The Decision Not to Get Knee Replacements at Age 46

3 Jun

This post was supposed to be all about Day 1 of Insanity.  I would write about the difficult fit test (I was pouring sweat).  I would write about how I proudly crossed my workout off my Insanity wall calendar (I almost asked Adam to take a picture of me I was so excited).  I would write about my meals for the day, following the Insanity meal plan (I’ve been surprisingly satisfied).  I would tell you my initial thoughts and excitement (Shaun’s voice is slightly annoying, but I like the set).

Though all those things happened this morning, this post is not about all that…

This morning my alarm went off as usual and I excitedly remembered today was the day to start Insanity.  I laid in bed a few more minutes trying to convince myself to wake up.  No matter how excited I am for something, I still don’t want to wake up.  I must’ve fallen back asleep because I suddenly woke with a huge start, “I have a sports med doctor appointment this morning!!”  I completely forgot about my follow-up appointment and panicked that I was too late.  (How I remembered it in a start I have no idea).  Thankfully it was only 6:50 am and my appointment wasn’t until 8:30.  I decided to just move quickly in order to get through Day 1 of Insanity.  Adam took my before pictures and I watched the DVD.  Hilariously, step 1 was Obtain MD Consent…well isn’t that just convenient.  After finishing the fit test (I was only slightly sweaty and asthmatic), I quickly showered and went off to the doctor.

Over the last month, my recurrent knee pain has greatly reduced.  I have been going to physical therapy twice a week and performing exercises to strengthen my hips at home.  My Physical Therapist is wonderful and tells me I have been making great strides with my Runner’s Knee.  I would agree because my knees no longer ache at rest.  I’ve been feeling good and she even cleared me to start running this week (yay!).  My appointment today was with the sports med doc who originally diagnosed my runner’s knee and prescribed physical therapy.  Honestly I completely forgot about it altogether! (oops!) On my drive over I was contemplating whether or not to tell him I was starting Insanity.  After watching the intro DVD this morning I started getting really nervous.  It showed the proper form for squats, lunges, and jumps…all things my doc previously told me to avoid.  Is it possible Insanity might be harder on my knees than running?

Once I arrived a resident reviewed my symptoms and history.  He examined both knees and I explained the pain (and my decision to run 2 half-marathons sort of against doctor orders).  The resident was a runner and also has done Insanity – how convenient!  When I told him sheepishly I started Day 1 of Insanity today he just sort of shook his head.  He thought for a moment and said, “you know…Insanity will be harder on your knees than running.”  Le sigh.  I was really hoping he wouldn’t say that.  After he finished his exam my doctor came in to take a look.  He was very pleased with my progress and said that he could tell that things were looking better.  (Hooray!)  But… (and there’s always a but) my knees are still recovering and they aren’t fully there yet.  Okay.  I can deal with that.   He said it was time to start running and gave me a 5 week schedule to follow to build back up my mileage.  The first run is .5 mile just to give you an idea of where I’ll start out.  Double sigh.

Should I even mention Insanity?  He’s just going to say no.  If he doesn’t want me to run more than half a mile I hardly think he will allow Insanity.

“Well, I don’t know if the resident told you…but I just started Insanity today and I was hoping to incorporate that daily.”

Look of unhappiness crosses doctor’s face.

“Is that the one full of squats and jumping?”

I started feeling hot as my face turned red


After discussing it for a few minutes my doc agreed to allow me to start Insanity but… not bend my knees more than 30 degrees.  I also wasn’t allowed to double up running and Insanity – too much stress on my knees.  I could do one or the other.  I left with a running plan, prescription for orthotics, and a huge lump of disappointment in my stomach.  I couldn’t help but feel depressed.  My plans were all shot now!  I should’ve felt happy that my knees were making such good progress – instead I was so incredibly disappointed.


Ignore the laughter – 2 convos at once…but you can see where Dr. Adam’s feelings are on the matter.

The rest of the morning I had a bit of a sad attitude and really didn’t know what to do.  Should I do Insanity, but have to modify like crazy and worry about my knees?  Should I push it off for a few months until my knees fully recover?  Should I try it for a week and see how my knees feel? I threw around all the options in my head and landed on what felt to be the smartest decision: I shouldn’t continue with Insanity yet.  (Noooooo!!)

My knees are just beginning to recover, I would be heartbroken if I had another setback with them.  Yes I’m a little heartbroken I can’t get going on Insanity, but the nice thing is: I still have the DVDs and program!  It isn’t going anywhere, there is no rush or time limit on finishing it.  I’m just going to have to be patient and wait until my knees are ‘back to normal.’  At the heart of things I’m a runner, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that…especially after I’ve seen so many improvements lately.

So I’m sad to report that you won’t be able to follow along with the Insanity program.  No updates, no reports, and no reviews.  I always love following blogs that have goals and programs so it’s disappointing not to be able to write about that journey. But I think there comes a point where you just have to let go of ego (This is where I say get a grip Kelly…your only hard-core dedicated reader won’t care what you write about.  Hi Mom!) and do what’s smart.


Yeah I even let this thought cross my mind…thank goodness for Adam and auto-correct.

So instead I’m going to come up with a game plan over the next few days and create a program to help strengthen my knees and my running.  I have no idea what that will look like – but I’m sure I will think of something.  Throughout the day I have felt more positive about my diagnosis, and honestly, I’m truly happy to be taking care of my knees.  I believe they will thank me some day.  And maybe, just maybe…I’ll get that sub 1:50 half-marathon.

So until I have a plan…have a happy Monday!


