No Knee Surgery For Me!

I have been battling knee problems all year.  Basically, the more I run, the more inflamed and sore my knee gets.  I went for an MRI locally in August, and rather than a visit right away with a local surgeon, I chose to wait for a referral with one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in Victoria - what's a few months and a 40-min drive anyway?

I live in a small city, which is served by a "mobile" MRI unit.
Very cool in that there is virtually no wait once you've
been referred.  Unlike the larger hospitals.

Yesterday I got in to see the surgeon, who incidentally is also a triathlete.  The good news is that I'm not a candidate for knee surgery - which I am happy about as I really didn't want to do that (unless it was guaranteed that I'd never have trouble again, yeah right).  The bad news is that the damage is mostly from injuries I'd sustained in my youth, they're not entirely fixable, and the more running I do, the more I will continue to damage my knee.  Yeesh.

Rather than surgery, he wants to try platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) injections.  They are showing a lot of promise in improving joint degradation, specifically related to arthritis which my knee now has a lot of for someone so young.  Yep, the surgeon said someone so young... yeah!  The bummer is they are not covered by health care and are $450 a pop.  I'll definitely be calling my extended health insurance to see if they cover the injections, although it's unlikely.  We're going to start with one in the spring and see about maybe another if there's any improvement.

Not taken with a filter, it was just that grey
of a day yesterday.  November on the west coast.

However... I did get the green light to keep running.  I am not supposed to run very much - we kind of agreed on around 3x/week, runs less than an hour (I'll probably add 1-2x/week water running once I get closer to race season), but with approval to gut it out if I want to do the occasional longer races on that minimal run training.  So I will continue to be the world's-worst runner in triathlon, but I don't have to give it up all together.  The surgeon said I will know at some point, possibly years down the road or possibly sooner, when it's time for me to stop running all together.  His suggestion (music to my ears as it's what I like anyway) is to maximize my swim and cycling training.  Yeah!

I'll be focusing on reducing impact by doing my runs mainly on trails.  I may even try out a pair of Hokas to see what they're like.  But honestly I don't mind this new plan (that I've basically been doing since the summer anyway) of running shorter... I'm going to work on my form and intensity, but don't need to kill myself on 2+ hour runs.  I will still do the odd half iron distance race (something tells me my run splits won't be any worse for the wear) and I would still like to do one more Ironman at some point.

In the spirit of maximizing my swim and bike, and not to mention my love of California wines and road tripping with friends, this morning I signed up for the Full Vineman Aquabike in July.  Yep, an Ironman distance swim and bike (4km & 180km) with no marathon afterwards!  When I told my friend Candace about that race, she said, "Yeah!  You're still in a good mood after the bike!"

At this point my race plans for next year involve a lot of local sprint races, the Vineman Aquabike, possibly the Bend 125 or 250, and possibly a November half ironman.  We are hoping to get another puppy this spring, so that means a year of lots of puppy training and walks in the woods!


  1. Yay for no surgery! Hopefully your knee responds well to the PRP injections.
    I only ran two times a week in preparation for my two Ironmans this summer. Hopefully that will prolong your running life longer.
    Wow- you'll do amazing at an Aquabike! I never knew they did those!

    1. Good to hear... I'll use your 2 runs/week as inspiration!

  2. that sounds like an awesome plan on the aqua bike. Bet you can convince Candace to go with you! Glad to hear you don't need surgery, going under the knife is never good.

    1. Yep, hoping Candace can go with me! Can't go solo to wine country and Jason can't make it that weekend.

  3. I have a friend doing PRP injections too. Seems pretty popular right now. Curious to hear how it works. Hope it gets better!

  4. Yay to a new pup!!! Oh and also yay for no surgery ;) Looking forward to dog-friendly training sessions with you pre-BCBR!