Thursday, August 11

I can run again!

Up until Tuesday, August 9th, 2016, the last time I had gone for a run was July 11th, 2015. So it had been, legitimately, almost 13 months since I ran. And while my run on Tuesday was more of a walk-jog for 30 minutes thing, I'm still counting it as running because it's more than I have been allowed to do in over a year.

I had my follow-up with my surgeon on Tuesday morning, the day of my run. I was expecting some kind of leg press test, but I didn't think it would be *the* thing of focus for my appointment. To be cleared to run, my surgeon has a simple test: Be able to do at least 10 single leg presses on each leg, with the weight set to your full body weight (I was weighed right before, so I couldn't cheat and lie about my weight...aka my master plan!).
what a single leg press looks like
I was really nervous going in, because leg press machines vary widely (which is so annoying), so what I can do on one machine has no bearing over what I can do on another. Over the summer at the GAO gym, I was able to do 95% of my body weight, single leg press, around 8 presses on my surgeried leg (and around the same or a bit more on my good leg). At Planet Fitness, I could barely do 80lbs per leg. So I didn't know what to expect, but I figured I'd probably get at least 5 on my surgeried leg and shoot for 10 on my good leg -- the average of what I could do at both gyms.

At my appointment, I did a warm up on their elliptical and then found my assigned physical therapy guy. I got on the leg press machine and started with my good (right) leg. When I got to 10--which was a shocker--I thought he would stop me,  but he said he'd stop me only if I got to 20. "Yeah, that's not gonna happen," is what I said. And did! I got to 20, somehow, even though my right glute muscle was charley horsing and burning like crazy. Then it was time for my left leg....aka THE MOMENT OF TRUTH. I pushed up with both feet and then took my right off, for the actual single presses on the left. I got to 5 and knew I had more in me. I got to 8, and could feel myself getting close to exhaustion, but I pushed through the pain and got to 10. I didn't feel like I needed to stop yet, and thought maybe I could do 1 more, which I did. Then I got another - for 12 total. I couldn't push up on 13, so 12 it was.


FINALLY, THE BIG BLOGGY BRAG MOMENT: When I saw the surgeon after that, he looked at my leg press test results and said he was impressed at being so far ahead of schedule in my recovery. He said that with my type of surgery (quad graft), the recovery is usually much slower and longer, so he was really pleased with how far I'd come in the 19ish week I'd been out of surgery. When I got out of surgery back at the end of March, he told me that usually, it's about a 6 to 9 month recovery process, until I would be able to jog/run again (which is why I was so shocked when he gave me the clear to start jogging).

But on Tuesday, he gave me a 4 week walk-jog progression program, saying that after that I could increase my mileage progressively, toning it down if I ever experienced any kind of pain or swelling in my knee. I'm so excited to be able to run at all, that 4 weeks seems really quick and short to wait to be able to run freely again. My plan is do the program and then maybe start training, very casually (aka novice level) for a 10k. But I am SO happy to be running again!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!