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Post Achilles Surgery Week 16.5 - The One Where I Ran!!!
RunEatRalph posted a blog entry in BloopHello! This week’s title isn’t from a song and it isn’t from a movie. It doesn’t matter, BECAUSE I RAN!!!! It was only 4×1 minute intervals, but it was a runner’s high to the nth power! Pure joy. We’ll get to more of that, but I’ll also take the time to recap my week. Thursday night was the home opener for our hometown high A baseball team, the Lynchburg Hillcats. I was very happy to attend the game. I froze my butt off, but there isn’t much prettier than a ball park on a home opener. Friday, I ran 2 miles on an Alter G treadmill. It’s basically a treadmill with an isolated chamber below the waist that pressurizes to “lift you up” and reduce your effective body weight. If you’d like a better description, I posted about it last week (read here). That was a great experience, but I won’t be needing the Alter G anymore. On Saturday, I ran walked the Point of Honor 5k. My good friend and runemy Jeremy walked with me. Jeremy brought donuts, so we ate more than we burned off during the 5k. We stuck to Olympic race-walking rules and never once had both feet off of the ground. Jeremy managed to edge me out by 1 second. I think he meant to do that! The girls dominated, both the race AND the picture. It was really great to be out with the running community of Lynchburg again in a race environment. Walking wasn’t SO bad. Luckily, this might be the only race that I have to walk because….I RAN TODAY. We also went out for a little post race gathering, where there was beer, trash talk and plans for the running future. The tough guy look is for you, Preston Evans. So that covers most of the week, but I saved the best part for last. Today I had a physical therapy appointment and THEY LET ME RUN! I’m using a TruForm treadmill, which unlike most treadmills, doesn’t have a motor. You have to power it yourself like a hamster would. The good part is that it sort of forces you to run more with your glutes and hamstrings. The bad part is that it sort of forces you to run more with your glutes and hamstrings. img_3644 Share 0 0:00 / 0:17 HDEnable HD Quality Enable HD Quality Enable Fullscreen Mode Did I mention that I RAN?! I was allowed 4×1 minute intervals (as I said earlier), but they felt SO GOOD. I really didn’t struggle much at all with the fact that I had a torn achilles. Everything felt very natural. I managed to speed up to around a 7:00 mile pace and it felt great! It’s been 16 weeks, 4 days and now about 19 hours since the injury occurred. I’ve been staying positive and working hard all to build up to today. I’m as happy as I’ve been in a long time. I have so many people to thank (and God too). So many friends (both “real life” and “internet”) have said things to inspire me and to keep me focused. I thank you all so much. I don’t want to get all sappy, but you all mean a lot to me. My physical therapists have been amazing too. They inspired confidence and trust and they have been tough on me when I need it. I’m not done working yet. I have a 5 phase plan that started today and if all goes well, I’ll be through it in 2 weeks. Then I get to really run, but with mileage limitations. Based on today, I KNOW I’m going to crush what’s left to be done and get fully cleared for takeoff. Maybe I’ll see you at the next race.
Post Achilles Surgery Week 15 - Go Ahead and Jump!
