First post-ACL-tear run

I won’t bury the lede: Today, for the first time since I tore my ACL Jan. 8, I ran!

It was five minutes on the treadmill at 10-minute mile pace, but the euphoria I felt was closer to breaking the tape at the Boston Marathon. I listened to Muse’s cover of “Feeling Good” on my iPod for the whole half mile, and felt so grateful to be well enough and strong enough to run! I appreciated every footfall: each powerful heel strike, each joyous push-off.

It’s been almost 10 weeks since my ACL tear, and almost seven weeks since my ACL-reconstruction surgery. In other words, it had been a while, and ever since my doctor mentioned running around the six-week mark, I was eying today’s appointment eagerly.

After confirming that my ACL graft is “ka-thunking” properly, my doctor mentioned casually that I could run. It wasn’t 30 minutes before I was on the treadmill.

That wasn’t the only piece of good news today. I upped my single-leg-press weight to 100 pounds for my injured leg, and got cleared to do butterfly kick and to push off the wall while swimming (no more weird, middle-of-the-pool flipturns!). I also got a dismissive, “of course you can” hand wave when I asked about potentially running six-ish miles in a two-person half-marathon relay at the New Jersey Marathon in May.

I’m reminded, as I was after wrist surgery last year, of what Ernest Hemingway wrote in “The Sun Also Rises:” That a man goes broke “gradually, and then suddenly.” Though it’s been a long road back to anything resembling normalcy, every gradual baby step on that road led to one sudden, victorious run on the treadmill today.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “First post-ACL-tear run

  1. AWESOME Amy!!! I am so happy to hear this. Can’t wait to read about all your upcoming, kick ass runs. Wanna race?

  2. Gradually, and then suddenly

    Today I noticed the buds are out on the trees; bright red. They’ve been growing, slowly, steadily, for a while now. But today was the first day they stood out. Spring, continues.

  3. AMAZING! Too funny, that we’re both returning to running at the same time. Although your time off has been 2x as long as mine & involved an actual injury, I can definitely relate to how good it feels. Keep it up dude!

  4. amy

    This is so awesome! Congrats!

  5. lizard151

    Great news! Congratulations!!

  6. Awesome work girl! Way to go! I bet it feels great to get back runnin! Hope to see in a pair of Intuitions in not too long!

  7. Tiffany

    Yay!!! Go you!

  8. I’ve had this post marked in my reader for a week, but sadly couldn’t summon the ability to actually comment on it. Amy, I’m so so happy for you! I hope you have thousands and thousands of injury-free miles ahead.

    • If it helps, I’ve learned that for each minute of running, I require 30 minutes of icing and elevating later that day. I’ll be needing therapeutic swim dates for a looong time yet!

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