Friday was my 6 week check up with the surgeon. I was really hoping he’d give me the all clear to swim. I knew he told me 12 weeks before I could run, so I held out no hope that he’d allow it. I had already been doing a couple of things without his permission; I did a couple of Barre workouts, and I had walked on the treadmill. So far, things had been feeling good. On top of that, I went for my physical therapy evaluation a week ago and they told me that I was doing better than most people who haven’t had surgery, so there was essentially nothing they were going to be able to do to assist my recovery. I just needed to keep doing whatever it was I was doing and allow my body to heal.
Amazingly, at the 6 week check up, my surgeon told me I could run. I couldn’t believe it when he said it. I was so glad Chris came along to the appointment because I know he would have never believed me if I came home and told him I was released to run.
He really gave me no restrictions, he just told me to run “as tolerated” and that since I just walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill the night before, he thought starting with a 5 minute run and 25 minute walk would be a good. He wants me to do that for a week, then increase to 10 minutes of running for a week, and so on.
So Friday night after work I went to the running store. I have needed new running shoes, but haven’t bothered to get any since I wasn’t supposed to be able to run until March. No need having new kicks sitting around the house giving me ideas.
I ended up with Saucony again, the same shoes I’ve been in since I started running. But I did try on some Mizunos and Asics, they just weren’t my shoe.
So, with new running shoes I was ready to give it a shot.
Since I had done a couple of workouts already, I was nervous. One night when I was doing the Barre workout I felt some pressure in my foot and my first thought was “oh no, the surgery didn’t work.” It was in the back of my mind that this first run could be a disaster. It was also in the back of my mind that I would be too out of shape to run long enough to even know if there was a problem.
I got on the treadmill Saturday afternoon and fired up an old quick workout that I had programmed in.
Warm up 3 minutes
Run 4.8mph 8 minutes
Walk 3.5mph 2 minutes
Repeat three times
Cool down 3 minutes
It seemed easy enough to start with, and going into it, I figured I would do the first 8 minute run, for as long as I could, hoping to make it 8 minutes, and then I’d walk the rest.
I ended up doing two of the 8 minute runs and then walking the rest. So I did more than I planned on doing, but not as much as I used to be able to do considering this was a really conservative workout that I did in an attempt to try to maintain my fitness before while not causing further damage to my feet.
Still, I was able to run for 8 consecutive minutes, twice, with no pain. No pain. None. I did feel some pressure in the foot that I had some problems with swelling right after surgery, but it was pressure, not pain.
Being able to run a few minutes longer than that would have told me without a doubt that the surgery worked, but typically I would have started having problems with my feet by 8 minutes into a run, so I’m tentatively optimistic about this.
After the run I rewarded myself with a spoonful of peanut butter, just like in the good ol’ days.
I’m going to focus my first month on recovery, and increasing my endurance. I’m not setting any goals for distance or weight loss, I just want to do what I can do, give my body a chance to adjust and focus more on making sure I get a run in 4-5 times a week.
After a month, I’ll up the anty and start looking at my weight loss and distance goals and maybe, just maybe, start looking for some races.
I’m back baby!