Robin’s Road to Recovery


Please enjoy this guest blog post from our ambassador @knead_to_cook! Check out her blog and website here.

My injury, a torn meniscus in my right knee (& I swear I did something to my left knee as well but we’re keeping that under wraps for now) happened 8 days prior to my 50 mile ultra I had been training 8 months for.  Actually after much thought… I believe it occurred 9 days prior on a walk with my puppy.  She, while I was distracted, took off after a rabbit and spun me violently around.  That evening my right knee felt very tight.  The next morning, I headed out early for a few miles.  Something just felt off.  I stopped to stretch and then resume.  POP!  Then my leg gave out.  I knew this was it.  I got in immediately with my ortho and had X-rays.  Next up an MRI.  He felt I tore my ACL.  For the next week (which was supposed to be my taper week) I had my MRI and waited for my results.  By that appointment, the swelling had decreased and I was able to run on it.  The stability had returned.  I felt all was well.  I then found out it was a tear in the red zone of my knee & this was fortuitous – or so THEY said. My meniscus could be repaired however this would be a longer recovery.  Onward & upward.

I will admit that I was quite upset at the loss of my race.  I was extremely prepared.  Excited.  Had NO fear.   The disappointment of letting my ultra bestie/partner down was worse than not doing the race or the injury.  He was incredibly supportive and kind. The race director was also incredible.  From here I knew I had to focus on recovery. That included many aspects from rest, attitude, PT and the foods I consumed.

Surgery went well. The meniscus was repaired and my journey started.  I followed orders.  Two weeks of bedrest.  This was more challenging than running 80-90 miles per week.  I needed fitness now more than ever.

My upper body was my focus. My doctor was fine with any exercises I could do from my bed (always get your doctor’s approval first).  Here is what I did over the next two weeks during waking hours:

Dumbbell shoulder presses until muscle exhaustion.  Sitting up in bed (my leg was still elevated), using two hand weights, I did as many reps as I could until the muscles were completely fatigued.  Each day the number of reps would increase. Progress!

Bicep curls until complete muscle fatigue

Seated overhead weight extension to work your tricep muscles but remaining in bed.


Abs.  I did hundreds of these per day.  Laying with your upper body flat (leg still elevated per doc’s orders), I would crunch my upper body up and hold for 3 seconds then recline back down.  Do as many as you can until the abs are fatigued.


For my knee my PT prescribed quad extensions to help reduce the inflammation in the knee.  Contracting the quad muscle forced out the fluid build-up. Your doctor or PT will clearly lay out the details of what you can do with the recovering leg.

Food & healing need not be overlooked.  I filled my diet with lots of anti-inflammatory foods that would aid in my healing.  I included:

Turmeric –  Add this spice to roasted vegetables, in your smoothies or to top popcorn.
Brussels Sprouts
Sweet potatoes
Nuts and seeds
Green tea

I kept my diet mainly raw until dinner when I would eat a big salad with roasted veggies & hummus.  I truly believe that my body made rapid strides because it allowed my food to process through my body quickly so it could focus on healing v. digesting dense meals.  I did eat every 2-3 hours to food my body with the nutrients it needed to heal.  Drink water!  Lots of it.  All day long.

Vegetables Strawberries

Sleep as much as you can.  I struggled with this a lot as I wasn’t really tired because I wasn’t moving as much.

Zone out & detach!  Get caught up on your favorite shows or find new ones to love.  Netflix became my best friend.  I also devoured some new books.  Watched tons of YouTube videos about nutrition.

Take pictures.  I took them every few days and did side-by-side comparisons to see my progress.  This helped me to stay positive throughout this journey.

Therapy is crucial.  I’m very lucky to be friends with my physical therapist who is also a runner.  He was understanding, which I needed during this time of inactivity.  I went there not only to rehab my knee but for support in my recovery.  He consistently listened to me as I aired frustrations (and yes, you will have them) which helped me tremendously.  He refocused me on recovery and resetting my attitude.  You need this as well as a good cry from time to time (just being honest).  Another pillar of healing is doing the at-home exercises your doc prescribes.  Every single day.

Recovery Photo Recovery Photo with Crutches

As slow as some days move, the overall recovery marches on.  Every single day you move forward to being stronger than before.

Today, I’m 5 weeks post op and able to ride a bike for 30 minutes, increasing my level & duration each time.  I can go to the gym to lift weights.  Free from my crutches/brace.   And can walk up and down my stairs without grimacing.  My range of motion is just shy of 130 degrees (which is a full bend).  I know I have a long road ahead of me before I can run again but seeing my daily strides fuels my attitude of beating yesterday.

The post Robin’s Road to Recovery appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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