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FRUSTRATED with the limitations of my body!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I've expressed this frustration before, but it's perpetual.

I spent most of my life morbidly obese. That, combined with knee injuries here and there, resulted in osteoarthritis in my knees. The left knee has a reconstructed ACL and has been partially replaced. The portion of the knee that has not been replaced is now bone-on-bone and ripe for full replacement. The right knee is also bone-on-bone. The bottom line is, I wrecked my knees with my weight. I accept that this ultimately is my responsibility.

But occasionally, I want to whine about it. Like today. Now that I have lost the weight, and I want to remain active to keep the weight off, the limitations imposed by my knees makes me angry. Sometimes I ignore the limitations, to my detriment.

Sunday morning I went for a bike ride. This is a no-impact exercise, so it should be good for my knees, right? Except that range of motion is a problem, and bike riding pushes the ROM to the limit. It also requires the exertion of force by the muscles around the joint when the joint is at full-flexion. This is also a problem. I always forget this problem. Ooops.

I rode for 8 miles, and could hardly walk when I was done. Monday morning, I went for a 3 mile run. The run actually made my knee feel better, go figure. So then I went for another bike ride. (Some people have no sense.)

By the end of the day yesterday, my knee was burning when I stood up. It didn't help that I had a 4 hour work shift last night that requires I am on my feet the whole time. I had to take Tylenol just to sleep.

Aaaargh! How am I going to train for a triathlon 5 weeks from now?

Okay, whining over. I've just gotta do it. Supposed to run a 5K tonight, we'll see. But I think I'm off the bike for a few days.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    "Whine" away...you sure don't do it very often, anyway! Every time my foot reminds me that I have an injury, I start taking it easier, so I do understand a bit...
    3156 days ago
    It is frustrating to have your training plans hampered or completely stopped by injuries and chronic pain. I had to suspend my half training because of foot issues (and shin splints) but was eventually able to do the race. If biking is an issue, maybe you need to rethink the tri? I wonder if you could see about getting some PT or a trainer to give you some tips about your knees and your desired activity.
    3156 days ago
    Speaking as another person with wonky knees, I feel your pain. You don't have to give up being athletic, you just have to be more mindful of those knees. That means that there may be activities that you just can't do. And that doesn't make you any less athletic than anyone else. We ALL have limitations of some kind. We just need to learn to work within those limits our bodies have imposed on us.

    As I learned in yoga, don't worry about what your body can't do. Instead, be proud of the things your body can do.

    Because of my knees, I really can't run long distances. So, instead, I'm considering doing something like a Spartan Sprint i.e. an obstacle course. I might not be able to run, but I can climb over, under and through things. I can even carry or pull lots of heavy stuff too.

    You learn to adapt. namaste.

    3157 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    You are amazing to all that you do with the shape your knees are in. I agree with staying off the bike for a few days. Hope your knees feel better soon.
    3158 days ago
    I can almost feel your pain. There are so many athletes who are hurt a lot of the time. Since I have read the book "The primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson I am taking a different perspective on exercise. It may seem extreme to you from what I say here but please take a look at it. It is very possible to maintain a healthy weight without much running or any biking. 80% of keeping the weight down is diet-related. Many people who eat low-carb can maintain with very little exercise. Eating grains can do a lot of damage to joints and other tissues. Triatholons are very hard on any body. They are what Mark Sisson calls "chronic cardio". Given the condition of you knees I would stop biking, only do a little running in minimalist shoes which stops the pounding on the knees and use swimming as primary exercise. If you decide to continue Triathlons take a look at Phil Maffetone's "Big book of Enducrance training and racing". He has a strong focus on maintaining health while running.
    Best wishes to you,
    3158 days ago
    You are amazing. You just keep plugging, even with the limitations. That is an inspiration to us. I hope you are able to continue to train for the triathalon. Have they given you any therapy that can strengthen the muscles around the joint, to help with the ROM? I know my dad had a knee replacement last year and still has some issues with it, but he's also 82. I hope you are able to get some relief.
    3158 days ago
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