I ran a mile and a half yesterday.
That might not sound like much – it didn’t to me, just a year ago. But that was before I took an ungraceful spill while snow skiing on the Ides of March last year, detaching my ACL and sustaining other assorted bodily damage. Running after ACL surgery is a big deal.

running after ACL surgery

Pam LeBlanc wraps up a 1.5 mile run while visiting a friend’s house in Baffin Bay this weekend. It takes a long time to start running after ACL surgery. Chris LeBlanc photo

I underwent reconstruction surgery in May, spent four months tottering around on crutches, and have been trying to strengthen my quad, which turned into a wimpy, hotdog-like appendage in the interim, ever since.

At first, I couldn’t even straighten my leg. Or bend it all the way. I’d stack sacks of popcorn on it to try to get full extension. And it hurt.

I gradually advanced to doing squats and stepping on and off a low box. And I resumed my four-or five times a week swim practice as soon as I was cleared.

Lately, though, I can sense real progress. Two or three months ago, my physical therapist watched as I lurched down the hallway of the Texas Orthopedics office, in a sad attempt to run. I held onto bars as I hopped delicately up and down, trying to get my leg used to impact.

But soon it didn’t hurt so much. I increased the distance bit by bit. This week, I ran a mile and a half without stopping with hardly any discomfort. Then I did it again the next day.

Can you see that smile on my face?

Running’s not my main sport – swimming holds that honor. But I love to cross train to stay fit, and I appreciate the simplicity of putting on my running shoes and walking out the door to get a workout in when I’m traveling.

I’m so sick of going to physical therapy. I’m tired of having a knee that doesn’t feel strong or stable. I want to ski again.

But my doctor told me last week that the graft is solid as a rock. He’s confident I’ll be back to all my usual antics before long. And if this week’s runs are any indication, I believe him.


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I’m Pam LeBlanc. Follow my blog to keep up with the best in outdoor travel and adventure. Thanks for visiting my site.

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