Visit to the Knee Doctor

February 26, 2010

My Knee Doctor

Just returned from High Performance Sports Medicine—yeah they agreed to see me despite my modest performance status—Dr. Bradley has offered a diagnosis; Quad Tendonitis and Patello-Femoral Syndrome, AKA jumpers knee.  I asked him point blank about my chances for being able to run 26.2 miles in April and he didn’t say no; he said that I would know soon enough. He did step up the treatment plan a bit. I am now taking some anti-inflammatory meds and will begin physical therapy ASAP.

Doctor Explaining What is Wrong with My Knee

I am going to check Amazon to see if there is an “Orthopedics for Dummies” volume. One of the treatments prescribed is VMO ( Vastus Medialis Obliquus) / Patella mechanics; I think that’s the technical term for stretching my legs properly. Other treatments include Myofascial massage, Electrical Stimulation, Ultrasound and Ionto/Phonophoresis, not to mention Strengthening and Stretching. I feel better already!


Just when I thought it was safe…

February 24, 2010

I was walking around the other day and for the first time in a long time, did not notice that my knee was hurting. I had given the 52 year old joint some time off but figured it was time to get back on the road, the race is getting frighteningly close.  The knee felt good for about 10, maybe 20 steps. One block later I turned around returned home. I did manage and 1 ½ hours on the elliptical with no pain but running is not yet working. I go to the orthopedic surgeon soon.

As I told my neighbor Mark Steadman while limping home, “if I can just get the knee to cooperate, I am sure I can cross the finish line. It won’t be pretty but then it never has been”.

Running on the Challenging Road to Recovery

February 23, 2010

This past fall my knees decided it was time for a break. After two intense races in a row I could hardly walk. I think it was the extreme downhill from Reach the Beach – so I went to my Doc. After some x-rays my Doc said my knees are in better shape than when he worked on them several years ago. “You are fine, quit whining”.  I promptly dressed for a run, gingerly jogged about a mile down the road and had to turn and hobble home. Over the winter I have been keeping my knee rested.

This was going to be the year I break through the 4-hour mark, it’s not looking like it’s going to happen at Boston. I closed out the fall with a PB in the half marathon distance; my time (1:55) was good enough to make me ambitious. Oh well.

In the past two years I have run this race for my family, the marathon team and Mass General. I have trained hard to give back to them and say thank you what they have done for me.  This year is a little different. I want to complete this year’s marathon for the same reasons, but also for me. I won’t be running a PB or  under 4 hours, I just hope to finish with some dignity….and of course, raise a little money for a great organization.

Since the new year, I have been trying to balance healing with training. I am going for two or three runs a week. One longish and the others gentle brief excursions to stay tuned, plus a little bit of weight lifting to build strength. My engine seems to be running fine, in fact I am probably running faster than I should and am certain I can go much farther than my knee wants to. Although this routine doesn’t seem to be working. I don’t feel like I am getting better, in fact it sometimes seems worse.

My goal at this point to somehow get my mileage up near the 20 mile mark pre-race (in the past two Boston races, I trained past race distance just to be certain). I think it’s time to get back to the doctor. If I can manage to keep the knee working I am confident, I can drag myself along the 26+ miles, albeit slowly.

On the bright side, spring is definitely springing. There is nothing wrong with 32 degree sunny morning for a nice run!


Make a Wish Trip to Orlando

February 12, 2010

This winter my family went on a Make a Wish trip to Orlando Florida:

even the curbside pickup was special!

Alexander’s big wish? To get SLIMED at Nick Studios!

We got to meet some Superheros

We visited Universal Studios and Epcot Center

We met Shamu and fed dolphins

I can’t say enough about the Make-a-Wish Foundation. They arranged everything and we were afforded special treatment. Give Kids the World excellent organization which helped grant Alexander’s Orlando wish. We will forever have wonderful family memories because of this trip.  Check out the Flickr Page for more photos of my Family.


Fighting Kids Cancer…One Step at a Time

February 8, 2010

My youngest son, Alexander and me (Dad) after 2008 Marathon

My youngest son Alexander was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June of 2006. I am extremely happy to report that he is on the road to recovery.

MassGeneral Hospital has helped my family over the past four years and in gratitude I am running my third Boston Marathon in support of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, raising money to help fund childhood cancer research and clinical services. You can check out the MassGeneral Marathon team here!

We invite you to visit our donation page here – remember, any amount helps and goes toward research, treatment and a cure for childhood cancer.  To read more about our family’s story you can check our family website here and stay tuned for more information on the blog about this year’s unique journey.

We appreciate all of your support and look forward to sharing Boston Marathon news, my training runs, pictures and our family updates!

-Mark Meche