If you've been following along at home for the past several years...I'm sorry. You're a glutton for punishment. But you also know that my running "career" has been a roller coaster, riding on rusting rails with no safety harness. I've had relatively uninterrupted periods of training, followed by debilitating injuries and down time. Sometimes I'm out of the game for a year or more at a time. I've officially given up on running more than once during the past few years. In 2015, I became a cyclist. I actually started enjoying it. However, one bad crash left me with a broken radius in my left arm, which required surgery to fix. Last year, I did very little endurance training. A bit of weight training, lots of walking, but only a couple of bike rides toward the end of the year, and barely any running.
This year, I decided to take a shot at triathlons, if and only if my body would allow the running.
As I mentioned in my previous post, this confirmed land mammal has mixed feelings about doing a triathlon (again, I most likely will do one, or more!), but the running is coming along much better than expected.
I'm convinced that one reason I'm able to run without as much knee pain is because of my change in footwear. Over a year ago, my friend Kenny turned me on to Hokas. I had heard about them, but never really considered giving them a shot. My first pair (which I still use) were the Hoka One One Bondi 3. The high level of cushioning was much more agreeable to my angry left knee than all the previous shoe models I had been rotating. After several runs in the Hokas, I did one run in a different brand I used to wear religiously, and the knee pain returned. That was enough to completely convert me.
I've recently added a pair of Hoka One One Clifton 2's to my rotation. I've only run in them once, but so far, so good.
There is still some slight knee pain (and my surgically repaired right hip still gets sore, but that's another story), but it's not enough pain to keep me from running through it. And, according to my orthopedist, an MRI I had on that knee over a year ago showed no cartilage or structural damage. So, as long as the pain isn't too great, I'll continue running on the mystery knee.
I'm still very cautious about celebrating my full return to running, and I'm taking it very slowly. No sudden mileage or frequency increases. But if I can very gradually rebuild frequency, mileage and intensity, who knows? (I'm NOT saying the "m" word!) I think cross-training will always be a necessity for me, even if the running progresses well.
So, maybe Hokas have helped me resurrect my running!
Fingers, toes & laces crossed...