So today was a milestone in my rehab.... today was the day I went out for a run, sorta. I am on a family medicine rotation right now, and I always hear teh doc tell his patients how important 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise is, and how he runs 5 miles a day on the treadmill and has managed to lose 50 pounds so far. Well, I wanted to do something about it too. So I woke up this morning with every intention to go for a run. I set my alarm for earlier, and I woke up early. Looked out my window, and it's gray and gloomy and looks like it's about to pour. guess I'm not running this morning. So then, I go to work, and we get out, I get home, and it's still light out. Woohoo!
I quickly changed, didn't even put my clothes away, threw on my running shoes and went outside. Talk about deconditioning. At first, I just kind of stood there, unsure of what I'm supposed to do. I think my muscles just forgot after oh... 5 months of not running. So I started walking quickly. Hey, not too bad! And then I tried to start running. Not too bad, it certainly felt more stable than it did from before the surgery. Pain wise... there seems to be more pain now than before, but it's still too early to tell, and my knee still hasn't recovered 100%. The problem though is that my gait is completely off. I would take a short stride on the bad, right leg, but then a more natural long stride with the left leg. So then, my left leg was taking a pretty strong beating because I would pound my left leg with more force, since I wouldn't transfer so much weight onto my right, if that makes any sense. I realized this, and I tried to correct it, but it was really difficult.
I remember when I was learning to walk again after surgery, I had to try to really exaggerate the stepping motion with my right leg to actually get it into a normal stride. My PT explained the reasoning behind it, but I don't remember it now. So even though it felt like I was really exaggerating the motion, it wasn't a particularly huge motion in reality. So I tried doing that, trying to exaggerate my stride so that it started to feel more natural. But then I started getting the pain behind my kneecap, a similar pain to when I first started walking.
What ended up happening is partly from the issues with the stride and my good, left leg taking a beating, and partly fitness issues, but I would run for about 30 seconds and walk for about a minute. I think my "run" was actually slower than my walk, just because I was trying to figure out my gait again. But it did feel good to be back out there.