It’s official. My kickoff date for running again is April 3rd. Just 3 weeks away. I met up with some of the SDP boys last night. When I told them I could start running on April 4th, they pointed out that there was an SDP practice on April 3nd. PERFECT! I’ll plan on going out on their warm up, then maybe the cool down….and then meeting up afterward to celebrate the return. I’m looking forward to FINALLY getting out and testing the bionics with some good friends.
It’s safe to say that at week 9, I am finally getting my swagger back. . Although I still can’t run (I won’t even try until April 4th), I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout this blog, I’ve tried to remain upbeat and stay positive, convincing myself that all will be well in due time. It has worked for the most part, but I haven’t had a real swagger for quite some time. Mentally, this recovery time has worn on me. Working out with the weights and swimming has been good, but nothing …….NOTHING……. compared to throwing on the running gear, stepping out into the open air, and clearing my head of all of my concerns. With less than a month to go, (according to my recovery timeline), I am happy to report, the swagger is back. Right on time with the spring sunshine. (I wonder if they are related). I’ve always been an optimist, and I will forever be an optimist, its the way I’m built. But there have been moments of doubt. Having a swagger is like being optimistic and having no doubts.
My spirits are also buoyed by two other things. First, there was a nice article written by ‘OutThere Magazine’ about the Spokane Distance Project and other running clubs in the Spokane Area. You can check out the March issue of OutThere Monthly at their website (here). Also, daylight savings time is starting in 5 days. Soon the days will be longer and sunnier. Week 9 is feeling good. The chin is up because the swagger is back.
Today was too much for me. I had both the spin bike AND the treadmill giving me the “eye” at the Y today. My legs were so sore from Saturday’s cross-fit style workout, that I gave in to the pull of the spin bike. Sorry Dr. Tim, I know you said to wait until April 4 to ride, but if its any help…..the spinning felt FANTASTIC. Initially, I was just going to loosen up the legs on an easy setting. But by the time it was all said and done, I built up a good sweat doing jumps, hills and sprints, all while listening to some good music on my ipod. I’ll still hold off from running on the treadmill, but It’s a done deal with the bike now…..from here on forward until April 4th, the spin bike will be my choice for aerobic exercise.
Yesterday I decided to go to a cross-fit style workout hosted by my friends Greg and Kathy. In this earlier post, Greg sat down with me and stressed to me the importance of being patient with my recovery time. I learned about this group from a friend who told me to friend the group “CFCS” on facebook. I didn’t think the workout would be difficult. After all, my new hip turned me into the bionic man. The workout for the day was a progress report type of workout for the group. There were 3 different exercises that each member had to do: Kettlebells, Dead Lifts and Thrusters. For 5 minutes each person was supposed to do as many as they could up to 100 reps. Simple enough…..not too hard….3 exercises….big Woop. Greg told me that I was only going to do half the reps with less weight than the others. Really. Me? The Bionic Man? Half the reps? Really? I only thought this in my mind, didn’t say it out loud, just agreed that I would. So I started with the wimpy workout. First with the kettlebells (picture above). It would be simple since I was only using a 35 pounder and the other guys were using 52 pound weights. Starting from a squatting position holding the kettlebell between my legs swinging it in an upward motion until it was up and over my head. 50 reps. Done! Big deal. I started sweating. That was nice. I hadn’t gotten a good sweat going during a workout in a long while. Next came the deadlifts. First I timed Greg. He worked his tail off with 135 lbs of weight. Tough workout. When it was my turn, he took me to the wimpy 95 lb bar. Really. Me? The Bionic Man? Less weight and Half the reps? C’Mon!!! 50 reps later…..ok….maybe I need to work on my technique a little more, because, that was slightly uncomfortable. Then came the thrusters. Once again Greg went first and I timed him. Picking up the bar, holding it at the chest, squatting with it and then standing taking the bar up and over the head. Again….tough tough workout. When it was my turn, Greg took 10 lbs off of the bar. Really. Me? The Bionic Man? C’mon!! Again, only half the reps. By this time I wasn’t just sweating…..I was dripping. But I got the wimpy workout done. There were 2 of us newbies there for this workout. At the end of the workout Greg recommended that we hit the ibuprofen tonight and then again in the morning. Really. Me???(you know the rest). After the wimpy workout, I went home to finish up some spring cleaning. After hauling a few bags out to the truck…..I felt noticeably uncomfortable in my hammies and lower back. I didn’t think too much about it until I sat down to watch the Zags crush BYU in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament (Wooo Hooo Go Zags!!! Ahem. I digress). Sitting there, fairly sedentary…..I started to ache ache ache. THEN, when I got up off the couch, OUCHEEE WAAA WAA!!!! Sheesh! What happened? Needless to say, ibuprofen was my friend last night, and this morning. And I am so thankful that Greg held me back from trying to keep up with the big dogs on my first day. I’m looking forward to another wimpy workout next week. Eventually this Bionic Man will catch up……hip feels great right now compared to everything else.
