10 Things I Have learned 1-Year Post Hamstring Surgery
It’s My One Year Hami-versery Y’all
I know – hard to believe but 1 year ago today I had hamstring surgery to repair my partially torn (and very scar tissue laden) right hamstring.
Although from the outside it might look like recovery has occurred without any blips – that was not the case. Recovery from hamstring surgery has been filled with highs and lows, with some days being much, much better than others. What I kept telling myself was that I just needed to stick to the plan (I love a good plan). After a couple of weeks I started stringing more good than bad days together and that kept my outlook upbeat.
My surgeon was very conservative and I did not even lace up my sneakers until Feb 2021. I tried to “beat” the time line but my surgeon held fast. I was lucky to be allowed to crutch around the neighborhood (what a workout) and finally start biking in December.
My first run I felt (and probably looked) like a Pheobe on Friends.
Return to Running (Thus Far)
Coach James took my “Return to Running” very conservatively. All of my first runs were intervals of more walking than running. I still felt at the end of those runs like I ran a marathon.
I got stronger, my runs got longer, and a bit by bit I have built my mileage back 40-45 miles a week. I do understand the significance of this and look back on the last 8ish months at where I was and where I am now.
Do I want to be faster – hell yes!!! But during a run last weekend I realized I need to give myself grace. I’ve come far and at this point I am exactly where I need to be in my running journey.
So – when I line up to run the Hartford Half Marathon next weekend – it won’t be a PR BUT it will be a PR of where I was last year and that was NOT running.
One of the things that’s been great over the past year is how many other people in similar situations have reached out to me. They wanted to thank me for my post hamstring surgery posts because (as I found out) there is not a lot of information on the interwebs. I did learn a lot from several Facebook Groups which got very dark as I was trying to recover. I ended up having to distance myself from them because it turned out that the majority of the posts were from individuals whose surgery did not go well.
So I wanted to end this post with an update on 10 things I learned while recovering from hamstring surgery. Hopefully some of these tips will help you on your recovery journey.
10 Things I Have Learned While Recovering From Hamstring Surgery (1 Year Later)
- Recovery is not a straight line – be prepared to have bad days.
- Bad days does not mean the surgery “did not work”. It just means you need to take it easy or scale back what you are doing.
- Listen to your doctor – don’t try to beat the recovery time line.
- There will be days 3,6,9 and even at 12 months where you are sore. Don’ freak out! Continue to stretch and back of of activity if you need to.
- When you are cleared for exercises – DON”T try to do all the things. You will regret it the next day.
- Invest in a good ice pack that you can sit on or wrap around your leg. I love this one.
- When you are discharged from PT – CONTINUE TO DO THE BORING EXERCISES. There is a reason why you got stronger so don’t let these fall by the wayside.
- When you start being active again – give yourself grace. You have been immobile and/or inactive for some period of time. Regardless of how fit you “were” – you need to get strong again.
- Do not compare yourself to our “prior surgical self”. Remember this is major surgery and you (whether you like it or not) have changed – again give yourself grace.
- And Finally – remember how far you have come and that every day (with everything you do) you are getting just a bit stronger!!!