Can you please it’s been ten weeks since I had surgery? TEN WEEKS. Time is flying, let me tell you. Well, more like the days are long but the weeks are short, but I really cannot believe it has been ten weeks. I might say this every post, but it’s true.
I’ve be getting better week by week, and it’s so fun to see the improvements. I’ve certainly had moments where I wondered if having surgery was worth it, but so far I would definitely say YES. Of course, I haven’t been able to run yet, but we’ll get there.
Overall I feel really good. I do most things in my life without thinking about them, although things that involve bending down/picking things up/getting on the floor remind me that I had surgery and I can’t quite do things the usual way yet. I wonder if I’ll always feel “operated on,” if that makes sense, or if I’ll eventually go back to picking pennies up off the sidewalk without thinking about it.
I also recognize that it’s still early in the game, so there’s that.
Physical therapy has been going quite well, and dare I say I actually break a sweat while doing my exercises?? I always got sweaty on the bike at PT, but now my exercises have kicked up a notch, and they can be tough! Since I missed a week 9 recap, we’ll combine into both. I’ve been repeating my list of PT exercises with each post, but I’ll let you refer back if you’re interested. Otherwise, new stuff includes:
- Single leg brides. 3 x 10 each side. These are so hard, but it’s exciting because it’s my first exercise focusing on a single hip versus using both at the same time.
- Squats with five pound weights. I’d been doing them without any weight, so this is exciting! I can get my thighs to parallel, hooray.
- Monster walks with green band. Video. It’s the second half the video, although I do side stepping too. This really gets those hips firing!
- Clam shells. Video. My old friend the clam shell! I don’t use a band for this.
- Hamstring stretch. Laying on back and using a strap. It’s getting a little easier each time, although I definitely still have the tightest hamstring in Manhattan…
- Piriformis stretch. Video. This is a little challenging because my external rotation in this position isn’t the best (especially on the right hip), but it’s something.
- Squats on the Bosu ball!! PT made it sound like this would be super challenging, but it wasn’t too bad so I feel good about that. 3 x 10 squats.
- Single leg dead lift. Video. I use a five pound weight in one hand. I feel like these are harder for me because I don’t have much hamstring flexibility, but overall they feel good. 3 x 10, each side.
- Step ups onto 8 inch step. I literally step up onto a box, then step back down. 30 times each leg. I call it the cheap Stairmaster.
- Up and over on 8 inch step. (Not sure what this is really called). But I stand behind the 8 inch step, step one foot on top, then step the other foot down in front of it making sure it lead with my heel. (It sounds way more complicated than it is.) 30 each leg…you have to turn a lot so that makes me dizzy, haha.
- Foam rolling! For the quads and IT band.
Week 10 Updates to Old Exercises:
- Moved up to three pound weights for my side leg lifts and posterior leg lifts.
- Now use 8 inch step instead of 4 inch step for my lateral and forward single leg mini squats. (Although they aren’t so mini now!)
Not too shabby right?? This morning at physical therapy, my PT said the magical words, “Do you think you could run?” DO I THINK I CAN RUN?? I said I feel like I could definitely try.
I don’t see the surgeon until Monday (was supposed to have an eight week appointment, but they had to change it and this was the earliest I could do), and my protocol doesn’t say anything about running until at a minimum of 12 weeks. From what I’ve heard, the 12 week minimum is because that’s how long it takes the anchors/sutures to heal. The labrum gets anchored/stitched back up into the hip socket, so you definitely want that heal! I think the official PT protocol from my surgeon says running can start at 14 weeks (every surgeon has a different protocol) and it obviously depends on how each patient is doing. However, I’ve been getting to everything a little ahead of schedule while still being within the protocol, so fingers crossed it’s soon.
My physical therapist immediately said, “Well…not for another 2-3 weeks, we have to check the protocol,” but I think it’s a good sign that she was asking. I understand that “running” right now means maybe a few minutes, but it’s exciting that it’s on the horizon. Before surgery, I told myself that I could probably run starting in 2017, and anything before that would be a gift. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…patience is totally key to recovery, and I’d rather run pain free in 2017 than try to push too early just because I’m getting impatient. I’ve definitely put in way too much work to mess it up now.
I will say that it was about week nine when I finally felt lazy and gross. I could pay better attention to how I’m eating, but I can tell I’ve gained a little weight. Nothing crazy and I might be the only one who can tell (if you can tell, just don’t tell me!), but I’d be lying if I said I was happy about it. I know it’s temporary and once I can get moving I know it’ll be fine, but I’m trying to be totally honest about this recovery and it is something that is bothering me. This also happened the same day as the Marine Corps Marathon, which I had really wanted to run as the tenth anniversary of my first marathon (Marine Corps was my first!), so that certainly played into it a bit.
I’m hoping at my appointment on Monday that I’ll get some clearance to do something! Around eight weeks it sounds like the elliptical is an option, so while I never thought I’d say I hope I could go on the elliptical – I hope I can! We’ll see.
As for the rest of life, I mostly study and do my PT exercises. haha. But a couple fun things have happened…
Eric and I went to Florida for the Florida/Georgia football game (and for me to study on his dad’s porch for most of the weekend, woohoo!). He’s from Jacksonville, so that was super convenient. We got the real tailgate experience – I played in the marching band in college, so I never really got to tailgate. It was so fun – everyone brings tents and food and drinks and music! The game was awesome too (and not just because of a Florida victory) – they split the stadium in half so one side is Florida and one side is Georgia. Very cool. I also was able to walk around and up the stairs to the stadium pretty well. I’m still a little slow so I hold Eric’s hand to make sure he doesn’t get too far ahead of me and it’s all good.
And even more exciting…THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!! I still can’t believe it. What a series. WHAT A GAME SEVEN. I kept joking that I needed a beta blocker or some Xanax for this series, and game seven was no different. One of the best games I’ve ever seen (if only I could have been there!), and all those years of being a Cubs fan finally paid off. We leaped off the couch when they won and probably woke the neighbors with our yelling…oops! I hear they’re dying in the Chicago River blue today for the parade, so that’s cool. For the record, my shirt says, “Just one before I die.” DONE! (Hopefully I have a long life ahead of me, haha.)
Now time to study more and get ready for the NYC Marathon! I get to hang out with Meb tomorrow, so I’m super excited about that (and more to come, obviously!). I’ll be cheering on 93rd and 1st if you’re running – I’ll have a Cubs-related sign, of course. I still can’t believe that a year ago I ran NYC and it was a ridiculously hard day. Sometimes I read that race report and still get emotional. Looking forward to better days, and hopefully everyone has an amazing race!!