RunEatRalph posted a blog entry in BloopSooooooo, I'll admit that I've been slacking in my Loop posts. I write my blog on https://runeatralph.wordpress.com/ and I sometimes neglect putting them here right away and then I don't want to bombard the Loops with WEEKS worth of injury talk all at once. So, if you'd like to read more, now you know where to go. Happy Friday, everyone! I know all Fridays are good Fridays, but this Friday is an especially Good Friday. Last week’s post title was a quote from the movie Rocky IV, but nobody responded. That’s too bad, because the prize was an ice cream cake. Well, better luck next time. Most (or all) of my post titles come from SOMETHING and sometimes somebody gets them but some have gone unnoticed or unanswered. I’ll list the answers now below: Week 14, 3/25/18 – Rocky IV Week 13, 3/16/18 – The Jerk Week 12, 3/9/18 – Tom Petty Week 11, 3/2/18 – Daft Punk (or Kanye West) Week 10, 2/22/18 – Guns N’ Roses Week 9, 2/15/18 – Weezer Week 8, 2/8/18 – Rage Against the Machine (or the movie Braveheart, I guess) There are more, but this is enough. I’m too lazy to finish all the way back to week 1. If you think you have a prize coming, have your people contact my people and we’ll figure it out (clearly I don’t really give prizes). As far as my injury goes, I feel great! I feel “normal” even. The biggest issue is stiffness when I wake up in the morning, or when I sit around for a while. I also have a tendency to get the “pins and needles” sleepy feeling a little quicker than the other foot. I’m pretty sure I can run right now. I’m also pretty sure that I won’t risk it until the PTs say the word. I’ll go full Ricky Bobby as soon as I’m told I can. My PT sessions are mostly workouts now, like the kinds of workouts that can make you sweat. Lots of ladder drills and lots of single leg balance type stuff. The Bosu is THE DEVIL. It’s amazing how much improvement can be made by just repeating things though. The first day on the Bosu I could barely handle a few seconds (even on my “good” leg) but now I’m managing 15 seconds or so on either leg. This week’s biggest milestone is that I can JUMP. I seem to favor my good leg a bit and I’m not sure why. I’m really not afraid. I trust my PTs and I trust my tendon. It’s either subconscious or my body is just used to being a bit one-legged. I’m still required to do 5 single leg heel raises that can achieve the same height as my other leg before I’m allowed to run. That’s coming soon, I know it to be true. Those boxes will all be checked off soon enough. I’ve loved wearing this shirt to keep me motivated. The bottom right 4 mile run is from my last run on December 13. I don’t even remember it because I didn’t think it was a significant run at the time. Who would have thought it would be my last one for several months? Lesson learned. Don’t take ANYTHING for granted. The shirt and its message have been part of my life for what feels like forever. I’m excited that soon it will simply be a souvenir from tougher times. Happy Easter, friends.
Post Achilles Surgery Week 11 - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
RunEatRalph posted a blog entry in BloopGood morning! The title of this week’s post comes from a song (of course) that always has me thinking back to my Navy deployment days. It was quite popular overseas. This shirt should have at least one check mark now. The title of this week’s post is relevant because it’s about how I’m feeling right now. My PT is going very well. I think so. My PTs think so too. I’m able to do a few more things this week. I’m lifting weights more often. I’m rowing. I hit the pool. I even started using kettlebells for the last 2 weeks. I’m seriously getting my butt kicked with just basic kettlebell swings. There are a ton of benefits to doing them, that’s for sure. After just a few circuits, I’m a sweaty puddle on the floor. I’ll be back again someday. There have been several noticeable improvements to my overall fitness. I didn’t do before and after measurements of my guns or anything, but when I do my usual flex-off in the mirror they do look a little bigger (I don’t REALLY do that). My balance and stability seem better. Body weight exercises seem a bit easier. Way back when I first got hurt, I wrote that I would come back better and stronger. I’ll be honest when I tell you that there have been times during these 11 long weeks that I haven’t wasn’t so sure. I feel like I’ve passed through the worst of it and I see the beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. My confidence is growing every single week. The little exercises that were SO challenging are becoming easier and easier. My limp is just about gone, other than when I push a little hard at PT or at the gym. I signed up for a 5k in April! I have promised that I won’t get any sort of last minute competitive fire and overdo it. I will WALK it. I walked a 1/2 mile this morning on the treadmill to “get ready” for it. 🙂 Competitive fire. My confidence is so high right now. It’s not a matter of “if”. It’s a matter of “when”. My goal is seriously to PR within 6 months of being a full time runner again. It sounds aggressive and maybe it is. The way I see it, my body knows how to run and it knows what it takes to run hard. When this is all over, I’ll have spent many weeks improving the things that my body DIDN’T know how to do. Thanks again for all of the help you’ve given with advice and encouragement. It means a lot. I can’t say that enough. I do need help with one more thing…we need to figure out which race I’ll run to get my PR!
Post Achilles Surgery Week 8 – Freeeeeeeeeeedommmmmmm!
