Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What's Up Doc?

While I wish my doctor's trip was as funny as the scene in Funny People, it was not. There was, however, a particularly freckled ginger in the doctor's office who was pretty hot. And I say that because, as most people know, I have thing for gingers and also pregnant women. Sick.

The ortho was pretty surprised when I told him I'd been swimming more now than I normally swim, and able to kick/flip, etc. The constant pain is down to a manageable level, and I'm almost able to completely straighten my leg, and the bending is coming along. At this point, I'm good to go for surgery and can get it done whenever is convenient for me. Since he does it on Mondays and Fridays, I'll probably have to wait until after the RM Invitational because of Labor Day. That leaves me with almost a month still.

So in the meantime I'm going to continue to train, and probably up the volume and intensity for a little while. Can't hurt myself any worse, I figure, at least not in the pool or a fixed machine like a spin bike.

The surgery seems pretty quick, outpatient procedure, they don't even use general anaesthetics, just a twilight version so I'm not even totally out. Takes about an hour. They'll scope it, take out the bad ACL and insert a new ligament from a donor (hopefully it comes from a super slutty lesbian nympho criminal). For a few days I'll likely have to stay home (in NJ) and chill out, but I'm confident I'll be able to be at Philly Distance Run to cheer on the multitude of friends I have running.

Then comes the real recovery. The doc feels that within a month I should be back in the pool, within 6 weeks riding a bike and by 2 months running again. That puts me in mid November, which will represent 4 months of not running. Not that I would try and shortcut my recovery, but given how quickly I got back in the pool and to riding a bike after the initial injury, I can't imagine it will actually be that long. I'm going to say I'll be back in the pool within 2 and on the bike during that 3rd week.

He then told me about a girl who goes to Monmouth University and plays field hockey, tore her ACL in the spring. He did the surgery on May 9 and cleared her just last week to play again for her senior season. I wondered if it was the ginger that was sitting in the waiting room, as she was wearing a Monmouth shirt and looked like she would have played field hockey.

Anyway, he said that she just rehabbed like an animal, spending oodles of time in the training room and just forcing herself to get better and stronger. I can do that. New goal: 100% by December 14, which will be 3 months and would enable me to run Celtic Solstice that next week.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Out Here Grindin'

I thought it might be funny to still continue to post race reports for the races I would have done this summer, but then I realized it would be dumb and confusing.

What's been going on? Well, not much. Shortly after getting back to Baltimore I started rehab at Canton Orthopaedic. It's about 1.25 miles down there, so I walk. Then I do PT. Then I walk to the gym and swim and lift. Over the past few weeks I've gone from swimming with the pull buoy and not flip-turning or pushing off the wall, to getting ride of the buoy, flip-turning and pushing off. As a result of swimming everyday, I'm swimming faster than I normally do and am doing more distance each week.

Physical Therapy was kind of fruitless until the past 10 days, when I've been able to do and handle a little bit more. They had me doing leg press with one leg (each leg, one at a time). The first day I was able to do 313lb on my left leg (good leg) and maybe 243 on my right. Two days later I did 313/273. Today I got up to 333/333. So not only did I up my weight, but I brought my right leg back up to my left. It's still not very stabile, but I can do it.

I'm also back to pedaling a bike. Inside, of course, but I've ridden up to 30 minutes on a spin bike. I hope by next week to be back on my road bike on the trainer.

I'm also walking...a lot. Some days I'll walk over 10 miles just to get places. I live so far from everything that it's a necessity, as I don't want to make my friends come get me all the time.

I've also changed my diet. Most mornings are now oatmeal or eggs. I try to only eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and keep the snacking to if I really need it. I'm not burning as many calories and would prefer to not have to try and shed 20 pounds when I can get back. I also needed to stop eating as much cereal so I haven't eaten it since before I got hurt. But then at Safeway tonight I really just needed it so I bought a few boxes. I will keep it to a minimum though.

Lifting has been going well also. I started out super weak and it was embarrassing, but I'm getting back to some of the old weights and feel stronger.

As a result of all my activity I'm pretty tired, and my feet hurt generally, especially my left Achilles. Basically the parts of me that are now taking the brunt of everything to compensate, even though I'm not limping or anything. Have to push off the wall in the pool mostly with my left.

Last week I spent most of the week in jury duty. Everyone complains about it, but I thought it was pretty sweat. I mean, I also wasn't as inconvenienced as most people are since I don't have a job, but it did cause me to miss a Price is Right audition. I have only had one real goal in life, since I was a kid, and that is to get on Price is Right. I definitely would have been picked too. Wack.

Anyway jury duty is a pretty cool experience. You learn about the judicial system and can appreciate what happens everyday. The case seemed fairly mundane but by the end it was pretty wild, and the jury was such a cross-section of demographics. I want to try and explain the experience a little more, maybe I'll do that later.

I'm heading to NJ tomorrow, to see the surgeon. At this point I'm sure he will tell me whether I can go ahead and get sliced up, and when that will be.

Highlights of my day: A new commercial and watching the track and field meet.

Also I hope everyone is ready for the Ryan McGrath Memorial 5k to be held at Johns Hopkins track in Baltimore on Saturday September 12. It's going to be pretty awesome.