Calming Down

Happy to report that staying off my ankle (or at least, not running on it) seems to be working and the pain is starting to subside. And that is good because I was super frustrated about my situation when I went I to PT yesterday. I whined that I was tired of having every workout make my ankle hurt, wondering when I will ever get back to running the way I want to, and just generally feeling sorry for myself.

Fortunately (and unsurprisingly) this is probably something PT’s hear a lot, so she said the right things calmed me down. We worked out a good plan and today I am feeling a lot better. Mentally, I feel better. And so does my ankle.

One piece of advice she gave me is that we need to make sure the arch and ankle are supported while I’m still healing. I was having a lot of problems with some of the balancing exercises, because when I try to stabilize the foot, it really pulls on that tendon to the point where it hurts.

Apparently this stuff is not supposed to hurt.

Of course, I’m old school and that’s not what I heard…

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That picture scares me. He looks like a hernia waiting to happen.

Pain – actual pain, not to be mistaken for “effort” – is bad, in spite of what you may find printed on muscle shirts. Everything I was doing was bothering my ankle because it was getting over stretched and inflamed. That’s not good, so we need to get the stress off it while we reteach the muscles to to the work my tendon is currently attempting to do.

The upshot is that she wants me to wear arch supports while I’m healing up. I went and bought some to put in my ballet flats and let me tell you – it made a world of difference in just a few minutes. Just a little support under the arch and the heel bone and the shoes, which were almost unbearably painful (but also so unbearably cute, I couldn’t bear to part with them), are now comfortable to wear again. Yay!

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Oh, and she also got after me a little about not rolling out the calf enough, so I guess I need to start doing that again. I stopped for a while because I decided that carrying my rolling pin to the gym around looks a little goofy. I mean, one does tire of fielding inquiries as to why they are carting around a rolling pin everywhere they go. So I finally broke down and bought a Stick.

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7 Week Recovery Report

Whew. Today was rough. We all have those days where things just don’t go our way. For us it started with a late wake up, and an early baseball game in the rain and wind. The kids were at each other all day, in and out of trouble, not listening. I decided they were tired so sent them to bed early. Oleg fell asleep in minutes, Max is right behind.

Ahhhhh. Sweet silence.

Small children’s efforts to derail my inner zen notwithstanding, I got in a good workout today. Did about a half hour on the elliptical – going as hard as I could. I dripped all over the machine, so that means I was working hard right? I guess when you go 180 rpm on there with reasonable resistance, “sweat happens.”

Normally, I am not a big fan of the elliptical. So boring. You can get your heart rate up on it though and that is all I needed. I had to skip running – my ankle has been bothering me more this week so I decided to get off it. It seems that the 9 or so miles of run/walking I did this week, combined with the Physical Therapy I’ve been doing for my ankle, was a lot.

Since the ankle is kind of sore, I’m going to try to stay off it until Wednesday and see if it calms down. If it does I will try to do the Inspiring Hope run next weekend. It may end up being an Inspiring Hope walk. I will run on Wednesday just to see how it is doing, then if it seems okay, I’ll sign up.

After elliptical I did my PT exercises. While I was doing the Arm and Leg swings in the Sagittal Plane (the hardest one I have to do) some wiseacre next to me goes, “I guess that exercise must be harder than it looks.”

I thought to myself, “What was your first clue, genius? The fact that I keep practically falling over, or that my face is beet red and I look like someone is poking me in the leg with a red hot poker?”

I was nice, though. I just said “yup,” and kept at it.

I sure will be glad to have running not cause me pain anymore, because I miss being able to do long runs on the weekend. As a friend of mine said to me this week, running is my sanity. It (and this blog) are my “me” things that I do. I like getting in a good workout at the gym, but it is not the same as running outside for an hour for my general outlook. I like getting sweaty out in nature I guess.

I said this was a 7 week recovery report. Guess I better report.

As far as the surgery aspect, things are good. No abdominal pain at all, everything feels pretty normal now. In fact, I’m not sure how much longer I will keep doing these reports because I am not sure how much longer the surgery itself will be a factor with regards to the things I am interested in talking about on this blog. I feel pretty good, can do pretty much everything I want to, and I still feel like long term there shouldn’t be much in the way of negative impact.

The only thing I am still struggling with is the ankle. I had really hoped the bed rest in March and time I’ve spent not running over the last 3 months (pretty much since the Rain Run) would have fixed me up. I certainly didn’t expect to still be having pain 3 months later. I think the PT is helping, and will help more and more as I get stronger, I just feel frustrated that this is the thing holding me back.

On the other hand, maybe it’s good this ankle thing is happening. Since the surgery recovery seems so easy, I’d probably have hurt myself already if there wasn’t something slowing me down, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.