Friday, March 25, 2016

Recovery Week #6

Monday: An unreasonable snow day call gave me an unreasonable amount of free time yesterday. I wished that meant that I hiked a mountain or went for a long ride up the coast, but hanging with Alex and then later with my childhood friend Brent and his son Owen was a good substitute. Knee felt pretty good all day. I did the myrtl routine and a 30 min spin on the trainer. Sometime mid-day I got so bored I vaccumed, cleaned, scrubbed, protected, conditioned, (add any other number of cleaning verbs) the car which was desperately needed. Looks and smells good... for the moment... Real exciting stuff, right? One day closer to running...

Tuesday: Saw Physical Therapy for my first official visit. The goal there is to get a little more guidance and get some treatment that I can't do on my own. The first visit was pretty tame.. we mostly just talked about the past 5 weeks and the details of the surgery. I was given a list of pretty basic exercises to do a few times each day. Hit the gym after PT for 20 minutes on the recumbent trainer and did the exercises I was prescribed.

Wednesday: Rest day. I did the PT stuff once and iced a bit but nothing else.

Thursday: 15 minutes steady spinning before Lift Day! 4 sets on the bench (10@95, 10@115, 6@135, 8@125) and a new 20s-PR of 135 using the big 45 # plates for the first time since I was 15. In something like 5 or 6 sessions I was able to move form 95 lbs to 135 lbs which is surprising.. It's nowhere close to the satisfaction of seeing running improvements, but a PR is a PR and it's nice to have an area where I can see real gains for a change.

Perhaps even more notably, right after I finished my last set, I stood up, turned around and saw a high school aged kid trapped with about 170 lbs of barbell on his face. I immediately jumped behind the bar and held it so he could get out. The amazing part is he had a buddy who was supposed to be spotting but apparently got distracted by an attractive lady across the way, and left him mid-set. Amazing.

I finished the day with shoulder press, lat pull-downs, curls, and tricep extensions all with new PRs. Afterwards I ran through my PT exercises. Find them here if you're curious: 

Friday: 15 minutes on the bike followed by 3 sets of PT exercises plus the MYRTL routine. I added some additional planks and med ball exercises. Too much detail to write out here, but it took about 45 minutes total. I listened to a great podcast with the premise of how mentality trumps physical ability in sport, even at a physiological level. Find it on iTunes by SportsCoachRadio. It's called "Mind over Muscle: Using mental fitness to become world class". Pretty cool stuff! I'd recommend most of the stuff on SportsCoachRadio, actually.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Recovery week #5: Steady as she goes!

Monday: Myrtl routine, 10 minute spin. Feeling run down for no good reason. Saw the doctor in the morning and he said I'm healing faster than expected which was uplifting.

Tuesday: Myrtl routine, 20 minute spin and feeling downright sick. First cold of winter 2016. Celebrated Lauren's birthday at Burton's with Chrissy, Greg and Alex

Wednesday: took a break from myrtl stuff as I'm feeling pretty sore in the hips (in a good way). 30 minute spin at an aerobic intensity as a test to see how the knee would react. Lifted 3 x 10 on the bench at 95, 105, 115, 3 x 10 at 50 lb overhead press, 3 x 10 at 90 lb on the lat pull downs.

Thursday: No activity. Just regular icing at home. Busy day made for a good excuse to relax a bit. Not surprisingly, the knee was a bit more swollen than it was early in the week and I'm assuming it's because I pushed things on the bike. It's not painful.. but I probably won't try that again until week 7 since regularly hitting that level of intensity is probably a stupid idea for now.  Testing things out is all part of the process.

Friday: 20 minute spin. I toyed with the idea of lifting but struggled with comparable weight to Wednesdays session and bagged it right away. I did the myrtl session when I got home which is getting a lot easier.

Saturday: Lauren and I went to Maudslay for a walk. No real plan in terms of time or distance, just followed the perimeter and down to the river. It was beautiful out. Saw a great horned owl nesting in a large spruce just outside the parking lot which was really neat. Wound up traveling 3 painless miles in a bit over an hour. My legs were tired in general simply from having deliberately avoided walking for much of the past 5 weeks!!

Sunday: 20 minute spin followed by a quick lift at the Y. Moved up to 3 x 10 at 60 lb on the overhead press. High school brats hogged the bench press for most of the time so I used dumbells at 40 lbs instead for the a couple sets and then grabbed the opportunity to do one set of 10 at 125 lbs - first time at that weight since college (which was a pretty long time ago if I'm forced to think about it!) I did curls at 30 lbs which was another first. Similar stuff as normal for the lats and triceps. And, the knee felt so good I decided to try part of the lunge matrix I'll be building into my training at the beginning of every session (eventually). I did 5 forward lunges on each leg, and 5 side lunges in each direction, and I was slow and deliberate not to push into any discomfort. They felt good, but I can tell it will be weeks if not a month or more before I really feel confident with them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Recovery Week #4: Getting there!

Monday: knee felt very good day but made the conservative call and took a break from the bike. Relaxed and iced in the evening. Watched the first episode of House of Cards... Real exciting stuff, right?!

Well, here's a little look inside my knee to satiate your boredom!

This right here is called an impingement. It is cartilage and bone... that used to be attached to my knee.

The top is my knee cap after the impingement was removed and lots of "cleaning" was done... Still some healing to be done...


20 minute spin on the recumbent bicycle. I did a few quad extensions per the doctor's orders and the tissue above my knee immediately swelled... not to the point of pain, but enough to be worrisome.

Wednesday: 30 minute spin on the recumbent bike. Felt good. Swelling in the knee was down but not looking as good as it did on Monday. My ribs are feeling well enough to lift a majority of the upper body. Starting with the basics: beach muscles! I did 2 sets of 20lb bicep curls, 2 sets of 60 lb lat pull downs, 2 sets on the bench at a pathetic 95 lbs (gotta start somewhere!), 2 sets of 20 lb shoulder press. Figured that would be enough to make me sore... AND IT WAS!

Thursday: 15 minutes easy spinning on the trainer at home.

Friday: 25 minute easy spin on the recumbent bike.

Saturday: 10 minute spin followed by 3 sets. 25 lb bicep curls, 90 lb lat pull downs, bench at 95, 105, 115. 50 lb dumbell shoulder press, etc.

Sunday: 30 min spin. plus MRTYL series for hip strength and mobility. I guess the series was programmed by Jay Johnson, a former CU runner who coaches all over the internet now. The exercises challenged my glutes, hamstrings and lower back but nothing overboard. Even the smallest stimulus right now has a big response because I was so sedentary for a few weeks. Feeling good!