Sunday, March 6, 2011

First steps

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  A perfect day for a run!  I'm sure many of you were having fun outside, and I didn't want to miss it either.  I've been riding the stationary bike and doing some elliptical, stretching, and doing some balance work.  The leg is still very weak, but my mobility and endurance have improved considerably over the past 2 weeks.  I haven't used the cane in more than 10 days.  Life is getting better every day.

So yesterday I did my usual routine at the gym: 30 min. elliptical (3 miles - woohoo!), abs, some weights for the upper body, stretching, and trying to balance on my weak leg.  Eh!  It was OK, but I really wanted to be outside.

Char came by around 1pm, and we decided to try for a walk at the West Hartford Reservoir (#6).  I have been walking with a fairly pronounced limp for about 10 days, but I manage OK.  I haven't walked more than a couple hundred yards at a time though, so I had no idea how far I could reasonably walk.  Keep in mind, I'm only five weeks into the healing since the screw was removed.  Once the screw was removed everything moved, and the healing essentially started anew.  The docs are all over the place in terms of how much load is OK, etc., so I'm going with my gut at this point.  The bone seems to be healing and I don't think the leg isn't getting any shorter at this point.  The loading is supposed to promote healing, so off we went.

We decided to walk the road along the reservoir since the footing on the trail looked pretty poor due to snow and ice.  Normally, I relish the challenge of running on the nasty stuff, but one has to start somewhere I suppose.  I certainly can't risk a fall at this point.

So, we walked for a couple hundred yards, and I was thinking my goal was to get to the first bench at a minimum and hopefully shoot for a mile if all went well.  The pain was manageable (think nagging toothache).  I mentioned to Char that it would be nice to take some pictures to document my first "walk" since October 2, so she ran back to the car to get the camera.  I shuffled along at my snail pace.  Along the way, I ran into a gent we met at the Traprock 50K last year.   He was an old time runner and really liked the fact that we had started another ultra in CT.  He and his friend, Tony, saw me limping along and asked why I wasn't running on such a glorious day.   I told them about my accident and they asked the usual questions.  We talked about Traprock a bit and then Charlotte caught up to us.  It turns out that this gent was Char's neighbor, and we had a good old time chatting for a few minutes.

My back started to stiffen, so I wanted to get moving.  I think the apprehension of not knowing how far I could walk was also getting to me.  We bid them farewell and hoped to see them at Traprock, and then pressed onward.  Before we knew it, we had passed the bench along the reservoir...1 milestone down.  We walked along as Charlotte analyzed my stride.  We tried some variations to see what would work, and then she suggested I try swinging my arms like I was running.  I tried it and it helped.  It actually felt like I was running.  Of course, I was not running, but it sure felt good to be moving somewhat fluidly.  Unfortunately, this took a lot of energy for me, so I had to stop and rest a bit.  We tried to walk to the end of the pavement, but the pain started getting to me.  I was nervous about getting back to the car, so we decided to turn around.

On the way back, I saw a car that looked like the "Goat mobile" driving toward us.  I mentioned to Charlotte that the car looked like Goat's, and then he pulled up alongside us.  As fate would have it, Goat and his new girlfriend were out for a tour of our stomping grounds.  What's the chance of us running into each other there?   Introductions were made, and we chatted for a bit.  It was a cool thing.  They drove off into the sunset, and Char and I made our way back toward the car.  I had to stop and rest on the guard rail a couple times and old folks were lapping us, but we were fine with it.  The pain was getting bad toward the end, but we managed to pull it off.  I was very excited and asked Char to clock the mileage to see how far we walked.  We drove back and clocked it at 1.8 miles.  Nice!

I can't remember the last time I got excited about doing anything for 1.8 miles, but to me it felt like I had just run a marathon.  No, I wasn't sweaty and exhausted, but the mental effort was just the same.  Venturing into new it your all when the outcome in unknown, and then taking pride in the effort.  It felt good.

I was sore last night, but glad we went for the walk.  The fresh air and sunshine did me good.  Today it is raining, so we went to the gym.  I tried to focus on strengthening the leg today.  I go for another x-ray this week and am not cleared for any strength training yet, so I just used 15 lbs. of weight for some leg curls.  It felt pretty good doing some easy reps.  The knee is still very weak.  I believe the limp will slowly diminish as my strength improves.  My goal is to be able to walk the Traprock 50K course on April 15th, so I can put out the trail markers.  It would be a 10.5 mile effort in total.  We'll see if I can pull it off.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend and look forward to seeing many of you at the 2nd annual Traprock 50K on April 16th!  Don't forget to sign up soon.  We need to get the T-shirt order placed!



1 comment:

Steve said...

Steve progress sounds great keep up the positive vibes