Thursday, April 14, 2011

Progress Update

As the folklore continues to spread far and wide about my recent accident, I'm fairly certain that I will  go down in history as "the girl who ran 15 miles with a broken rib."  I can only hope that one day my children' children will tell the tale. 

But seriously, things are looking up.

After the now infamous tumble-taking occured, I knew that I would have a full five weeks to heal before I run my third full Flying Pig Marathon.  While I tried to remain positive and focus on what I wanted to happen, I couldn't help but let doubt creep in.  Was I going to recover in time?

For the first whole week after finding out I broke my rib, it was difficult to even move.  I watched a lot of movies, and seeing what the guy in 127 Hours went through really put the severity of own injury in perspective. I don't think I have it in me to cut my own arm off... but I guess you never know until you're in that position.  After all, I never thought I'd run 15 miles with a broken rib.

I couldn't exercise, so I was antsy.  For someone who works out every day (not to mention is in the height of marathon training), not doing anything at all is torture.  I couldn't sleep because I wasn't tired after not doing anything all day, and resting was difficult because I couldn't lie flat. Propping myself up awkwardly on the couch, I was able to get short naps in here and there. (It made me appreciate what new parents go through.)

Toward the end of the first week, I was able to walk on my treadmill.  It wasn't easy, but it wasn't completely awful either.  It felt amazing just to move again, even if it involved little jolts of pain radiating through my midsection.  In the following days, with my doctor's go-ahead, I started testing the waters.  I went to the gym and tenuously used the elliptical trainer.  I walked for an hour on the treadmill on maximum incline with only minor pain.  I bought a protective belt for "Ribbie" and tried a little slow jogging on the treadmill.  "Success! What else can I do?" I said.  I tried to go outside and run, failed, and tried again.  I failed yet again, and though it dampened my spirits, I kept trying.  Last Saturday, I was finally able to tolerate the impact and had a glorious four-mile run.  Last night, I was able to manage seven miles, sans ribbie-belt.

And now, with less than three weeks until race day, I'm finally starting to feel a lot more comfortable--at least during the day.  I still can't lie flat, and still am having significant difficulty sleeping.  But I'm back to teaching my Zumba classes again, and even managed a weight training class last night after my run.  I'm back, baby!

While I think it's appropriate to attribute some of my speedy recovery to my attitude and approach to injury, I was also just plain lucky.  As I set my sights on May 1st, I'll be counting my blessings.... and watching my step.

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