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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 9 – (Running) Only in Dreams
RunEatRalph posted a blog entry in BloopGood morning! Today’s title is a tougher song from one of my favorite bands, maybe even my FAVORITE band. There will be some serious kudos for whoever comes up with it and I might even send a prize. WARNING: It might be something I find around the house. It’s been quite an eventful week. Driving is pretty much normal now, so Lynchburg no longer needs to live in fear. Rehab has gone well, although I have an infection at the incision. It isn’t gross, but it’s pretty red. I was given some antibiotics that aren’t quite doing the job, so I’ll be going back tomorrow for another look. My rehab consists mainly of standing on one leg, riding a bike with little to no resistance, sliding a towel around on the floor and then getting work done on it. I’m really lucky to have great PTs with their office at my work. My workouts have been pretty good. I’m actually getting stronger. I do lots of lifting using machines and I’m still hitting that armbike or sometimes the assault bike pretty hard. I’m working with a trainer to use kettle bells too! That started today and I’m very excited about strengthening my “posterior chain” as they say. Big milestone for this week: I was able to walk down the stairs like a normal person. Sounds trivial, but just a week ago it felt impossible. I REALLY miss what running does for me though. I can’t get the endorphins anywhere else. I can’t burn the calories anywhere else. I can’t feel that satisfaction anywhere else, and I can’t get my heart rate up anywhere else. I finally broke down and started dreaming about running. In the dream, I knew I’d been injured but was able to start running again. It felt great and so real! Sadly, when I woke up I forgot for just a split second that I couldn’t run. It was fun while it lasted. This is pretty much the dream. Not all is lost though. I got this amazing and awesome BibRave BOCO Gear hat in the mail as one of the many perks for being a BibRave Pro. What is that about you might ask? If you’re a runner and you like being involved with the running community, you like races and you like FREE STUFF, you can read about my take on it here. That hat is a cloud for my head. So soft. I’ve found other ways to be entertained while I can’t run. I still have beer. I don’t have a problem. YOU have a problem. The beer on the top left was an imperial stout infused with some pasilla chili. This beer actually had some KICK. I joked that it was like drinking your beer AND your wings. It was surprisingly good though. EvilTwin Brewing has several good products. The bottom left beer is my go to. It’s a nitro beer, so it’s creamy and thick, but this one isn’t dark like a Guinness. It’s more of a typical ale as most Americans are used to. It’s smooth and yummy. The growlers on the right were filled at my new favorite brewery, 3rd Street Brewing in Farmville, VA. They have great beers and a great atmosphere. When I’m able to run again, I plan to run on the High Bridge Trail and end my runs with a beer (or two). I got the Porter and the IPA this time. That joy is real. I also found one last beer that I brought back from my trip to run the Rehoboth Beach marathon. I guess I’d forgotten about it. My race went horribly, but I celebrated well. I met some great runners that are even better friends. The beer brought back memories of fun times. Dream running is pretty nice and for now, that’s all I’ve got. I’m working hard to get back to real running as soon as I can. I have great support from my friends and from my trainers/PTs. It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when”.