Saturday, October 21, 2006

DR. VISIT--Followup.

Okay, 6 weeks after the accident and new x-rays were to be taken to see if I was healing. I pretty much figured things were getting better. I felt more "solid." I wasn't aching as much in the ribs or middle of my back, and I seemed to have turned a huge corner recently, going from not having much desire to think about getting back to running or swimming, to actually getting in a first swim and then also beginning to think of running again.

Just when I thought I could start planning my comeback, my doctor visit burst my bubble. Yes, the bones are healed, "but 3 months recovery is normal for this type of injury." Whoa! What happened to the 8 week plan? Wasn't I told from day 1 that 8 weeks is the average?? "Yes, but that's just for the bones to heal, not necessarily the muscles and surrounding tissue and ligaments." So, when do you figure I can safely start running again?? "Three months is a good time." Sigh.

So I spent the next couple of days slightly depressed, trying to figure out how long this whole thing really will take to recover from. But then I started thinking and made a decision: I would attempt to start running 8 weeks after the accident, to the day, and see how it went.

The next thing to do was figure out what to do to get started again. While I have been walking most days and my pace has picked up considerably since that first week home from the hospital where it probably took me 20 min. to walk around the block, walking just doesn't have that heart pumping quality that I want to experience to feel like I was getting back to the fitness level I was at before the accident.

Looking through various beginner running programs, I finally found one that I figured would be extremely conservative for me but at the same time give me a plan and goal to work toward. It involves walking and running, starting mostly with walking and eventually getting me running 30 min. This whole process is stretched out over 8 weeks. Eight weeks takes me to the beginning of the year, and my first thought before I looked at these programs was: I would like to be running 30 min. at a time by the first of the year. So it looked to me like a good plan, one that meshed with my own thinking, something I could work at slowly but at least 3 days a week, and hopefully take me to my goal of starting at the beginning of the year to plan which races I want to do next year. And if worse comes to worse, I can delay the plan on a week-by-week basis. I certainly hope I won't have to do that though!

This week too I have finally overcome most of the shoulder pain and limited range of motion I have been having for a couple of weeks. I finally caved in and started taking 1 muscle relaxant a day, at night, and after 4 days the pain was mostly under control. At least it doesn't consume my every thought and movement. The shoulder still will take weeks, if not months, to regain the strength and mobility I had before the accident, but just getting the pain under control is a big accomplishment.

I swam again yesterday, after swimming 2 days in a row on Saturday and Sunday. Two days in a row, I found, was 1 day in a row too many. So I gave it 5 days for the shoulder to calm down, mixed in with the muscle relaxant therapy I concocted, and it really wasn't bad afterward. Today I decided to try stationary biking. I haven't been on a bike since the accident, mainly because there was no opportunity to get on a stationary bike until recently. I had hoped to start spinning soon, but after today, I see I have a LOT of catching up to do! Five minutes of pedalling got me huffing and puffing and actually sweating. After 15 minutes, I was done in. So much for spinning for a while! At 60 minutes for each spinning class, I would be way out of their league right now. I am going to have to build up over the next 2 months on this too. But I'm glad I finally tried it, so I know where I stand and can come up with some plan for that too.

I guess the good thing about this whole process is I like to plan and work toward a goal. I do not like just working out to work out. Yes, that serves a purpose, but it isn't the same as a goal. And its a lot easier to skip a workout without a goal!

First game of the World Series tonight! Go Tigers! I know what I'll be doing tonight!


Flo said...

Glad to hear things are healing well. I was going to recommend the Couch to 5K running program but it sounds like you found it. It's very conservative. When I weighed 225 that's what I started with and even then I thought it was conservative.

Good luck, take it easy and don't push yourself. I know how you athlete types can be ;)

Fe-lady said...

I doubt if your Dr. has dealt with many triathletes...I am sure he is being conservative as he is used to treating sedentary adults. I am glad you are taking the initiative to try also are smart enough and have enough background to know when enough is too much.
Best of luck with this new plan! Look at the big picture- and 2007 is a new year! YOUR year!