Injuries and the Road to Recovery
By Luis Andarcia

6 weeks have passed since the day I went in for surgery to repair a meniscus in my right knee. Seems like a short time, but when you're used to being active, and one of the requirements of your job is being healthy, things can get tricky.

It all started on a bike ride through Paradise Loop in June last year when I thought to my self, I should be recovering, just got back from the Half Iron distance race in Venezuela, where I had a good day until I found out that I missed the last turn-around cone before the finish line, but that's another story..., a small pain in the lateral side of the right knee, just another pain, maybe the IT band was getting irritated as I was increasing the mileage in my training focusing on the next big goal IM Cozumel. No problem, got home after the ride, no time for stretching, got family waiting so gotta move on. I was also signed up for the new San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz, so the next day, have to run long and keep moving.

The pain, stayed consistent, didn't get worse or didn't go away, it did start flaring at other times, when jumping in the car, walking down the stairs, hmm, maybe I should get a massage and set up an appointment for PT at that place in the Presidio. After 6 or 8 sessions, nope, not any better.

What happened? After 20 years in the sport this was the first time I had a nagging consistent pain that wouldn't get better or worse, it was just there, reminding me all the time, maybe the IT band, maybe meniscus? No way I had two big races ahead where I wanted to prove the world that 40 was going to be my big year. The two races went by, 12 in the age group at Alcatraz, not bad. IM Cozumel, my first one of that distance, all of you that have finished an IM know what it feels like. 11:24:01, fun, crazy, terrible, amazing, all of those at the same time.

Back home in early December I decide to stop running and figure out if the pain would go away by it self, I was still teaching indoor cycling though, seven times a week so the pause wasn't total. I decided to put a deadline to it , if by January the pain wasn't gone I would have to find a good knee Dr. and get an MRI.