It’s been a year since I had surgery to repair a fractured ankle. I’m still alive and I still want to maintain this blog. I know that I made no effort to maintain this blog while I was recovering. My feeble excuse is that I did not feel like it. I do want to write more though. I find it therapeutic to write about accomplishments and failures.
Since my last post in March, I have nearly returned to my pre-injury level of activity. I can now hike, run, bike, lift weights, swim and rock climb (although I am staying away from bouldering for now).
The visit to the ER, surgery, and follow up appointments ran out my out of pocket deductible quickly. By the time I was cleared to start physical therapy in April, I had to pay almost nothing out of pocket. I capitalized on this by treating physical therapy and recovery as my second job. I had a session twice a week for nearly four months and I tacked on a session on my own once a week.
To build some sort of cardio base, I took swimming lessons at a YMCA. From April to November, I swam two to three times a week. I hated swimming at first. Every 25 yard length left me gasping for air. By November, I was swimming 900 yard workouts with relative ease. Although I learned to appreciate swimming, I saw it only as a means to my goal of eventually returning to running.
I started out with very short intervals on the treadmill. Jog for 15 seconds, walk for 30 seconds, repeat 5 times. I gradually increased the running time based on how my legs felt. Once I hit the 2 minute run time, I knew I was ready to head outside.
I decided to go back to basics and re-run the Couch to 5k (C25k) program. I am one run away from completing week 6 of the program. My ankle feels sore afterwards, but not enough to cause concern. If everything goes to plan, I’ll be done with the program in early February.
The plan for this year is to continue building on what I got so far with two themes to keep in mind:
Everything takes time. Building endurance and strength takes time. Recovering from an injury takes time.
I think the majority of injuries I’ve suffered were caused by impatience. A common piece of running advice is the 10% rule (only increase weekly mileage by 10%). I’ve read it and heard it hundreds of times and yet I’ve never followed it. This year, I plan to spend at least the first half of the year building a base within the constraints of the 10% rule. If I stick to the 10% rule, hopefully I will spend less time recovering and more time training.
####### YOLO STCOY You only live once so take care of yourself.
My father always says “Nothing is the same after an injury.” I never believed him until this past year. Yes, I am back to being active since the surgery, but my ankle still gets sore and swollen, and I lost about 5° of ankle dorsiflexion. That injury was an accident. It is now clear to me that I must do everything I can to avoid preventable injuries.
That means taking the time to heal and recover when needed. It also means doing pre-emptive things like foam rolling, stretching, getting enough sleep, and not eating junk all the time.
With those two themes in mind, I present my running goals for 2019.
June Running Goals
Complete C25k Participate in a 5k Reach 20 MPW (following the 10% rule)
Year end goals
No idea yet! I want to evaluate in June and set realistic goals. It would be awesome if I could put in “Half marathon” here, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m staying focused on the June goals, and think about end of year goals later.