Saturday, February 28, 2009

Avoiding the vacumn

I need to vacumn the never-ending supply of dog hair from Josie, the shedding machine - which does not explain why I am updating my blog right now.
My knee continues to heal. I spent some time at physical therapy yesterday after my classes were over. Jim gave me the thumbs-up to clip in and out of my pedals again. I never really thought about the quick, violent move that we have to make to get out of bike pedals (that is, until I had knee surgery). He also suggested that I do the ol' one-legged drills during indoor cycling while everyone else does the insane climbing drills (I'm not quite ready for those).
So - I tried it out this morning.
I was a little leery of clipping out at first. I had visions of popping my knee out of place - a rather scary vision, indeed.
But, it didn't happen (and if it had, I probably wouldn't be blogging right now).
I forgot that one-legged drills are pretty tough. But, I need to do them to build up the strength in my hip flexors and hamstrings again.
I managed my longest ride on my bike since surgery - 70 minutes. I'll add about 10 minutes every Saturday - and attempt to add a little more tension, too.
Following my spin, I headed to the Y for some swimming - or my version of it. PT Jim told me that I should expect to use the pull buoy for another two weeks. After that, I could gradually reduce the pull buoy time and add in light kicking.
I managed to do 5 300s (although I wasn't exactly breaking any speed limits) with a 100 cool down = 1600 meters.
Amazingly, I found the pool to be relaxing and kind I let myself just enjoy moving through the water...kind of how I used to let myself just enjoy trotting along Grove Avenue. Hmmm - perhaps this whole surgery thing could help me love the water a little more...
Speaking of running, PT Jim thought that I might be able to re-introduce light running into my regimen in about 6 weeks (3 months post-surgery). He warned me that this is just an estimate. Healing times are hard to predict with specific certainty.
My attitude towards my knees and working out and triathlons is definitely on an upward trajectory. In fact, I can think about IM Lake Placid without wanting to cry now. I'm genuinely excited to be there to cheer on and support my training buddies.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Simple pleasures

Yesterday had some definite highlights, including:

1. A return to Guppies - despite floundering around with the pull buoy, it was so fun to be back with the gang in the disturbingly murky pool.

2. Walking outside to a winter wonderland - there is something about snow falling that makes me smile (perhaps because it is so rare in Virginia).

3. My undergraduates put on a fabulous presentation in one of my classes. I was so proud of them!

4. My car AND laptop are in fine-working order after a trip to the car doctor (oil change, balance, brake pads) and the computer doctor (upgrade to Leopard - my laptop is totally fancy-pants now).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moving along

This morning, PT Jim cut back my visits to just once a week. A very positive sign, indeed. He told me that my range of motion is excellent - yippee! Now, we are going to focus primarily on building more strength in my quad - and eventually move to "dynamic" exercises. I'll be heading to the gym (most likely the beautiful Weinstein Center at U of R) every other day to go through the long list of exercises he has prescribed for me. I'll also be spinning on my bike - and floating around in the pool, too. Running, alas, is somewhere far off in the distance. Believe it or not, I'm really okay with it.
While I miss the funny, quirky conversations from long training runs, I don't miss the ongoing pain in my knees that accompanied those runs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The little winner from the Westminster Dog Show

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another update

This morning, I took my bike for a virtual 35-minute spin. It made me smile to feel my heart and lungs do a little work - at last. I'm hoping, if all goes according to my plan, that I'll be back at indoor cycling on Feb 21st. However, I won't go unless I get the blessing of PT Jim. I am learning patience with the healing process.

For instance, I thought I'd be back in the pool this week (with the pull buoy - no kicking for awhile). But, I was not given the green light. Maybe next week, little Guppies!

I started planning all the different sprint triathlons I wanted to do this summer. And then I had to stop myself. I need to wait to see how my recovery goes before I sign up for any races. If I sign up, I'll do whatever I can to finish the race (e.g. doing the run at Timberman - probably not the greatest move for my knee - but it sure was a gorgeous run course). I already had to drop out of Ironman Lake Placid (which I only did the day before surgery...I might've still been in bit of denial). So, for now, no races are planned.

However, I have completed my fundraising goal for the Team in Training century ride. I am going to do that - but not until October. The October ride is typically the Seagull Century. Join me! Better yet - join Team in Training. Be a lifesaver.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Making progress

Three weeks after surgery, I am completely free of my brace and crutches. I can bend my knee between 110-120 degrees (which has made spinning on my bike much more comfie). PT Jim told me that I can begin to increase my spinning time by 5 minute increments every day or two, in the hopes that I would be back up to spinning for an hour in two weeks.
I'm also allowed to use my bike shoes again (but no clipping out with the right leg) and I can put some tension back on the ol'trainer.

Besides working on the flexibility, Jim is working on rebuilding my quad strength. Since September, I haven't been able to do any squats or step-ups due to that pesky floating cartilage piece. Needless to say, the combination of little leg strength work and surgery have left my quads weak.

But, fitness that is lost can be rebuilt (this is what I have been telling myself for weeks now).

And so I keep plugging away.

Unfortunately, it does not look like I'll be ready to do my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society century bike ride in June (the Fletcher Flyer). But, the kind people at Team in Training reassured me that I could postpone the ride until the fall. Amazingly, I am only $30.00 short of my fundraising goal. The fundraising is almost complete - now I just have to get my body back in shape.