RunEatRalph posted a blog entry in BloopHello! I can’t believe it’s been 8 weeks. As you know, I’ve tried to stay optimistic and most of the time I have been. There have been long days and frustrations here and there, but for the most part I’ve done my best to find little goals and keep my head up. Two shoes! The little goals and milestones are nice, but today I hit a BIG ONE. I said bye bye bye to the boot…permanently. I didn’t really throw the boot away, because #1 that would be a waste of I don’t even know how much money I paid for that thing. Secondly, I might have bad days or setbacks and need it again. It’s going out to the car. Happy to see this view again. Speaking of the car….I drove today!!! I really missed driving. I’ve been like a 14 year old for the last 8 weeks. I needed rides everywhere. Thank you to everyone that shuttled me around. Of course this was the first place I went. It was a free coffee too! I tested out my driving ability before work by going out for a cup of coffee. Some of my running buddies were awesome enough to go for a run early enough to meet with me for coffee! I really do have some great people in my life. Speaking of great people in my life, I’m especially happy that my poor wife can quit having to change her life and schedule around to get me where I need (or want) to be. I took some ridicule from co-workers for this chair. I bought a kneeling chair! These things are supposed to help with posture and help keep your back right and your core engaged. I brought it in to use at work and so far I love it. My co-workers did not, but that’s ok. I’ll be laughing when they’re all hunched over (not really, maybe). I had an unexpected PT appointment today (my 2nd one for the week). Somebody canceled and I got squeezed in. I really can’t do much right now. We do some easy bike riding, some balancing and some sliding around on a towel with one foot. I also get a calf/Achilles rub down. Even that part hurts. I’m happy to get to work though. Every day of PT is another day closer to getting on a treadmill. To top everything off, today is my “Friday” Thursday (I have every other Friday off). Life is pretty good right about now.
Post Achilles Surgery Week 3 – I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends
RunEatRalph posted a blog entry in BloopThis week’s title inspiration is too easy. I think there’s more than one right answer as to where it comes from. After last week’s post, I wasn’t sure I was going to write about my progress every week. I didn’t think I’d have enough to write about. I wasn’t sure how motivated I’d be either. This Achilles recovery is a lot like a marathon itself. If I start thinking about how many weeks I have to go, it’s going to take forever. I have to take it one week at a time. I have to set little goals and find little things to be excited about. This week there has been some progress and with that some pain. The first part of my recovery involves keeping the tendon stabilized in a boot. The tendon is kept in short a position as possible and this is done by using heel inserts in my boot to raise my heel up around 4-5 inches. Each week, 1/4 of the insert is removed and this allows the tendon to slowly stretch out. That’s where the pain comes in… I took out the first part of the insert on Wednesday night. Prior to that, I was walking around fairly pain-free and taking Ibuprofen. That night, I needed the Percocet to get to sleep. I woke up about 4 hours later, exactly when the first pill wore off. I needed another one right away. That was the case for the first couple of nights. It’s better now, but next Wednesday is coming. I’m actually happy about this pain because it means I’m getting one step closer to getting to work on rehab. Now for the good parts: I walked a mile! This doesn’t sound like much, but walking a mile in my hilly neighborhood on crutches is no small feat. It was so awesome to post that to Strava. Not even the coldest cold could stop me. I went to the gym! I can use most of the weight lifting machines and I found the only machine that I can use for cardio…the arm bike! I used that thing for 30 minutes. My arms are going to mutate after all is said and done. I promised some before and after pics, so that we can see the changes. I’ll probably cheat and use some spray tan. I’m a pro on crutches now! I was like Bambi on ice when I first had to use them, but now I’d race anybody. I have some great people in my life. My family (especially my wife) are taking good care of me. They get me things and are understanding of the things that I can’t do. They aren’t letting me be TOO helpless and are challenging me to make progress. My co-workers drive me to and from work, come down to visit me, get my coffee and drink coffee with me when I can’t go to the usual hang out spot. My running friends make time to have coffee with me on Sunday mornings and even pick me up and take me home. I’m really blessed to have so many great people. A custom 1st floor office. I wear what I want now too. Then there’s the online running community. It’s amazing to feel so close to so many people that I’ve never met. The encouragement is amazing. I’m not sure what I’d do without you crazy people. For next week, one more insert is coming out. I plan to go to the gym all week long. I’m gonna hit that armbike hard. For now, I’ve gotta go grease up my biceps to get ready for that photo op. Eat your vitamins and say your prayers, Brother.