Tuesday, April 12, 2011

As The Ankle Turns, AKA I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up If I Tried

I had a three month quiet and introspective period on the blog here and now you can't shut me up. I really wouldn't do back-to-back entries unless I had something big or a change to share, and well, that's what I've got today.

I called the folks over at Soar Physical Therapy here in town early this morning, and scheduled for the first available regular appointment, which was the Wednesday after the Boston Marathon or 4/20. I've seen Bryan there before for PT, back in 2008 when I was experiencing what appeared to be a stress reaction, or the precursor to a stress fracture. He's a runner, and very goal- and performance-oriented with his patients. He's all about trying to get his patients there safely, and will try whatever works as far as physical therapy goes.

So anyway-a few hours later, I got a call from Bryan. He'd read through all my stuff, and started asking how my ankle was doing, along with a lot of other specific questions. He was pleased with what he heard, and that my most recent cross-training Sunday afternoon was pain-free. When I told him that the doc's office had said "no way" to Boston and the ortho office said "it's healing decently, but no Boston unless a miracle occurs," he was making some noises on the other end of the phone that sounded like he must have been shaking his head in disagreement. I kind of sighed and said "I just wish someone would clear me to go run Boston safely." Bryan said "Well...I just might be That Guy." He wanted me to come in ASAP, and actually scheduled time for me beyond office hours at 6pm. Did I mention he's a runner's runner? I knew better than to get my hopes up too much, but couldn't help it. I was very hopeful.

I headed down the hill from my house to see Bryan in the early evening, and he liked what he saw immediately in terms of lack of limp or major swelling from me. He put me through a battery of flexibility and strength tests, did a little work moving and flexing that ankle, and had me do some weight and balance work before finally putting me on the spin bike near the end of the session. He whupped me like a red headed stepchild and man, I was sweating like a pig. He kept giving me positive feedback the entire time, saying that everything was looking good in terms of flexibility, balance, and that I was mostly existing in the extreme soreness/occasional slight pain zone.

It just blew my mind...really, I couldn't make this stuff up, and I asked him how on earth I could get a "no way can you run Boston," a "well, this is healing okay, but no Boston unless a miracle occurs," and "this is promising...let's work toward you running Boston!" He said that sometimes the medical model gets pushed with a one-size-fits-all approach, and that based on all he saw from me, he was SO glad I'd called his office because he thought we could get a better outcome that what I'd been told to expect in terms of running Boston.

When we finished, he told me to go home and ride my bike on my trainer for another 20 minutes, and gave me a weight belt to wear in the pool for some pool running tomorrow. While he does not have any open appointments, Bryan wants me in there every day until I leave for Boston (Saturday), and he said he'd be around to direct me to the stuff I need to do each day. There will be some strengthening exercises, time on the bike, some walking on his treadmills with an increase in incline as I go, and Thursday is set for a test run day if all is moving along well. He'll send me out from his office onto the river trail down to the Connected Lakes and back, then put me on the bike for a bit, then another out-and-back.

My head is kind of spinning now. I had JUST started to get used to the idea of spectating and cheerleading, and here comes a good curveball out of nowhere. I am usually pretty even-steven, but this has been an emotional roller coaster over the past week. I'm not a smoker but this is a time when I'd be craving a cigarette if I did smoke.

My ankle does not feel perfect by any stretch, so this may very well come down to a game day decision. Shoot, usually I've got all new gear for a marathon, and didn't bother with that when I assumed I would not be running a week ago. I may very well be shopping for gear at the marathon expo (hey, at least they do sell everything under the sun there). I'm not going to get ahead of things, though. For now, I'm going to go day-to-day, do the work Bryan gives me, look at this as the strangest race taper even, and hope for the best.

To wrap it up with anti-climactic but still good news...my youngest kiddo go her acceptance letter today for the magnet school she'll attend next year (her siblings all go/have gone there, and younger sibs are grandfathered in). Oh, and, this:

I may be running two big city marathons this year after all. Or not. I assume nothing these days.


sllygrl said...

Wooo hoooo! I'm rooting for you!!

Nanookie said...

Holy cow! Emotional rollercoaster indeed. Congrats on the NYCM news and best of luck on intense pre-Boston physio routine.

Rachelle Wardle said...

YAY!! I am definitely pulling for you. Best of luck and your PT sounds amazing. How nice of him to fit you in. I just love runners they totally understand!

Elizabeth said...

I agree that taking it one day at a time is ideal. It sucks being in a state of limbo, but at least you have hope now! :-) I hope it works out for you!!!