It’s been a year since my surgery and I am frequently asked the question “Are you running yet?”
And presently the answer is “Not yet, but I’m slowly making progress.” This brings back memories of childhood family vacations driving across the country where we would constantly ask our parents “Are we there yet?”
In my case of returning to running, just when I think the finish is near the GPS keeps changing the route, sending me on long detours with the final destination drifting further away. Don’t get me wrong, the detours are part of what makes the trip, but there are days when I just want to get there and move on to new adventures.
My one year follow-up appointment and X-ray with Dr. Harms finally came and gave me more insight on how I am recovering and the fact is that I have a long way to go. The one major thing that is keeping me from running is the nerves on my right side are still not fully functioning and they’re responsible for picking up my right foot. It may be another six months to a year before they are as good as they’re going to be, which is still unknown what that will be. The good news is that my X-ray looks good and the fusion is continuing to heal and become solid and my back pain is gone.
With the end of 2012 coming, my plans to run part of the Body n’ Sole New Years Eve Run was in the back of my mind, so I brought the subject up to Kim my PT to see if I was ready. My therapy was progressing well and my core strength and balance had improved since I first started seeing her in the fall. In mid December she suggested that I walk and run for her on a treadmill so she could watch my running form to see if everything looked OK, before letting me start running on my own again.
I started out walking and then gradually increased the speed until I was running.
I tried to think about running smooth like I have been helping teach runners at our running form classes at Body n’ Sole and shortly into the run my right foot stopped picking up and I quickly hit stop button to avoid a possible embarrassing dismount. Kim said my running form looked ok (until my foot stopped picking up) and discussed with me the option of seeing someone about having a brace made for my right leg.
I told her I would think about it, though I was not quite ready to go that direction.
With two weeks till the run she asked me how far I wanted to run and I told her the way things are going, maybe only a half mile with the distance being shortened if needed. When New Years Eve finally came my decision to run was made easy due to snow, making it too slippery for me to try it. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to run, but with the snow and ice I would have probably added a new injury to recover from.
In the past on New Year’s Day I have always added up the previous years running mileage, and even though there was no measurable running I still kept track of whatever exercise I did do. My walking goal was 1,000 miles and I ended up falling short by only a few miles.
Since September I put in over 90 hours of water running which explains why my skin is always so dry and my swim suits are all faded. One of the things I miss about running is experiencing all the seasons, even winter. Water running outdoors in the winter had crossed my mind, but seeing the outdoor pool half frozen would require me to see if AQX could make me an insulated water running suit which I’m sure there would be a big demand for.
I could even start a polar bear water running club which I would probably be the only member. To avoid hypothermia and full body frost bite I think I will just stay indoors until the spring. It looks like I have more work ahead of me in 2013 and hopefully you will see me in a 5K race sometime this year.
To be continued…