Yay! I started back to a bit of real swim/bike/run this week, beginning Tuesday...exactly 6 weeks and a handful of hours post surgery.
I headed out Tuesday on the Huckleberry Trail for a 45 minute walk with a plan for 5 x 1 min of running. I was going to go without Trixie, but in the end I took her, and she did just fine.
About a mile in there is a tiny hill where I used to "test" myself to see if I was still having a problem, and it would deliver a resounding confirmation of YES you are still screwed up. So I could not resist starting my first bout of running up that little hill. I headed up, waiting (expecting?) that bad "feeling" of shutdown to come. When it didn't, and I felt fine, I unexpectedly burst into a sobbing mess of tears, just so happy to feel I could begin to answer the question:
Am I fixed?
I allowed myself to think maybe yes. My feet were flying and so was my soul. I came back to a walk and diverted off to a flat loop that had been the venue for many frustrating runs. I repeated these short bouts of running four more times. I had my Garmin on, but I wasn't looking, and it turned out I had been dipping below 5K pace. I ended up with maybe ten minutes of running. It was too fast (very much pointed out by Coach Jim), not smart, but I felt amazing.
Wednesday I headed out onto a flat section of road for 30 minutes of easy pedaling. I felt really good both sitting up and aero. The best part is that I could feel all my toes the whole time - no numbness. I was a little sloppy on the road though, not super straight or smooth.
This morning I woke up and my legs were both sore, maybe the left a bit more than the right, but at least it was both. I suspect I am paying the price for my unsanctioned "sprints" on Tuesday. I headed to the pool and saw Coach Tom and the swim group (they are looking good and swimming faster). It will be a few weeks before I am ready to rejoin them. I swam 1000y and that was plenty. I am fairly certain they have put heavier water in the pool. I shared a lane with friend Jane and I kept swimming too close to the lane line and hitting it...one of the little things you don't have to think about when you swim every week!
The Virginia Tech track team was at the pool too because the campus pools have already closed for the between-semester break. They have a whole water workout they do and they clearly all knew the routine without a word being said.
It will be a while before I feel confident that I am OK and fixed. I am constantly on high alert for anything that seems off and I remain slightly skeptical even while moving positively forward. The only thing that will really give me answers and confidence is time. I'm certain I am better off than before. And most importantly, I CAN swim, bike, and run. So whatever this body ultimately hands me to work with, I will work with, gratefully.
The last six weeks have been really good for me in so, SO many ways. But I am happy to be returning to the sport I love.