One of the great great rites of spring for me is working as the 2nd Seed Coordinator for the Bloomsday Road Race which is scheduled on the first Sunday of every May here in Spokane Washington. I enjoy talking with runners and determining if they qualify for 2nd Seeding (a special starting spot) at Bloomsday. One of my other responsibilities is to work with key people to get a 2nd seed shirt designed. Today I was able to see the design for the first time. I showed the design to Don Kardong, the race director. He finished fourth in the marathon in the 1976 Olympics. He is also one of the main reasons for Bloomsday’s success. He liked the design, with just a few minor adjustments. The shirt design and color are super secret. ESPECIALLY the color! There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that I would ever reveal it!
After 4 weeks the incision is pretty well sealed. I have the green light to start swimming next week. Last night I quickly dropped some stuff by my brother-in-law’s house. When I pulled up, I left my truck door open with my wallet inside. Didn’t realize my wallet was vulnerable until I was inside the house. I found myself trying to run back to the truck as quickly as possible. Well it’s safe to say, running is still out of the picture. Even though the incision is healing fine, the bionics are taking a little longer to get rooted in. I have no intention of trying to run sooner than the 3 month window that coach Tim (Dr. Tim) has given me, but last night was a reminder to be patient. (OH and by the way……my wallet is safe). 🙂
Walking around work today, I had to stop and take a moment to realize it’s only been a little over 3 weeks since I got my hip replaced. Still, I make my way around the building with relative ease. At lunch I was driving back to work and the sun was out and I was recalling the runs that I usually take during my lunch hour on the Centennial trail right by where I work. Today would have been one of those days. Being out in the sun – even on a cold day – running – it has therapeutic values that non-runners don’t understand. Sunny days are definitely the hardest. I’m close to 1 month into this runner’s purgatory. Keeping the glass half full, that is 1 month down with only 2 to go. I remain optimistic, despite these quiet non-running days…..
It is exactly 3 weeks and one day since the hip was replaced. I’m up off the crutches and I’m finally able to get a weight workout in. That is all good. But if I could rate my weekly progress compared to the first 2 weeks, I would have to say that this is the week that I have made the least progress. Week 1, it was great to see the wound heal and get moving around on crutches. Week 2, the crutches were ditched and I was able to walk around without the aid of support. Week 3 feels like I just ditched the crutches yesterday. It’s still uncomfortable to sleep and I can’t sleep on the hip side at all. I still walk around gingerly protecting the hip – it reminds me when I don’t. I know I’m not superhuman, but I was hoping for a little bit more progress in this third week. I’m sure down the road, I will probably laugh at this post. After all it has only been 3 weeks. I think I need to re-read the advice that my friend Greg gave me about being patient. Also, I’m still on target with my recovery timeline. Tonight I’m going to watch my youngest son Tommy’s basketball team go out and collect a ‘W’ for the undefeated Stags (St. Al’s Grade School – Stags – get it? It only took me about 8 years to realize that). After that, it’s off to join the fellas for the 5th Quarter. I won’t be starting because I will be late, but I will still get plenty of playing time :). OK, so after 3 weeks….it’s not so bad after all. Still as optimistic and hopeful as ever…
Just received an email from my fellow cohort Jeremy who is home and recouping after his 1/17 hip replacement. I have to admit, I think my recoup time at home was a little more peaceful than his. He’s home channel surfing and using the internet. He’s got two kids under the age of 3 (who I am betting are just happy to see their daddy home). I’m sure he’s happy to see them too, and he’s probably trying to be that dad they are used to being with. Not the perfect combination when you’re trying to heal from a pretty intense surgery. My youngest is 11 and he would just hang out with me and watch sports or our now favorite detective show “Psych”. Jeremy is probably enjoying a lot of Barney and the Wiggles. Just a guess…..
Ahhhh. Finally I get to do some kind of workout. Ball situps, bench flies, bicep curls, and tricep extensions. Although It doesn’t make you sweat like running, at least it’s a workout. Finally! Each day I get closer and closer back to normal. The hip pain is healing. We had a big cold front move in making everything slippery and icy. I’ve had to be more careful. This has caused my hip to hurt more. I think it’s because I’m tensing those hip muscles more than normal. It’s not stopping me from doing some strength work. With each new day……the optimism grows…..
My oldest son Ryan is finishing up his final year at Georgetown University in Washington DC. He texted me this picture with the caption, “It’s you at the Smithsonian”. As you all may or may not know, I’ve been referring to my hip replacement as “bionics” since the beginning. Need a refresher? Check out these posts: “The Bionics“, “It’s Official, I am Bionic”, and my favorite, “Optimistically Optimistic“. It was nice to get validation from the Smithsonian on my choice of words. As I’ve said in the past, I feel sorry, really, for all of my future competitors, I do I have one ….. er …… leg up on them with my new bionics.
Last night my son Tommy and his friend Ned (5th Graders) made a pact. “If tomorrow is a snow day, we’re going to go to Jack and Dan’s for lunch and we’re going to go sledding. Deal?” . Tommy exclaimed “Deal!” We all chimed in, “Who’s Buying?” :). So this morning I looked out the window and there was no new snow…..just the snow we got from the day before. I promised my son Daniel that I’d check the school website as soon as I woke up and let him know whether he had to get up for school. When I saw no new snow, I didn’t bother checking. About a half hour later, he comes walking down the stairs and says…..”You told me you’d tell me if there was no school”. He had checked it himself. Here I was making their lunches and I didn’t have to. Sure enough there was no school for either of the kids. Then I started thinking about the timing of this hip replacement. Running in the snow is good exercise but it truly is a pain. I couldn’t have picked a better time to take a break, but I’m hopeful for the spring….and testing the new hip. So with 2 bagged PB and J’s sitting on the counter, I headed off to work wondering if the boys had enough $$ to squeeze ME in for lunch at Jack and Dan’s today.
I was recently contacted through this blog by a friend of a friend who is a runner in his 30’s and he too had a bad hip. Jeremy got his replaced on Tuesday (1/17). I’m thinking there may be an epidemic of hip replacements going on here in Spokane. In his last email to me, his spirits sounded good. It will be good to get his input on his recovery. The best advice I ever received was from my friend Mark the pizza guy. He said the
first thing he had to convince himself about was that it was not an “Old Person
Disease”. That discussion happened a year before I had my hip replacement. It helped me to accept the inevitability of surgery. Jeremy is just another example of accepting the fact that hips go bad with anyone. It is now time for optimism. I ran into Mark and asked him how his hip was doing. He demonstrated hopping on one foot using the replaced hip. “Never Better!”. This is a new experience and I’m free falling into
it with great hope and optimism. Jeremy and I will be running when we’re 80. I
remain hopeful and optimistic about that.
But not quite gone. Still….this is a far cry from what it looked like 2 weeks ago. I know I know….U-G-L-Y. With the healing comes more freedom and flexibility. The daily pushup routine is back in full force and I will be lifting (sitting position only) by the end of the week. Things are slowly getting back to normal.