23 Responses to “The Decision Not to Get Knee Replacements at Age 46”

  1. hkzwart June 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Ah, man. That’s what I was afraid of. A lot of people, me included, jump into Insanity on the heels of P90X, expecting that they’re ready for ANYTHING after that! But, like I said earlier (and tried to be diplomatic and not crush your enthusiasm) the programs are SO different with such different impact and results. I, too, “quit” Insanity in week #1 due to knee issues… too many years of catching double-headers in softball! It’s NOT a program for anyone with knee pain. The good news is, I’m sure the P90X played a huge part in strengthening your knees, as it did for me. I still haven’t done Insanity, and probably never will. But I’ve done TurboFire, Combat, P90X2, BBL, and HipHopAbs with no issues. Knee issues also stopped me from running, so I’m GLAD that you’ve been able to maintain that! You made a great (but not easy) choice to stop the Insanity! :)

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 4, 2013 at 8:37 am #

      Aww thanks for the sympathy! :) And you’re right – the more I think about it, the more confident I am that this is the best move for right now. I’ve been spending the past day brainstorming next steps thinking about Beachbody programs… did you like TurboFire? I want to switch things up and do a more cardio based program just for variety. Which has been your favorite program?

      • hkzwart June 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

        I’m so sorry for the late reply! I just saw your response to my response… my bad. Yes, TurboFire has been my FAVORITE program. It’s totally cardio, with just a bit of strength training, but using light bands, so nice change from P90X. It’s a super fun, high energy party and the short HIIT days (high intensity interval training) send your metabolism thru the roof and keep those calories burning. Lost 11 pounds doing this one. Talk to your Beachbody coach about getting that one for your collection!

  2. Mandy June 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    Oh no Kelly! Sorry to hear that your knees aren’t as ready for Insanity as you are. However, I think you’re facing a really common problem and your readers will definitely benefit from seeing how you adapt, deal, and overcome. You seem like a determined and enthusiastic woman that won’t let some bum knees keep ya down for too long. :) thanks for your vulnerability with this post!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 4, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Thanks Mandy! Your words are so much appreciated!! I woke up today feeling much better and really seeing the positive: I can still run and train :) It’s just not exactly how I had in mind, which might turn out to be a good thing! Thanks again!

  3. Tubontherun June 4, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I’m sad for you that you can’t do Insanity, but I think it’s definitely the right decision. You must take care of your joints, especially knees. But, all that aside – yay to being able to start running again!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 4, 2013 at 8:39 am #

      You are so right – the positive is still there: my knees are getting better and I can start running again! And thanks for the vote of confidence in my decision. It was a hard one to make, I appreciate the encouragement!! :)

  4. tootallfritz June 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    It’s never fun having to come to terms with an imperfect body but if you build slowly you will be stronger in the end. Sounds stupid and boring and safe but I had to deal with it last summer. I tore a tendon in my foot that took forever to heal. You can do it, just take it one day at a time.

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Agreed…it always stinks to realize that it might be a slow process. But in the end it is so worth it to be stronger! Thanks for the encouragement – much appreciated! :)

  5. megbek June 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Hey, good for you for following what’s going to be the best decision ever. You want your knees to work with you, not against you. And hey, at least for me, I read your blog because I love anything to do with fitness, especially running. So this is a win for a reader like me! I’m sorry you’re feeling disappointed, as I’m sure I would too. But, the fact that you can run again is like the best thing ever and you hit the nail on the head – insanity can wait. In the mean time, I am loving your FIANCE’s (:)) support and the conversations you two had! :) Good job listening to your doctor and your body and making the right decision. You are wise.

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Thanks lady! I’m feeling better and better about the decision. Sometimes it is just all about realigning expectations. I did my first .5 mile run this morning and it was validating that this is the right way to go! Thanks for the vote of confidence :) And yeah – Adam is such a doll…he’s been pretty vocal about the whole ‘don’t mess up your knees’ thing – I guess I should listen :) Thanks again for the support!!

  6. RunningTallTails June 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Hey! I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award! Keep up the great work! I have enjoyed reading your blog!

  7. Emma @ Culturecopia June 6, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Just stumbled upon your blog thanks to your comment :) Looking forward to reading more about your fitness journey! Love the blog layout, btw ;)

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 6, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Aww glad you stumbled! Thanks for joining Emma! And I know right?? I would say you have the best layout ever…not biased ;)

  8. Jay June 6, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    I am awaiting my Insanity package to arrive today, and plan to start this weekend/next week work schedule dependent on travel. Thanks for the like and hope you heal fast!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 6, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      Oh that’s awesome!! Good luck with it – I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time with it. It looks like a truly awesome program. Thanks for the sympathy – here’s to a quick recovery :) Have fun with Insanity!!

      • terry4505 June 12, 2013 at 10:19 am #

        Hey Kelly,

        I’m so sorry to hear this!

        I think you are making the best long-term decision. My dad just had his knee replaced last week, and it’s not been fun for him (he was a life-long runner)

        There are definitely programs out there that are lower impact, while you knees continue to recover.

        Whatever you decide to do, I’ll be following you!

        • kelly @ racesrepsramblings June 12, 2013 at 11:14 am #

          Thanks Terry!

          Yeah I was in quite a funk for a couple days :( I was really looking forward to Insanity. But I agree – the more I think about it, the more I feel it is the best long-term decision. I’m so sorry about your Dad – hopefully he’ll be feeling better soon and can get back at being active. I guess that’s exactly what I’m trying to prevent.

          I’m excited about my new plan for the next few weeks and whatever I figure out for after that!

          Thanks so much for the support!


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