Marching forward on the path to recovery.
March 2 – My physiotherapist has Covid and has to cancel tomorrow’s appointment. I am very disappointed because she was supposed to let me run on a treadmill while she analyzed my gait. Since I won’t be seeing her for a couple of weeks, I decided to test the legs on my own to see how they responded to a bit of a run. It was absolutely awful. My plan was a few 1:1 walk/run intervals but I sometimes I barely made it to 30 seconds during the run part. My legs are stiff and awkward and my feet are heavy. And my cardio fitness level is horrible. I am clearly not ready to start running yet.
March 4 = Cybex appointment. Minor pain in my leg which might be because of my attempted run yesterday. It is not really bad and Cybex didn’t make it worse.
March 11 – It is maple season in New Brunswick and I love everything about this season. I gathered sap and carried the heavy buckets to the maple camp. Ground is uneven but I was very cautious.
March 13 – My leg hurts so bad. Mostly it is the inner thigh but also the shin. It feels like a really bad sunburn and is tender to touch. The pressure of clothing on my skin is quite excruciating and is really impacting my walking gait.
March 15 – I finally got to see my regular physiotherapist today. She had Covid, and then my rescheduled appointment was rescheduled again because of double booking. I was so happy to see her. When I told her that the pain in my leg was back and described it to her, she told me it was my lower back that was the problem. I assured her that I have a strong back but she insisted that I was wrong. She was right. I was wrong. Apparently I have a compressed nerve in my L4-L5 vertebra. The pain that I am feeling is not from a leg injury, which is a relief. I really thought I had messed up my recovery. It is just the nerve endings going haywire, which is not to be taken lightly but it is nice to have a diagnosis and treatment. Physiotherapist worked some magic with her fingers and then showed me some exercises to do at home. The pain diminished almost instantly and it is a relief to know what is causing the pain, and to know what to do about it.
And then…. she surprised me by telling me to warm up on the recumbent bike and then get on the treadmill for a run. I wasn’t expecting that because of the pain in my leg. The run was only for a few minutes but it felt okay, though a bit awkward. She is happy with my push-off and told me to try running short intervals on my own at home. As it happens, tonight is run club night and a couple of members are also starting over so I decided to give it a go. We did 10 x 1:1 intervals and it wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible. I am so out of shape. It was nice to connect with people again after two years of restrictions.
March 17 – I did a solo run today with 6 x 2 minute run intervals with 30 second recovery . Running is hard. My cardio fitness has suffered so much in the last 6 months. I feel stiff and awkward. I am not sure that I even like running.
March 18 – It is my birthday. A few weeks ago when I realized that I wasn’t going to be running by February, I set a goal to run on my birthday. Because of poor planning , that didn’t happen. My workday started at 4:00 am and I had Cybex immediatley afterwards and I didn’t dare tempt fate by running with a fatigued leg. I settled for a nice walk instead and my calf was quite tired and cranky by the end.
March 19 – I tried to run. It was awful. I started with a few 1:1 intervals and then a couple of 2:1 intervals and ended with a five minute continuous run. It was awful. I can’t remember why I enjoyed running before my injury.
March 21 – After a nice brisk walk to warm-up, I ran 10 minutes without stopping. I had planned to run 2 minute intervals but at the end of 2 minutes I couldn’t think of a good reason to stop. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life. I hate running.
March 22 – Group Run. We did 6 x 4:1 intervals. It wasn’t bad but I was looking forward to the one minute break every time.
March 24 – Hey, y’all, I have Covid. Chills, fever, fatigue, sore throat , headache…
March 27 – Covid kicked my ass for a couple of days but I am feeling much better now. It seems like a good day for a run so I did a nice brisk walking warm up and realized that I was looking forward to the run part. For the first time since my injury I really wanted to run. I was actually excited because I was going to run and I knew it was going to feel good. It didn’t feel good. It sucked big time and I coughed a lot when I finished. It appears that Covid is not done with me yet.
Summary : It has been over 7 months since I tore my Achilles tendon. and the recovery has been slow. The good news is that my patience has paid off and I am finally allowed to gradually return to running. The bad news is that running is not coming easily to me and I am not enjoying it at all. I am awkward and clumsy, my feet are heavy and I have no endurance. Covid knocked me out of the game for a few days and I think it is still impacting my lung capacity.
Despite the extra challenges this month I was still able to walk every day in the month of March. Here’s hoping that April will bring better running vibes.