Running After Knee Surgery: Qualified For Boston Marathon 2009

Boston Marathon?

Running After Knee Surgery?

FitOldDog in Boston Marathon 2009 shirt

I was sad when I lost that shirt. Fond memories. I want to run Boston again!

Hell, I qualified for the Boston Marathon (2009), only two years after the last of three knee surgeries (split meniscus, both sides, Baker’s cyst, bilateral inflamed plicae).

Still doing Ironman training, and running after knee surgery, seven years later. In spite of overcoming ITBS and plantar fasciitis (2x), a displaced pelvis (bike wreck), followed by dry needling (ouch!).

I just love life and training.

Keeps me out of assisted living!


running after knee surgery: FitOldDog aged 10

FitOldDog, aged 10 (right), in Brighton, England, with his Mom, younger brother and sister. Mom taught us to appreciate an education from an early age.

Two of these surgeries were a direct result of my approach to running (heel strike).

I was reminded of  this experience, while working with a client of my First Ironman Over 50 Mentoring Program.

An ex-High School, Cross Country runner, wanting to run again in his early 50s. BIGGEST DANGER -> memories, thinking he can run just like he did in High School – forget that, old man!

I have strong opinions about High School education, including running, but that’s another story!

I saw all the signs of impending knee damage. I ran through the issues with him (there were lots of them). This great guy is now on his way to learning how to run safely.

He isn’t a teenager anymore, but he sure wants to run (and bike and swim, safely and well).

How did I overcome my running-induced knee damage.

In my mid-60s?

Three things, apart from patience and a love of Ironman:

FitOldDog's body movement instructors

Body awareness training! Lots of it! Feldenkrais, Continuum, Gyrokinesis, Pilates, Yoga, etc.


Running after knee surgery: Danny Dryer

Chi Running: I met Danny Dreyer one day, and he was the same guy as on his videos. Just a regular guy with no ego. I like that, and I like Chi-Running as an approach to low impact progression across the surface of planet Earth.


FitOldDog's Ironman Coach, AIMP Ironman Coaching, Chris Hauth,

A gifted coach: Chris taught me many things, one of which was to keep pushing during the race.

Pretty simple really.

Now I’m working to pass it on, and save people from the mistakes I made.

Lots of them.

You can sign up here for my newsletter, if you are so inclined.

Happy Trails,

FitOldDog (training for the Louisville Ironman, at age 72 – well, I’ll be 73 on race day).

Life is good.



  1. Mary Jackson says

    My problems began after a spring of training for a 5K with a local running club/ clinic. They used the Chi running method and added a metronome feature. The clinicians insisted that the optimal steps per minute could only be achieved at a specific speed (I think the metronome marking was around 90.) At any rate, it put a lot of stress on my lower leg muscles and feet. I ended up with an extreme case of PF.

    In October, I decided to have open PF surgery. The PF was removed, heel spur removed, and also removed a nerve. My foot has never been the same.

    I’m currently seeing a new provider who has a conservative approach. I’ve moved into Dansko shoes for support (my arch is slowly collapsing.) I’ll pick up some new custom orthotics in 3 weeks, and then I’ll begin intensive PT. I had PT last year, but it was subpar at best.

    I live in a small rural town, and most of the better healthcare seems to be in the big city.

    • Hi Mary,
      I think this would make a great post. I could write about the use of metronomes (I’ve used them for swimming and running, but they come with risks, as you know). Could you provide a photo of you running, perhaps – I really want to get you back running, SAFELY, if it can be done. Just like to do that kind of thing. Kind Regards,

    • Hi Mary.
      On reflection, I can’t believe they removed your plantar fascia. Can you be more specific? That makes no sense. I wish I could stop all the stupid surgeries and cortisone injections, for a condition that doesn’t start in the feet. I write about it, based on personal experience and my medical and movement training, but no-one is listening:
      Sometimes, I just give up on talking about it, and go back to my work on reducing animal abuse. Then I read stories likes yours, and I start ranting again.
      The problem is the tendency of doctors to assume that the pain is where the problem is. Drives me nuts. But then, the world has always been crazy.
      I bet there is a way to get you running, but I need to know more about your surgery (I’m a research, veterinary pathologist, btw, you know, BVSc, PhD, Dip ACVP, and all that stuff), but no MD, therefore I feel like a voice in the wilderness.
      That feels better.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.