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Hold your breath, October

October 1, 2009

October. This is the month I’ve feared since the summer. You see, as of today I have 34 days until my ankle decision. On November 3rd, I either make the leap into two intensive surgeries or risk the tendon dysfunction again worsening and becoming de-habilitating. I’m not sure which one would be a better scenario for returning to running… after 2 surgeries (+2 to remove screws) the chances of training again get much smaller, but with my own feet (not fancy reconstructed ones) I hope I will be able to withstand the stresses of distance running.

Here are my character flaws that make this really hard: I’m super impatient. I’m probably the least patient person I know. (note: Not so much with people, I’m a decent tutor and I’ve become a much better listener, but beyond that… well…) and number 2, I’m a Pit-bull with goals. I want a marathon someday…

Journal of the day: The Treadmill

When I was little, I wasn’t allowed to be outside while my parents weren’t home, as we live in a rural area. I loved to run, so I wanted a treadmill. I worked as hard as I could to save up $200 for a used treadmill was obsessed with the weekly paper, looking through the ads for my ‘mill. I begged my parents EVERY WEEKEND to take me to Sears to try them out, and when I had saved up $150 to buy a used Junker, my parents bought a $1000 one for me! I was so excited and ran a mile or two every day, at 6 mph, at 12 years old. I loved that treadmill with all my heart because it gave me the ability to run even whenever I wanted. Now I would much rather be outside, but when winter closes in and I find myself busy all day until the sun goes down, I have somewhere to relieve my stress. I claim I don’t like it, but to tell you the truth a long run on the treadmill is therapeutic and so much better than no run at all. My longest treadmill run was 10 miles and it took me 74 minutes. After I was done, the room was 83 degrees just from body heat and the heat of the machine… Compare that with the 78 the rest of my house is at! It’s only recently become a clothes hanger and I want NEED to change that. I was able to use it for a couple weeks in the beginning of summer for my return to run program (I had to be on level ground) but it set me back and then the cast came.

So here are my deep and meaningful thoughts: If I keep on feeling better, I think I’m going to wait until November to chance running. The week of the 5th, I think I’ll start warming up for 15-20 minutes with the stationary bike. October 9th we’re visiting Penn State, and that will be a lot of walking. I’m hoping that will be the springboard to returning to walking. I’m going to go for a mile or two 3-5 days that week and half of next. Then I’m thinking of trying to increase it to 30 minutes of walking. If I can do 30 minutes of walking without pain for a week or two, that brings me into November and I think I’ll start Phase 1 of return to run. For the record, here’s the return to run plan:

Phase 1: 5 min walking, 1 min jogging, repeat to 30 minutes

Phase 2: 4 min walking, 2 min jogging, repeat to 30 minutes

Phase 3: 3 min walking, 3 min jogging, repeat to 30 minutes

Phase 4: 2 min walking, 4 min jogging, repeat to 30 minutes

Phase 5: 1 min walking, 5 jogging, repeat to 30 minutes

I say jogging, because for me 5-6 mph like the PT said is not a run. I don’t have a fluid stride at that speed and I feel like, well, a jogger. The program emphasizes increasing speed before distance.

Then I would start a training program and hopefully have some mileage under my belt for spring track. We’ll see how it plays out, but I’m not giving up swimming. That is going to be my rest day training forever… It’s so relaxing and challenging all at the same time.

If I feel awful, If I can’t walk 30 minutes without dying, I need the surgery& I want it as soon as possible. I want ankle 2 done as soon as I’m ready. In the meantime, there will be a lot of arm biking, then swimming and pool running once the cast comes off. Then back to the arm bike, once again swimming and pool running, and hopefully, ultimately, healing and returning to running… as a sophomore in college? Blah… But here are the positives:

  • Look Ma, new feet!
  • I can wear flip flops
  • I’ll be like a ¼ inch taller! (Maybe I’ll be a model at this height!)
  • Jenna’s going to trim my cast like a tree for Christmas… (love Jenna!)
  • I get my sick awesome Knee scooter back
  • I can say “I’m tougher than you, look at my battle scars!!” 😛

So I’m crossing those no-surgery fingers and trusting God knows the right thing. He does, and everything happens for a reason… (aww, what a cliché!)

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