I’m happy to announce that after two horrible, painful, doped-up days following surgery on Tuesday to fix my broken wrist, I’m officially back in the world of the living. I ended up spending Tuesday night in the hospital (apparently, sobbing in pain and begging for morphine when your nerve block suddenly wears off about an hour after surgery, leaving you with absolutely nothing to ease the pain of someone cutting into you, is not the best tactic to use when you’re looking to go home), and slept through most of the day Wednesday once I got back home. Today, though I’m not exactly feeling productive and perky, I feel human again, and actually able to look forward — like, beyond my next dose of pain killer.
It likely won’t surprise you to hear that on my way into surgery, I was asking my doctor how realistic my various race goals were. I tempered my questions with the caveat “I know this seems trivial right now, but…” Then, I asked how soon I might be able to run, swim, hop on the stationary bike, do a single set of lunges or squats, etc.
Here’s the amazing thing: My doctor is a runner! She told me as soon as the wound heals and I get into a cast, I should be able to do a little bit of running, though I could tell she didn’t want to get my hopes up about when that might happen. “The first month might be kind of rough, activity-wise,” she said, wincing sympathetically. But like a true runner, she also didn’t want to dampen my hopes that I might realistically be able to run the Blue Ridge Parkway Half-Marathon on April 24, or compete in the 1-Mile Chesapeake Bay Swim on June 13, and she told me to try to view recovery on a week-by-week basis.
This week, my goal is to let my body rest to let some good healing begin, and to make sure I don’t sweat at all to avoid the risk of infection. I am, however, cleared to do whatever short bursts of activity I feel up for, provided I don’t get sweaty, and I actually did a set of single-leg squats today just to feel my muscles move again (I’ll need a nap later as a result, I’m sure).
Looking a little farther ahead, I’m also considering what I think are some pretty reasonable goals for returning to activity. I could be done with all manner of splints and casts within six weeks, which brings me to the first week of April. Ideally, I’d like to run the half marathon at the end of April (nine weeks away), and do the swim on June 13 (a whopping 16 weeks away). If that proves to be overly optimistic, my plan is to train for a fast 5K or 10K sometime in the late spring, and to be back in fighting/running shape for the Annapolis 10-miler in August. For swimming, the backup plan involves choosing one of the many great-looking open water swims closer to the end of the summer. These should give me some exciting goals to work toward, while letting me be flexible enough to roll with the punches if my body needs a little extra time to recover.
I have one other major goal that will serve as an incentive to get strong again: Steve and I will spend next season as ski-patrol candidates at Whitetail! This is a major lifetime goal for both of us, and a great way to give back to a sport that’s given us so much.Twice-weekly outdoor emergency care classes will start in August (on Tuesday and Thursday nights, sadly, necessitating a break from our running group at Pacers Silver Spring) and continue through the fall, with on-the-hill training every Saturday once the resort is open. That gives me plenty of time to get back into top skiing shape (though don’t expect to see me snowboarding up there again anytime soon).
In other news: I wrote this post using this nifty software, MacSpeech, which converts my speech into text. There is a bit of a learning curve in using it, so please forgive any typos. My hope is that it will eventually allow me to post here more frequently. But just like the rest of my recovery, I am taking things slow, and being as easy on myself as humanly possible, so please excuse my infrequent posts here and my infrequent presence on Twitter and other social media.