Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WooHoo! Today was my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon and I got the all clear. What exactly does this mean? It means that I've been a great patient and my ankle has healed much more quickly than expected. This time, there was absolutely NO pain during the exam. Now I've got to focus on rebuilding strength, balance and flexibility.

I've got a series of balance and resistance band exercises along with stretches. For sure, I can use the stationary bike, elliptical and strength training machines. To my surprise, I was also told to get on the treadmill and start power hiking at an incline. Basically, I can add new activities to rotate over the next couple of weeks, icing after each workout.

The doc also took me through a very cool drill that I want to pass on to all - especially the trail runners out there who have weak ankles or are prone to sprains. Put eight cups (or the many water bottles most runners have filling up cupboards) spaced out on the floor in a semi circle. Balance on one foot inside the semi circle. Close your eyes for a moment if you want a challenge.Bend down slowly and pick up one cup (yes, while balancing on the same leg). Straighten up slowly and repeat with the next cup. You remain on one leg the entire time. See how many cups you can pick up without losing balance. I was able to pick up all eight while standing on my good leg, but I couldn't do it without a lot of wobbling. This means I haven't been using several stabilizing muscles. On my injured leg, I could only pick up one safely. He also suggested that once I've mastered it I should try it on "demi pointe." I think HE thinks I'm still a dancer.

The question I was avoiding, of course, was "when can I start running?" I casually asked if I might be able to run a 5k by the end of the summer. The response was "I hope you'll be running a 5k by next month!" WHAT????? I thought I heard wrong. Nope, I'm supposed to add some jogging to my power walks after I can pick up all eight cups. And, he discouraged pavement running, telling me to find a nice trail, start hiking and gradually turn it into a run over the next several weeks. How exciting is that?

Many thanks to Rebecca who met me at the gym to get serious. She showed me how to use the elliptical - and I didn't fall off! 25 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes walking on the treadmill at a slight incline and I was done for the day. No swelling or pain, but I am blissfully tired.

Now, what fall race should I consider????


TooeleTwins said...

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is great news. I'll be trying that stability exercise tomorrow.

Danni said...

I need to do that water battle pick up thing. I'm so glad to hear you'll be back to running ASAP! Fall race? How about Swan Crest?!?! (OK not really a race).

Leanne said...

So glad to hear things are looking up, Iris. And with running in the near future!!! I really like that stability exercise...probably good for the core too. I must look super cute in your demo! Missin' ya and hope everything else is going well!

Iris said...

Thanks all for the celebratory comments! The water bottle exercise is great. I can already feel a difference.

Danni - I'd consider Swan Crest if it was a little earlier than last year. I'd like it to be warm! I'm thinking Elkhorn again or Lewis and Clark marathon.

Leanne - what marathon did you decide on?

Tia said...

Awesome!!! Woohoo! And thanks for the exercise tip.

Leanne said...

Hi Iris - I'm looking at the R&R Seattle the end of June. I've talked Ty into training for the half. I'm that with him or go for the gusto with the full. It would be pretty awesome to do the half with him, so we'll have to see. I really want to do Elkhorn again this year too! I'll keep my fingers crossed that your ankle stays on track with such a good recovery so we can relive some memories!