Last night was the first night I was able to do a workout with the SDP boys since I had my surgery. I was met with greetings of “Hey it’s the Bionic Man”, and “We should call him ‘The Hip’ “. It was G-R-E-A-T to meet up with all of them and participate in the workout. Fellow SDP Member Nick Ranson took us through the paces with some great pool work combined with core work on the pool deck. We had a club meeting after the workout. Many of the runners are NOT swimmers. That explains why there were twice as many people at the club meeting than there were at the workout. Our fearless leader Chris Morlan recognized every member with a certificate of appreciation that was embossed with a picture of superman underpants. I will be framing my certificate soon.
Wow! What a huge difference 1 week can make. I think I have FINALLY turned the corner. The hip isn’t bothering me when I sleep anymore. I’m actually able to put on my clothes without needing some support. The Stryker Hip is feeling powerfully bionic. So much so in fact….I actually eyed the treadmill at the Y yesterday. But then I reminded myself to stick to the recovery timeline. So off to the elliptical machine I went. But I feel better about that April 4 target date. I am going to be ready.
My fellow hip brother Jeremy is doing even better. Here is his 6 week report:
Had my 6 week today. Doc cleared me to ride a bike (stationary) and to start doing weights in the gym. Woooooooohoooooooo. He also told me that my launch date is now March 27th.
He said I could start doing anything I want from that day forward. I must continue to be patient and go slow, BUT I cannot wait to go and do what I want.
He said no marathons. That’s fine I’ll stick to fun runs where there is more beer than sweating.
Wake boarding in April, and softball starts on the 17th. I cannot wait to be back.
That is an even more aggressive timeline than I have. Kudos to Jeremy! Tonight, I will be working out with my fellow SDP teammates. They are doing a pool workout. It is the final winter workout before they head outdoors for spring training. I am looking forward to finally working out with the group again. It is just what I need to get me through this final month of not running. Every day….things get closer and closer back to normal.
It’s late February and I was greeted to this when I woke up this morning. It’s cold and wet out there. The wind is blowing so hard the snow is sticking to the windows. In other years I would have dreaded the run today……maybe skipped it and felt guilty for the rest of the day. But today……there is no guilt……just complete satisfaction that I won’t be running in this today. I have some friends training for the Boston Marathon coming up in April. All I can say is “I feel for you man”. March is coming in like a lion…..and a few days after march ends….according to my recovery timeline……I’ll be able to test the waters and start running….let’s hope the end of March doesn’t even compare to the end of February…..
When I met up with my fellow hip brother Jeremy (see this post), he mentioned something about working with a chain saw to cut down limbs this week. It sounded like a crazy thing to do for a guy who is only 5 weeks out of hip surgery. Well …. he did it. He’s not one to be slowed down. Here’s what he had to say…..
“Saw your post. I agree about wanting to do more. I have been swimming everyday and it feels good. Now using the chain saw and cutting up a bunch of limbs and stacking the wood was not such a good use of my new hip. Lots of ice for me. Hope all is well.”
That Jeremy….he’s crazy……I’d better go home and sharpen my ax…..
I am fortunate to work close to Carrington College. One of the programs that this school offers is massage therapy. Towards the end of the program, massage therapy students practice theirs skills in the school’s massage therapy clinic. I go to this clinic on occasion to get massages. There are two things I like about this clinic. First, the students are well informed about massage technique because they are fresh out of massage therapy classes. That makes for a well informed massage. I have rarely ever had a bad massage there. The other thing I like about this clinic is that the massages are inexpensive ($25). They have a punch card program that they run during the holidays where you can by 6 massages for the price of 5. That averages out to about $21 dollars per massage. Its a sweet deal. Today I went back for the first time since the surgery. It was FANTASTIC.
Each week I feel a little bit more progress towards my end goal of running. I am sure it is the case with many active people, that once they start feeling better, they try to “sneak” in an activity that they’ve been told to hold off on until their surgery recovery period is over. They think they are “recovered enough” to try it. I am guilty of it with past surgeries, but not with this one. I am still not ready to run. The hip still bothers me at times when I sleep. It is nearly impossible for me to get my right leg into my pants without leaning on something to give my left leg some support. I’m especially aware of this fact after I’ve worked out and showered at the gym. How embarrassing would that be to fall over in the locker room??? I’m not frustrated though….I’m happily patient. One thing I did notice was the left knee that was giving me fits prior to the surgery…and even during the first few weeks after…..is starting to feel better. In my last appointment with Dr. Tim, I had given up on the knee and said that it had issues as well. He told me to hang on and let the hip continue to heal. Good advice. So with every glimmer of improvement…my spirits are upbeat and I remain optimistic.