Saturday, September 27, 2014

Starting to run....and fun with UMT at Kodiak

I just got home from a 5 mile jaunt around the neighborhood, alternating walking and running, completing the loop in 57 minutes.  I am feeling very grateful.  That's AC100 race pace!

I did a similar workout on the Sawcut Wash in Monrovia two days ago at the same pace (58 minutes).  It was fabulously hot and felt indescribable to be out and moving on trail in the sun with a blue sky above....

The limiting element to my running at present is actually my calves rather than the area around my fractured hip socket.  The calves --and the achilles on my injured side-- are weak from lack of use.  The right hamstring & glute attachments on the right are tender at the junction of the upper leg with my butt.  This is distal to the fracture site/stainless steel hardware, I think its soft tissue injury either incurred in the accident or the surgery.  It hurts less to run than it does to walk oddly enough-  I attribute this to a shorter angular extension while running (faster turnover, small steps) than while walking.

I've been progressing the heel drop exercises to strengthen my achilles/calves-  which I started in late July when I got clearance  for weight bearing.  I am now at 3x30 reps, straight leg, bent leg, with 57 pounds on my back.  The right calf has strengthened considerably, just need to work on endurance now.  The hip rehab is focussed now on flexibility, and strength training for he hamstrings and flutes particularly.  PT sessions last about 2 hours, preceded by an hour of warm up and stretching.

Meantime I've had some fun with the Ultra Medical Team.  I had the chance to work with these amazing people at 72mile checkpoint (Nordic Rim) of the Kodiak 100 last weekend up in Big Bear.  We were a small crew, led by Marco Apostal, an amazing guy who worked 36 hours straight from the start through the finish, with only an hour sleep.  I'd driven up Friday night arriving at Nordic Rim around 1am, and worked with the race folk there to set up the aid station and helped there until we shut it down around 2pm Saturday.  Marco came in around 3am after closing down an earlier medical checkpoint; later that morning he showed me how to treat some rather horrid blisters.  He had given me a walk through on how to do it and I had made sketches based on his lesson;  shortly afterwords  a runner came through, kindly  obliging my interest by presenting with layered  heel blisters the size of  silver dollars.    Marco had him up and running and reportedly his feet lasted him through to the finish.  An amazing fun time with a remarkable, committed group of ultra runners.
UMT crew at Nordic Rim, Mile 72 of the Kodiak 100.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fracture rehab, Sept 13

My  physical therapy is progressing. Around a month ago some muscles that I'd had trouble getting to fire -- notably the right glute-- "woke up" and I fairly suddenly became able to do 1-leg glute bridges.  The PT started me on hamstring curls, dynamic lunges, and some other exercises designed to more aggressively work the hip abductors, hamstrings, and glutes-  including "monster walks"-- walking  with a tight rubber strap wrapped around my legs stepping 45 degrees out and forward to the right, then to the left, etc;  and side steps wrapped the same way.  The most effective of the exercises seems to be the dynamic lunges, which leave me sore the next day.

Two weeks ago I had another set of X-rays and the orthopedic surgeon told me he can no longer see the acetabular fracture in the X-rays.  The PT started me on the treadmill with a  0.5 mile slow run;  yesterday I did a 1 mile slow run.  It felt OK.  The injured right side has soreness in the glute primarily.  I remain focussed on improving flexibility with hamstring and quadriceps stretches 2 or 3 times daily, as well as TFL "stretches" using a tennis ball to roll tender spots.  The latter has helped to reduce pain and tightness on the anterior of the hip joint.

Ive been getting out and walking 2 miles per day most days.

I've also been continuing my eccentric heel drop exercises to restore calf strength and deal with soreness in the achilles-  the good leg got beat up from doing all the work while I was on crutches and the bad leg was just weak from lack of use.  These exercises are done typically with 3 sets of 15 on each leg, with both straight leg and bent leg.  The  progression thus far has been:

Week ending July 28:   heel drops, no weight, 1x daily
July 31-> 2x daily
Aug. 9->  2x daily with 25 lbs
Aug. 21-> 2x daily with 33 lbs
Aug. 30, 2x daily with 41 lbs
Sept 11, 2 x daily with 58 lbs
Sept 13, increased reps from 15 to 25

I started working at the office last week.  The folks at my workplace had a little "welcome home" party for me and being there with these people, some of whom have been friends for 25 years, really lifted my spirits.  The only issue I've had working in the office is that sitting is uncomfortable -- meetings are a bit painful unless I stand.  Its good to be recovering a bit of normalcy in my routine.