Monday, May 30, 2016

Baby-stepping right along...

It has been 44 days since my last run (and I am not counting that one attempt with Tamara two days before my injury was diagnosed, as it was 0.24 miles--but if I were counting, 42 days).  For some reason, it doesn't feel like it has been as long as the time that I was off last year for injuries (49 days).  I think that is mostly due to the fact that I am in no rush to start running again.  My running partners are chomping at the bit to get me back out there with them.  Don't get me wrong, I miss the time we spent together, but do I miss running right now?  Nope.  I am perfectly content with walking.  

Yes, WALKING! I am walking!  I saw Dr. Dick again on May 18th for my 4-week follow-up.  She was again very pleased with my progress, and said that I could continue with partial weight-bearing and work towards walking again.  I spent the next week using one crutch (I got super fast at "walking" with one crutch, and it opened up a whole new world as I could carry things again!), and every day I added in a bit more walking without the crutch.  My first day without using crutches at all was on May 25th.  It was an easy day for me as I had a professional development for work (read: sit on my butt for most of the day), so it was a good day to start walking again.  Yesterday (May 29th) I asked my neighbor if she'd go on a walk with me.   She's been walking our neighborhood so I knew she'd be in.  We did our "little loop" (it's around 0.6 miles) twice.  I was tickled with my 1.24 miles in under 19 minutes!  

I am feeling good, overall.  I don't have any pain, which is a good thing. I do feel achy at times.  That's when I take a step back and try to sit a bit more.  I think it's my body's way of reminding me that I need to take this recovery sloooooowly.  I am ever so grateful that I am able to walk now, that's for sure!  Also, I was able to get in the water on Saturday for my first open water swim of the season!  It was COLD... 63 degrees!  Thank goodness for my wet suit, although sleeves would have been nice.  Actually, once I started going, it wasn't too awful.  I did 2 lengths of Alum Creek "Beach" with Carrie, and 2 more with Robin, for a total of about 2400 yards (1.5 miles).  I was reminded how much more I prefer open water swimming to pool swimming.  The waves from the jet skis nearby weren't fun, but I love just swimming, not having to think about anything but where the buoys are. I have an open water swimming race on June 25th. I am supposed to do the 1 mile swim, but I may bump it up to 2 miles if I'm feeling good that day.  

Right now, that's the only race on my schedule. I am trying to not dwell on the upcoming triathlon season, but it's hard.  I was really looking forward to the races that I had planned.  I am hoping to get out on my bike very soon (I am now cleared for easy cycling), and perhaps I will find an Aqua-Bike race to do later on this summer... or at least another open water race.

Of course, I have been thinking about the long-term.  I know what I should NOT do, and that is rush into another marathon.  As much as I want to qualify for Boston in the near future (as in this fall), I can't let myself do it.  Not yet.  I see myself perhaps trying to do a 5K race in the late fall (e.g. November)... maybe a half in the spring.  I also see myself turning into a year-round triathlete... meaning, not really running a ton, but training for all three disciplines.  This might be the best way for me to stay-injury free.  I would love a year without injuries.  These are just my wandering thoughts... nothing is set in stone, nor will it be for awhile.  Right now, I'm honoring the recovery, loving the walk, grateful for it all. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ahead of schedule!

Finally, at last, something is going my way.   The timeline for a femoral neck stress fracture recovery is pretty lengthy.  I have had two friends who had this exact injury; one was on crutches for 8 weeks and the other for 3 months.  Neither ran for 4 months.  From my research on the Internet, this is pretty much par for the course.  Most people are on crutches for 8-12 weeks, and then slowly start walking and then intervals with running.  

I saw my doctor two weeks after my initial diagnosis on April 20 for a follow-up.  I wasn't sure what to expect--if she'd want to do an x-ray to look for new bone growth or what.  At my appointment, she did some of the same exercises that she used to diagnose my injury.  There was minimal discomfort, so she said I could start "partial weight bearing", which means I can put some weight on my injured leg!  I started with just "toe-touching", which is basically using the crutches as normal, but putting my toe down to test the waters.  

After a few days, I moved to adding 25% of my body weight, then 50%.  After a week, I have graduated to one crutch!  I use the crutch on my good side, moving it in unison with my injured leg.  With every stage in this process, I have felt a bit of discomfort (not sharp pain) after the first day, but within two days I am good.  I see my doctor again this coming Wednesday, which will be 4 weeks post-diagnosis. I am crossing all fingers and toes that I might actually get to start walking without my crutches in the next couple of weeks! 

The other great thing is that I am allowed to swim!  Well, not exactly swim, but pull with a pull buoy.  And no pushing off the wall with my injured leg.  I've been three times in the past 1.5 weeks.  Today was the first time that I took the pull buoy off and swam without it, with some VERY light kicking for about 200 yards.  Like, almost nonexistant... and there was zero pain.  The Sunday before my diagnosis, I swam and I definitely had discomfort when I kicked.  So this was a very very happy moment today!  

More than anything right now, I just want to walk.  I am honestly very scared of running right now. I have no interest in jumping into it!  My summer vacation starts in a couple of weeks, and I want to be able to go to the park with the kids and not be hobbling around.  Right now, a nice long leisurely walk sounds heavenly!

This is actually a good time for this injury, as April and May are super-busy months for us with spring activities for the kids.  The worst part is that I miss my friends.  I got to have an early coffee date with Amanda one day, and Allison S. another.  I met Amy for fro-yo and a park date with our kids.  And Kim came over and gel-manicured my nails.  It's not the same as complaining through our early-morning miles, of course, but it's something.  I did have to unfollow my running pages on Facebook... having every single post on my feed with running as the subject was just too much.  I know I will be back, but for now my focus is on not thinking about when that will happen.