Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Zero Week

Christmas week was not planned to be a total bust, only some additional days off as expected due to travel and to let the body recover a bit from the added mileage and some piriformis pain I was feeling for the first time ever. I took Monday and Tuesday off, but was dressed and nearly out the door on Wednesday when I received a call from Jennifer letting me know my step-daughter Becca was trying to get us up to the Chicago area to miss the worst of a winter storm.

Since we had planned to leave on Thursday, I was not packed and had to quickly undress, pack, take a quick sink bath to get the sunscreen off, get the house ready for absence with our cats, then we had to drive to my mom's to drop our dog Baxter off and then rush over to the airport. To put icing on the pie, our plane had a flight computer problem so we ended up leaving on Thursday anyway. The weather was perfect for a white Christmas but not so perfect for a new amputee runner and I did not feel confident I could handle the ice and snow in my everyday running shoes.

I also had had some blister lines form at the top of my sleeve, which surprised me since I had not been running. I suppose sitting in the tiny, cramped plane seats caused some rubbing and friction that caused the skin irritation. I took the sleeve off my socket and found I could easily walk with just a tight prosthetic sock fit. I would not chance a run in this setup, but it is good to know I don't really have to wear a sleeve for everyday walking.

We had a wonderful time staying with John Ryan, Kristen, and of course "Oh no!" Jack and visiting with Becca and Mistah Chris. Several times I thought long and hard about going for a run and even tried a few steps, but decided falling and breaking something at this point wasn't worth the gamble, especially in an off week. So although I wanted to get a few miles in the log instead of a big fat zero, I'm not going to beat myself up over it either. Ah, the advantages of so-called maturity and wisdom that comes with age.

That said, when we returned home on Monday, I finally got on the treadmill for a couple of easy miles and the piriformis let me know it was still unhappy and rather liked retirement. It should know better. Tomorrow I will try to run 4 around the hood, and then 6 on Wednesday. I did run in my sleeve, however I moved it down the socket a inch or so to lower it under the blister line.


Update: Today, Tuesday, I ended up running 5 miles instead of 4. During that first half mile I had serious reservations that today was going to be any better than the previous night's treadmill jog, but suddenly the body loosened up and I felt pretty good. I was concerned missing a week of running while just getting into some semblance of fitness would set me back more than I cared, but after about 3 slow miles I thought I could easily make 5 without undue stress.

I did have an incident at mile 3 when I stopped to stretch. I mainly do standing hamstring type stretches, with my head down while I reach my palms down to the ground, etc. When I finished I became quite dizzy, so much so that I placed my hand on a nearby pine tree to steady myself. Funny the things you think of, I was thinking, damn, I hope I don't fall and break my arm so I'd have to run with a sling. The spinning eased and I started running again only to find myself dizzy again. With the fear of falling, I sat down and closed my eyes, wondering how long it would take someone to find me if I passed out.

In a few minutes the dizziness passed and I started my run again. For a moment I thought I should just go home but that madness passed and I headed to the back neighborhood to finish up my run without further incident. I truly don't think it was anything other than something caused by my stretch and have felt fine the rest of the day.

I made one more stop to dry my liner and check for a hotspot that turned out to be nothing and completed 5 miles. Although I ran very slowly I was happy the piriformis never pinched my butt and felt my fitness had not taken a hike in reverse. I'd like to run at least 30 miles this week to keep moving forward and not a step back. I'll probably do 6 tomorrow, do some speedwork on Thursday, run the Cooper River Bridge on Friday, run 4 on Saturday, then do 8 again on Sunday.


The main thing on my mind these days is when I will get my running foot. I am somewhat anxious about this because if I do not get a sponsorship/scholarship, I will have to cough up a considerable amount of moolah to obtain one. Everything I've been told or read indicates a running prosthesis will allow me to be the best I can be and I believe it. My goal is this: to have it before the Flowertown Races in March.

So let it be said, so let it be done. =:-)

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