enough to be part of such a great family! As soon as I started reaching out, I was instantly connected, referred and put on lists to get the help I needed. Thank you so very much to everyone that was there to help me figure this out!!
I cannot say thank you enough to everyone that went out of their way to help me out!!!
So what happened......I went to JACO, got an MRI (thanks Bonnie and Ryan!), was referred to a great orthopedic and we began trying to understand what the problem was. The MRI was a little bit inconclusive due to bad pictures caused by previous ACL surgery and little flecks of metal that were floating around in my knee (not the cause of any of my pain and pretty typical after ACL surgery, who knew!?) that blurred the field of vision. However, due to the area where I was feeling the pain and what the doctor could see from the MRI, it was determined that I likely had a small lateral tear of my meniscus, JOY!
Now what?! It's mid May I have Honu in 2 weeks and Ironman Canada at the end of July. Definitely not enough time for surgery and recovery before either race. And surgery was not even a thought in my mind (nor my doctor or Jaco's) initially, if I could rehab this and strengthen my knee and surrounding areas, then that was the way I wanted to go. I was in and out of periods of being totally pain free and thinking I was crazy to have even gone to all these doctors, tests and specialists, to times when I was in pain enough that I couldn't run at all. I was able to swim and bike pain free, so I swam and biked as much as I wanted/was on the schedule. Rehab, ocean running and actual running as little as possible to get me through these races was what was up.
A week out from Honu, I had some decisions to make. (Thanks Dr. Tom, for all your help during this time!) Do I push through the pain and do this race (something I'm sure I could have done) and jeopardize IM Canada where I would have the opportunity for a Kona spot? Or do I bail on Honu and do what I need/can do to be able to make the best of Canada and give myself the best shot at trying for a Kona spot? Now, it's comical to think that that was even going to be an option!? If I had gotten a Kona spot, of course I would have taken it and I would be in the cycle again of being in pain and doing the minimal to get through the race and next time I race Kona, I want to RACE, I don't want to just "get through it." The things that go through
The weeks went by and I was able to put in all the swimming and biking necessary to ensure the best race possible. I even got up to a 20-miler. About 3 weeks out I was cautious, but confident that my knee, my head and my body were in the right place to put together a solid race in Canada and then 2 weeks out I was running a 16-18-miler and my knee became noticeable once again. It wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't ideal, so we backed down the running (at this point there was nothing that was going to hurt my race training wise, I could only make things worse) and continued about the taper process.
Flash forward to Canada, great swim, miserable bike and a not ideal run. I got through the race and those are the exact right words "got through the race." It probably wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had, but I wasn't about to quit, that's just me. But that lead to me not being able to walk for a week (not due to Ironman stiffness, I was actually the least sore and stiff I've ever been after an Ironman, likely because I was fitter than I've ever been before an Ironman). Not good.
Once we got home, I immediately scheduled an appointment with my ortho and we decided that since I didn't really have anything on the schedule in the near future, the best option was to go in there and fix the problem! Surgery was scheduled for a week after we returned from vacation.
Surgery went great! It was a minimally invasive procedure so in-and-out within a couple of hours. There was a piece of bone floating around in my knee that was removed (which was likely the big culprit!), some meniscus needling to increase blood flow and help heal the micro tears that were there, as well as a bit of scar tissue clean up and an influx of bone marrow into the knee to aid in the healing process. Doc was super happy with results and says I can be back at it in no time!
It's been 2-weeks since surgery and I was able to get back in the water on Monday, thank goodness I can move the body again. I know in the grand scheme of things 2-weeks is not a long time at all, but I was starting to get a little bit grumpy, sorry Aaron! I'm PT-ing, swimming and can spin easy on the bike for now so things are looking great. I'm looking forward to healing up and being able to get back out there, but in the mean time, it's been "fun" to relax a bit and have some down time.
Thanks for everyone that's helped me out in the past couple of months, I really, truly appreciate everything!
Not sure what's on tap next, but maybe the DOUBLE ROUGHWATER in November.