Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Long Road Back

Yesterday was my first Snail run since the surgery. It was good to be out with the group and they provide a lot of encouragement. I did a six mile walk with a few running stints, when no one was looking, thrown in to break up the boredom. I felt pretty good but I have lost all my endurance that I had prior to the injury. There is a lot of work to be done if I am going to run the Baltimore marathon on October 11 and the MCM on October 26. Some small voice in the back of my head is telling me to back off … but you know what they do to people that listen to imagery voices!

The PT is going well but I hate the Pilates torture rack. I was raised Catholic and I think some of the positions she is putting me in are viewed as sins!

Friday, August 29, 2008

One of our Own

I picked this up from a running club email list. No political commentary intended.


WSJ. Magazine    
Gov. Sarah Palin: Midnight runs and caribou dinners

Coming Saturday Sept. 6 in the debut issue of WSJ. Magazine, a conversation with Gov. Sarah Palin about her unusual workout and fitness routine. Preview excerpt

August 29, 2008 2:15 p.m.

Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine

Gov. Sarah Palin has always been a runner. Her parents were marathoners and high school track and cross-country coaches. "Running was a family affair," she says. "I didn't have much choice. Thankfully, I've never tired of it."

Gov. Palin, a mother of five kids, says exercise is still very much a "family thing." She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport's season. Gov. Palin (above, near Mendenhall Glacier, outside of Juneau) and her family live in Wasilla, about 45 miles north of Anchorage.


"Conventional running is my sanity," Gov. Palin says. Having recently given birth to her fifth child, the governor is trying to get back to her old workout routine. She was running 7 to 10 miles almost every day but switched to aerobics classes at her gym when she became pregnant. She has worked her way back up to running three miles every other day.

In the summer, when it's always light, she'll sometimes run as late as midnight. In the dead of winter, when it's dark, she sneaks in an afternoon run, or else grudgingly runs on the treadmill at home or at the gym in the evening. Gov. Palin keeps dumbbells at home, but she says most of her upper body strength comes from snowmobiling with her family. "It's the best upper body workout you could ever have," she says. "You're maneuvering through hundreds of pounds of powder." (Todd is a four-time champion of the Tesoro Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmobile race.)

Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine

Gov. Palin in Juneau, Alaska

Diet pitfall

"My family and I eat a healthy diet heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit," she says. "I guess my biggest pitfall is breakfast. I know it's the most important meal of the day but I still haven't bought into it. I hate to admit it, but a skinny white-chocolate mocha is my staple in the morning."

Workout gear

"My ideal fantasy is to be running on a hot dusty road just wearing running shorts and some kind of top that wicks away sweat. But in reality I'm running in 20-below temperatures, so I wear layers of fleece and always a good outdoor waterproof trail shoe. Right now I've been running in Nike Air Structure Triax. And I always wear sunglasses. My kids tell me to put them on so I don't freak people out when they see me with a goofy hairdo and no makeup."

While I'm working out

"I'm thinking about my next speech. I usually write my best speeches and letters [in my head] while out running. That is my inspired time."

Postworkout food

"Nothing. I just drink water."

Workout pitfall

"Being pregnant every few years. If I get lazy and go weeks or months without exercising it's not because of circumstances but because I'm being less disciplined. Shame on me."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am Back… Kinda -- Sorta

It has been a bit over three weeks since the surgery and everything is progressing well. The PT exercises are working and I am regaining strength and flexibility in the knee. Every now and then it gives me a little twinge to remind me that I need to slow down a bit. Outwardly, the knee looks good with most the swelling gone, the only signs of the surgery are two small lumps where the incisions were made.

Speaking of the PT, I think the woman is trying to kill me. Painful Pilates combined with the lecturing about posture are enough for me to work extra hard just to get a clean bill of health.

I have been back in the gym everyday for the past 2 weeks. I am doing 2+ hours on the elliptical and some resistance training. For the next 3 months I am going with a heavy weight low rep routine to see if I can put on a bit of muscle.

My fall running plans will include the Baltimore and Marine Corp marathons and crewing / pacing the JFK. I am also slated to crew the Iroquois 100 in late September for a friend. In January, I plan to do the Running from an Angel in Vegas. This is an OK race but I will do anything that gets me to Vegas. Who knows I may even return to the Umstead 100 to beat myself up for a third time.

