Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I'm Running Again!

As I documented in my last post, I've replaced my soft cast and sling for a bionic, futuristic-type brace. Given the progress I've been making lately, I thought the next step would be to actually go out on a run.

So after I got home from work on Thursday I got my running gear on, laced up my shoes and headed out. It was certainly a different experience! While the pavement felt great under my feet and it felt good to be breaking a sweat, wearing the brace was a bit awkward -- I wasn't able to swing my arms all that much so as a result my stride was really, really short.

My brace has a hinge at the elbow where you can pretty much lock it into one position, and eventually I ended up locking it at about a 45-degree angle so that I could relax my arm a little more, which felt a lot better. With my stride being so short, I can only manage about a 12-minute mile, and for now I am throwing some walk breaks in there too.

I ended up running 3.25 miles on Thursday, Saturday I logged another 2 miles and on Monday I logged another 3. For now I'm just going to go 2-3 miles per run and just go every other day or so. It's not ideal but as you can see from my post-run photo that I'm pretty happy anyway!

One thing I'm starting to realize is that this whole thing is a really big deal. I have to admit, I was pretty naive at the beginning. I didn't realize it would be this hard. Did I mention before that I am stubborn? I did believe I could will myself through all of this, and that just isn't going to happen.

It's frustrating because some days I feel great and others I just feel absolutely awful. Some days I need to stay in bed until 4:15 p.m. (like I did on Sunday), or I can't eat, or just spend the day feeling really crappy.

In the end I did suffer a major trauma, and that I had major surgery to fix it. As much as I hate it, recovery -- in all shapes and forms -- is going to take a while. The only thing I can do is to keep a positive attitude, work hard on my exercise and rehab, and let time do its thing.

By the way, notice I'm wearing some Indy Mini gear? You will see me rocking that look quite often in the future as I continue to promote the race and how it should be a part of your 2016 race calendar! For more info go to the Indy Mini's website and register. Don't forget to check the box that you heard about the Mini from a Mini ambassador, and select my name. Thanks!

So in between my first two runs, I had my first PT appointment on Friday. The appointment began with all sorts of measurements and assessments, then Ryan, my therapist, started to bring the pain!

Because my arm had been immobilized for so long, EVERYTHING was super stiff, especially my shoulder, which kind of surprised me. At the beginning of the session I couldn't lift my arm above my shoulder, but by the end it was starting to improve, and so far in the exercises I'm doing at home, it takes a few reps before everything starts to loosen up.

Here and there I feel some progress, like my arm extends further than it has before or my fingers have a little more dexterity. In the next three weeks I have eight PT appointments scheduled. I'm sure by the time our Italy trip rolls around things will be better, and hopefully I can leave that big brace at home! 

I've also changed my running plans for the next couple of months as well. It looks like the St. Jude half is out...one because I may not be ready and two because they won't let me switch from the full to the half, so I'm looking at hopefully running a Thanksgiving Day race and then return to the Chili Chilly 5K where I broke 30 minutes last year. Seems like that is more prudent.

In the meantime I just need to let days turn into weeks turn into months. Not my strong suit but I'll get it done!

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