All good things must come to an end and this includes shabbily written blogs that offer no insight whatsoever in how to recuperate from an injury.
It feels fitting that I should sign off now. Around this time last year I came out of my boot and now 52 weeks later, I can regularly be found running around the streets and parks of West London, whilst I shout self-help style mantras to myself, (in my head, I should add). Things like, ‘c’mon legs you can do it’, ‘just a bit further’, ‘think of the destination, not the journey’, etc etc. Surprisingly the mantras work and unsurprisingly the leg holds and 5km later I am sweaty and rather smug faced.
I’ve learnt a lot…including, backpacks and tupperwear are essential kit and skinny jeans go with everything, including an airboot, (see told you no insight at all)
So folks, I will leave this here.
The dicky hip is fixed. Sorry I should have written before to say. Not really sure how it got fixed, but just like George Harrison sang, ‘All things must pass’ and so has the sore hip. I would like to think he was thinking about things like dicky hips when he wrote this song.
Anyway I digress, back to matters at hand. I am still under the security blanket care of my physio (Greg at W5 Physio, if you ever want a recommendation) who has today bestowed on me the last and final task of my recovery…hopping. And just like the first task when he set me the challenge of getting off my crutches it involved the horrible setting of the corridor of panic.
If someone asks you to hop, if you are of sane mind you will probably look confused. When I was asked to hop by Greg, just as he opened the door to the corridor of panic, then my look of confusion turned to something else.
Hopping is simple, it also makes you recall memories of youthful fun and carefree days. To some. To others (me) there first comes confusion of how to hop, (when it comes to my right leg these things needs thinking through), then comes, can I hop, then, will I land flat on my face, and then, let’s give it a go.
I have been tasked with hopping. Three metre length x ten times. I’ll keep you posted.
This week has been a little like going back in time. My leg is swollen and being in short, a bit of a shit.
That’s a technical term. Pain is easy to describe, but the niggles, aches and general aura that accompanies an ATR are, I find, more difficult, so I like to think of my leg as an extremely tempremental person. It’s ‘grumpy’, ‘unhappy’, ‘pissed off’, ‘tired and grouchey’, ‘so so’, ‘a bit of a shit’ and so on. Numerous states to describe something quite undescribeable.
I find it easier this way.
Anyway, I think the leg presses I did at the gym last week set it off. It was mildly unhappy over the weekend, but then that’s how it usually feels post workout. It wasn’t until I went to physio and he commented on the swelling and then massaged (also known as manhandling) it that it began to feel worse. If I had continued in blissful ignorance then all would still be in the state of ‘unhappy’ to ‘so so’ but when someone points at the problem its difficult to ignore.
A reduced light workout is on the cards for the next couple of weeks. I’ve worked the leg back from being pissed off before, I can do it again. We looked at ankle boots today at lunch, it seemed to help, slightly.
On the bright side I got to see an ultrasound of my leg on Monday, or ‘the massive gaping hole where my Achilles tendon used to be’. It basically looked like white noise.
Oh dear blog, how I’ve neglected you.
I’ve been rather busy of late, you know how it is….amongst other things, which biker boots to buy this season, whether I would make a good mentor (err maybe on celeb gossip), about my new job (new year, new start, take that 2013), my Christmas in LA and why I seem to spending a lot of time in restaurants that only serve two things, (lobster or burger…?!) I haven’t forgotten about the leg, it would never allow me to do that. But, cliche alert, I’ve jumped back into life like a hot bath after a cold day. There are small reminders…short, sweet but there…a bit of a snarky leg the day after running, physio appointments (every three weeks now), how the leg gets slightly miserable after being stuck in a boot all day and what seems will be forever and always, daily single leg calf raises.
But no pain, no aches and no stiffness.
I don’t think the leg will ever get back to its pre-snapped-ness. But I don’t care, I quite like its post-snapped-ness.
I am back on the treadmill full time, well once a week which is virtually full time compared to not being on it. Session kicks off with a brisk walk then intervals.
Week 1 – 1 minute walking & 1 minute running
Week 2 – 1 minute walking & 1 minute running interspersed with 10 x high steps alternating legs
Week 3 – 1 minute walking & 2 minute running
Week 4 – 1 minute walking & 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 minute running
Stretch afterwards. No aches, no pain and nearly back to a normal run.
The leg is then royally rested for a couple of days afterwards. If I have learnt anything then its not to wear shoes that are too flat (namely my lovely battered Converse), the day after because if I do my leg lets me know about it, usually when I am walking home laden with shopping.
Next step from the treadmill is to conquer the great outdoors again. My physio has said that I could try now but realistically think that’s a while away.
I’m just shy of eight months post op, I’ve stopped reading the Achilles press so not sure how my recovery fits with the overall grand scheme of things. Sometimes that’s a good thing. If you are reading my blog and gauging your recovery against mine, then I apologise now.
I did it.
I started with a good five minute build up, walking increasing the speed every minute. The faster I walked the more flashbacks I had to my anxiety dreams. I remembered that in them I ran rather like Phoebe in that episode of Friends where she runs wonky. Except I was more like if Phoebe had been hit by a fast moving vehicle before she ran.
So I had a lot to focus on.
The plan was 5 x 1 minute intervals. Stop if there is discomfort, pain or the onset of a panic attack.
Minute one was spent trying to spread my weight as much as possible through my feet (think wide toe running)
Minute two, I’m actually doing this, don’t spread weight, is there pain, am I okay?
Minute three, okay this is happening. Is my right leg kicking out? Am I starting to Phoebe run?
Minute four, this is rather enjoyable
Minute five, over before I knew it
It wasn’t perfect, but it was pain free.
Next day my leg felt a little stiffer than normal, but still no pain.
I did it.
To welcome me back into the world of two shoes back in April I purchased a pair of blue and orange trainers. Very comfortable and surprisingly complimentary with most outfits, they saw me back into the walking world. And tonight they will see my first foray back into running.
On Monday my physio gave me clearance for light intervals and since then I have had anxiety dreams where I have run for various forms of transportation then realised mid stride that I shouldn’t and I’ve woken up as I’ve come crashing down to earth. The mind is a funny thing…well mine anyway.
It will soon be buses but for now I will settle for a treadmill and some slow, light intervals.