Positive thought and good Karma to a fellow Elvi Runner and Blogger – Brian Pilgrim as he runs the Lean Horse 100. I have never met him but I find his writing inspiring and hope to share a trail with him some day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

10 Day Meniscus Update

All is going fairly well on the post surgery front. On Friday I had my first PT session. The Therapist poke, prodded, measured and stretched me in various painful ways. She also gave me a long lecture on my poor posture. So, we now have 2 problems to work on. I hate being broken …Old age sucks!

The right leg has significant atrophy. There is a lot of work to be done prior to retuning to distance running. I am to do PT 2-3 times a week.

I learned an important lesson on Friday. When I returned home, I was a bit upset in the exercise the PT gave me to do. Basically, I do 2 sets of stretches and 2 sets of knee extensions without any resistance. My initial impression was "how is this going to get me back into shape… I need more". Well, I was wrong. Yesterday at the gym, these simple exercises kicked my butt. Lesson learned – Listen to the Professional they know more that I do.

Following my humiliation, I did 15 minutes on the recumbent bike and a light upper body gym workout. Following my workout, I weighed myself – bad news I am 22 pounds heavier that I was in April prior to the injury. Good bye beer and snacks … Gotta get back in the gym and burn this blubber off.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back to the Grind

Today was my first day back to work following the surgery. I attended an all day meeting which required a lot of standing. By the end of the day I was hurting, needless to say I decided to skip the gym and rushed home to my ice pack and a Scotch on the rocks.

I finally connected with the physical therapist and have an appointment for Friday afternoon. The PT has a unique practice that combines Pilates with traditional PT. Hopefully, they will help me with my flexibility along with my meniscus recovery.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meeting with the Doctor

Today, I had my 1 week post surgical checkup with the Doctor. I have been given the ok to go back to work and I should be back to distance running in 6-8 weeks, just in time for the fall marathon season.

According to the surgeon I had a 35% tear of the medial meniscus with some minor wear. He recommends some physical therapy and to come back in 8 weeks. Following the recovery, I have the go ahead to attempt distance running with the understanding that if it hurts too much I may need to become a biker.

I have made some calls to local Physical Therapist; work must be good because no one is jumping to take my business. Life is getting back to normal… tomorrow I will start back in the gym for a light weight workout.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Meniscus Surgery Day 5

I am feeling OK today. The knee appears to be healing well but is still quite swollen. I am still having stiffness and trouble climbing stairs.

Tomorrow, I will see the surgeon and hopefully be released to physical therapy. Wednesday will be my first day back to work.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Post Surgery Day 4

I am recovering well but the knee is still swollen. This morning I tried to do a short walk consisting of less that a quarter mile and it was hard to complete. Following the walk the knee, calf and hamstrings were throbbing. Stair climbing is a bit difficult. I don’t have the flexibility to step up with the repaired knee.

Rest and ice are the orders for today.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Meniscus Surgery Day Three

This morning I removed the elastic bandage. Much to my surprise the knee looks better than expected. I have 2 stitches where they inserted the instruments and a small amount of swelling. The most obvious sign of surgery is the purple graffiti left by the surgeons marking pen. Everything feels much better with the bandage off. I am much more mobile and was able to finally take a shower!

Time to do a bit of showing off … I am going to meet the Snails for breakfast. I will be the good smelling one with the slight limp.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Meniscus Surgery + 48 Hours

I am still feeling OK. I slept well last night but awoke with a bit of nausea. The knee is a little looser and not too painful. I did not take any pain killers yesterday. Tomorrow the compression bandage comes off and I should be better able to assess the damage.

I spoke to the nurse at work and she warned that I am going to experience more pain in the next few days as the healing progresses. I told here that I felt that I would be back to the office sometime next week. She said to count on coming in sometime the following week.

The doctor’s office called to check up. The nurse said that the tear was larger than expected and that there were some areas of wear seen. I will have to leave it up to the doctor to tell me what this means to my future running plans. I expect that a lot depends on what happens on the PT front.

I am becoming a couch potato! Day time TV and junk food are addicting.