Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trying to Stay Positive

Saw the podiatrist yesterday, and while he is happy with my progress I must say I am not. Nine weeks after surgery, I still have not received clearance to do anything of high impact. This bothers me, because I had thought when he said "eight weeks" it meant I could run again after eight weeks; turns out, it's that I can walk again. Running is still out of the question.
He says the x-rays look great, that when he used to perform the same surgery and didn't connect the bones with a plate, it was four months in a cast. I was out of a cast at four weeks. Yeah, yeah; yada, yada. Not what I wanted to hear regardless.
Now, I have great faith in this doctor. He knows exactly what I want to do with my feet, and he respects that. So I know he is only telling me the right thing, but that doesn't mean I have to like it (insert whine here).
Naturally, upon hearing the news, I did what every triathlete does--I cried a little and then looked at the calendar, working backwards from my A race (in this case Ironman 70.3 Steelhead on Aug. 19) to make sure I would have enough time to train. The training plans I have perused say it takes 20 weeks to train sufficiently for that distance--1.2-mile swim; 56-mile bike; 13.1-mile run. So that puts me at April 1 to really get down to work.
So, with the doctor saying the normal recovery time from this type of surgery is 4-6 months, that means in February, at the earliest, I can start running again. I know I can do the training; that's not the part I'm bummed about.
It's that I can't take a run for another six weeks, and that I feel my quads turning to flab with every run missed. Until I can start with the 2-mile walk/runs, I will work on my swimming (and that should put me ahead when training really starts). I've gotten in four 500-meter swims in the last two weeks, and I intend to ramp that up after Christmas.
I continue with physical therapy, and that's going well--he has me biking for 12 minutes (recumbent bike) and working on calf strength. What's lacking still is flexibility in the big toe, and I have a feeling that will return when I'm cleared to run!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let's Get Physical

I had my first physical therapy session yesterday afternoon, and while it felt uncomfortable at times, it was wonderful watching the blood rush to my foot; it meant progress was being made!
Eric at Carey & Daley measured the flexion angle of my big toe, which is not even near where it needs to be for effective running. But, hey, I was there, which means I'm yet another day closer to getting back doing what my body is craving.
I have to admit I haven't been a very nice patient lately--my days consist of sitting in the shower, driving to work, sitting at work, driving home or to the store (where I sit on a scooter), standing for 30 minutes or so while preparing and/or cleaning up after dinner), sitting some more and then lying down for 8 hours. Not exactly a prescription for good health.
The incredibly warm November we had didn't help my mood either. No cyclist wants to let 60-degree days pass them by when the late-year temperature usually hovers around 40. I go to the garage and gaze at my bike and then go back inside, only to sit some more.
I have been doing upper body weight work and trying to maintain my core strong, and that's something, though I'm sure the kids think I look ridiculous with my Herman Munster boot on one foot, a workout shoe on the other.
I found the date for next year's Mid-Winter Blues Run at Beaver Lake (Feb. 5). Believe me, if I can even walk that 3.1 miles I won't be feeling the blues at all! Until then, I'm looking at twice-weekly PT sessions, when I will work on flexibility and strength in the toes and ankle, Eric will massage out the edema and then he'll hook my foot up to an electro-charge machine (or whatever it's called), to send stimuli directly to the tissue to hasten healing.
I must admit the foot is sore today, but it's a "good" sore, similar to what you feel after a race run hard. And that's the best I can do right now.