I have no idea how it’s Wednesday already, but this week has been FLYING by. Unfortunately I have a ton of work to do, so that’s not a good thing, but I’ve also managed to be very productive and even applied for two jobs in the last week! I’m not expecting to even get an interview for either one, but somehow just applying for a postdoc position makes me feel better about having an income to live off of come July. Anyway, let’s jump right in because I just made it home from working on plans for a bachelorette party (Lauren, I hope you’re getting excited!) and I need to get some PT in before an early morning at work tomorrow.
I woke up early Sunday morning to get a workout in before going to work, but when I went to grab my keys to get into our building’s gym, I realized that I had locked them in the lab on Saturday afternoon! So instead of working out, I threw on clothes, ate breakfast quickly, and then headed to work so I could get the security people to let me into my office. (They’re on the slow side…even at 7:30 am it took them a while to show up.) Instead I did my PT exercises for a couple of hours when I made it home later that night.
Monday was a rest day so I just did my PT exercises that night after work. Tuesday morning I got up early, though, to hit the elliptical and bike. Last week in PT, my therapist told me I could start slowly increasing my time on the elliptical so I did 17 minutes of intervals there and then finished with 13 minutes on the stationary bike. The whole time I’m focusing on keeping my back and core engaged so I can transition all of the work I’ve been doing to running once I can start again. Yesterday was also Matt’s birthday, so we had a wonderful night celebrating (which is for a future post) and we made it home too late to do any exercises before bed.
This morning I woke up early to do 20 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the bike. Again I focused on engaging my core (one of the best ways to do this, particularly on the bike, is by thinking about pulling your belly button to your spine) and keeping my back straight while on the elliptical.
CUCB Training Week 3 Recap
Here’s a look back at last week’s plan:
Monday: Bike commute
Tuesday: 15 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes bike; Bike commute
Wednesday: 15 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes bike
Thursday: 30 min pool running
Friday: Bike commute
Saturday: Bike, done to mimic the track workout
Sunday: 15 minutes elliptical, 45 minutes bike; Bike commute
I did a really good job hitting all of these workout with the exception of Sunday. That day ended up being CRAZY but I did get through a ton of work that day, so it ended up working out well.
As I mentioned, last week my therapist told me to start building up my time on the elliptical, so I started doing that this week. She also said that this week we’d be starting to do more functional balancing exercises. Once I passed that “test” I’ll be moving onto the impact exercises, like jumping and landing, making sure I’m maintaining proper form. And from there I’ll be able to start running. She assessed it as potentially 3 weeks. Obviously that left me VERY excited. So with that in mind, I’ve been attacking my PT and giving my all with each workout that I can.
CUCB Training Week 4
Here’s what this week’s plan has looked like:
Monday: Rest, PT
Tuesday: 17 minutes elliptical, 13 minutes bike
Wednesday: 20 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes bike, PT
Thursday: 30 min pool running, PT
Friday: Bike commute, PT
Saturday: Bike, done to mimic the track workout, PT
Sunday: 15 minutes walking, 22 minutes elliptical, 23 minutes bike, PT
You’ll notice I haven’t bike commuted this week, which has been due to evening activities after work…and maybe me being a little bit chicken in this cold and windy weather we’ve had . I don’t bike on days that I go to the pool because I meet up with Matt there and we walk home after (as he mentioned, he doesn’t bike to the track so his legs are fresh).
You may also be noticing the addition of walking on Sunday. It’s not much, but my therapist gave me permission to start walking on the treadmill today…and I almost hugged her! I can start out with 15 minutes, 0 incline, no faster than 3.5, and I have to work on walking as quietly as possible – like I’m sneaking up on someone. The goal is to focus on minimizing the force of each strike.
In my appointment today, we also started working on balancing and squats. Turns out I REALLY suck at squats. When I do them up against the wall with a balance ball, it’s not a problem. But when I just try to do them on their own, I am horrible. Sadly, I have A LOT of work to do on my form. There is also a lot of tightness in my ankles and achilles, which is a problem I’ve had my entire life. In 4th grade, I grew about a foot in a year (and haven’t grown much since), causing my achilles to be really tight. My knee bend has been HORRID since then…just ask my skating coach and ballet teachers. My stroking was abysmal and my demi plies were a joke. This was the first time I have been given an exercise in PT that I felt like I physically couldn’t do it, or that I can’t even work on improving over the week to be able to do it. It honestly feels like a physical restriction in my legs when I attempt to do squats. And I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t incredibly disheartening. I’ve been in a weird funk ever since my appointment, actually.
After we finished going through exercises today, my therapist and I talked about the plan for the coming sessions, and she said she thought I had about 6 more to go before I could start running on the treadmill at PT. Given that I’ve been going about once each week, that was REALLY not what I wanted to hear…especially after being told 3 more weeks only a week ago! But maybe I’ll end up going twice each week now that we’re adding more and more exercises. She did tell me to come back sooner than I have been. At least that’s the hope I’m clinging to.
More than anything I want to be able to run again. And the longer I’m away from it, the more scared I get about the sport in general. What if my knee still hurts when I run again? What if it hurts for the rest of my life? What if I don’t like running anymore once I do get to run again? What if, what if, what if? It’s terrifying and frustrating. And more than anything, when I’m stressed about the 8 million other things not working out in my life right now, I want to be able to go for a long run, relieve the stress, and work through everything. But instead I’m a basket case freaking out about every little thing. (I’m sure Matt really loves me so much right now…) At this point, I’m about to start begging to go for a run! But at least I get to start walking. It isn’t much, but it’s progress. And right now, that’s all I can ask for.
Your Turn: What are some of your running fears? Who else is in a recovery week for training? What are some exercises that you struggle with, and what are some that you’re awesome at?