Sunday, January 25, 2015

Finally, Help for My Knee!

Finally, some relief for my knee!
(Photo courtesy of  Buzzmills)
If you've been following my blog at all, you know that I suffered a stress fracture and major knee injury (believed to be a torn meniscus, but got differing diagnoses) and even after more than two years, I'm left with painful bursitis and a visible effusion (like water on the knee).  I'm finally to the point where I can walk without major pain and even get into a very slow jog on the treadmill for short distances, as long as I don't overdue it.

Still, while I no longer really need a brace for my knee, sometimes it feels like it doesn't want to lock, and it does start throbbing if I do too much.  I haven't been able to find anything that works to help ease the pain and provide support, and I've tried a number of different things.

  • Ace wraps didn't stay on.
  • Elastic sleeves of a similar, yet thicker material were too tight yet still wouldn't stay in place.
  • I can't recall the name of it, but that tape that sticks to itself sticks so good that you can't get it unraveled to reuse (horse people would know it as vet wrap, but this is much more narrow). 

I was getting tired of throwing money away and not getting any relief, so I'm very happy to report that I think I finally found a product that will help my knee and get me on my way to a full recovery.  (No, it's not some wacky supplements either, although I do believe some of those have helped me too).

I'm not going to reveal just yet what it is, because I've been talking with the company that makes this product and been told that they'll pass along a good deal to my readers who might want to try it, so hang tight, and as soon as I finalize the details, I'll have that information for you in a future post.

My goal is to complete a 5K next month so I'm going to have to step up the training, as much as an overweight 57-year-old with tired bones can, anyway. Since my left knee has been a little tender lately too (no doubt due to compensating for the injured right knee for more than two years), I'm going to pick up a second product for that one too, and hopefully prevent injury to that knee.

Keep an eye on my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and make sure to watch for the blog post where I share what this product is, and how those of you with stressed knees can get one too.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other!

~ Marie Anne

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tights for the win!

©Marie Anne St. Jean
It's been bitterly cold here lately, and I'm so thankful that I bought the treadmill when I did, because it's kept me moving when weather conditions would have had me sidelined.  I've not been doing any real long or strenuous workouts, usually just a mile or so at a time, sometimes just walking, sometimes warming up with a walk and breaking into a slow jog for part of it, but it beats burying myself on the couch under a blanket.

I wasn't sure I'd do much more today than normal, between Sunday school, church, and having to run out to tend to chickens in cold weather every two hours at a minimum, and those dishes in the sink won't wash themselves, but I climbed aboard and started putting one foot in front of the other to see where it might take me.

Let me back up a minute ... I was angry at myself for not doing laundry the other day because I found I didn't have any clean longjohns to wear today.  Not only is it chilly in here, but my sweatpants fit better with an extra layer underneath because they're all so big and baggy.  Thinking about what I might be able to substitute, I remembered I had some warm tights that I picked up at a bargain price somewhere online - they're sweater tights made by Chinese Laundry.  They're almost like leggings (but they're tights, so have feet) so I said what the heck, let me give them a try.  I put them on and they fit snugly like tights, but they're heavier and warm, so I decided to forego the sweatpants altogether and just wear a long sweatshirt over the tights and call it good.  I wasn't expecting any deliveries on a Sunday, so no worries about the FedEx or UPS driver catching me in something I'd rather not be caught wearing.

They felt good.  I felt good.

I started off at a walk and thought I'd try to get a mile or so in at a minimum, not really wanting to do much more after the big bowl of chili I'd just eaten for lunch.  After the warm-up at a walk, though, I started to feel a little frisky, so kicked into a slow jog.  When I saw the 20 minute mark coming up, I decided to go for 25, then 30 minutes, then 45, and oh why not ... let's see if you can get to 3 miles and a 5K, MA ... and I did!

3.2 miles at a 3.7 mph pace

I stopped at 3.2 miles to try to get a picture of the console, then started back up at a slow walk to cool down properly, and ended up with a full 60 minute workout when all was said and done.

Full hour, including warm-up and cool down

Now my jog is still a slow one - today's jaunt was a 3.7 mph pace after the walking warm-up - but I'm 57 years old, still overweight (but working on that!), and only started working out a couple of months ago after the knee injury more than two years ago.  That I'm doing anything at all is a blessing indeed, and I'm grateful for how far I've come, and every step that I'm able to take.

So I made two milestones today ... I completed the equivalent of a 5K in one workout (although the first half mile or so was at a walk), and I worked out for a full 60 minute stretch.  My next personal challenge will be do the full 5K at a jog, and I'll be doing that in support of the family of a former Marine I served with many years ago (separate blog post coming about that ... and I'll throw down the gauntlet in a challenge to all of you).

I honestly don't think I would have done as much today if I'd been wearing my sweatpants that feel cumbersome flapping around my legs.  The more comfortable I feel, the more motivated I am to do more, and I feel good about myself.  There's another whole blog post in my head on that subject, so I'll leave that for another time, and instead leave you with this:

This is how I felt after completing my workout today.  Enjoy!

~ Marie Anne

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