Saturday, May 10, 2014

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder is a reference to a dreamt-of ladder to heaven from the Book of Genesis, and it's also the steepest most direct path up the mountain from Panadapas Pond. I can't recall when I went up it last, but I surely hadn't been on it all last year with my necessary hill-avoidance. There are sections that are pretty washed out and you end up climbing up roots and rocks like a staircase. It's part of the Brush Mountain Breakdown trail race I've done a few times and I've not yet managed to run up the whole thing without walking.

With my ab and leg incisions feeling pretty awesome these days, and as I am a half-week away from the six-week mark, I figured I was ready to head up this trail. Even at a walk, my heart rate zoomed up pretty quickly and both calves were feeling it, my glutes somewhat too. But my quad was fantastically quiet with none of that tiresome pleading-for-oxygenated-blood stuff.

I emerged from the top of the trail feeling rather heavenly!! Trixie didn't quite share in my delight, she was tired and wondering why tops of mountains don't have streams and perhaps some cheese.

We returned down Snake Root which is one of my favorite trails with vistas like the one below. We saw a giant something - eagle? hawk? - take flight in front of us.

Next week I start back to swim/bike/run, but I am prepared to take it slow. I listened to Ryan Hall's recent interview on Competitor Radio and he talked about a two-year period of time going from injury to compensation injury to compensation injury. I know from my past that it's not unusual for injury to follow injury and I'd very much like to avoid that.

I told Coach Jim that even though I feel good, I acknowledge that my two legs are not the same yet and won't be for a while. (He of course knew that would be the case, but I wanted him to know I knew it too.) I still have numbness on the surface of my leg and noticeable differences in sensation in the L/R quad muscles themselves in my stride. Nerves are disrupted in the course of surgery and though things are improving, the return of nerve function is not quick. The two sides of my abs are also not the same. The left external and internal obliques and inguinal ligament were cut. I don't need that asymmetry/weakness to lead to overloading of the hamstrings, glutes, back, etc.

Even as I type the words "I am prepared to take it slow" I know that will be a challenge. In my mind I feel like I could go knock out an Olympic distance triathlon tomorrow.

I'll continue to fill in around the limited swim/bike/run with walking and am adding in more stretching/rolling to get some flexibility back.

It's nice that my pants and shorts fit again. I still have some swelling and some sensitivity around my ab and groin scars, but it's sooooooo much better than it was.

All-in-all, happy happy!!

And for all the moms out there, Happy Mother's Day!! I leave you with this gem: