Month 6

Wow… almost done with recovery?

Right? 6months is normal… oh wait.. your surgery was complicated… so 7 months… ish. At my 6mo followup I was told I am good to go, no need to come back. We have hit all the benchmarks, many of them early, and I can resume my full training at 7mo. I have no restrictions, but don’t ask my body, my body has restrictions still (pout!). OH yeah and by the way, you wont feel normal for easily 12 months. Seriously? URG.

For someone who is used to working out 6-7 days a week and does so because he ENJOYS it, this is a really long time to be constrained. Allowing swimming was good. Allowing biking was good BUT the weather did not cooperate – riding in the Pain Cave (inside) is not nearly as awesome. Most years I would be riding 3-4 hours straight inside by April, but to do that you have to start small – like 1 hour, in December and build from there. Well, I didn’t get to touch my bike until Mid Jan and I couldn’t do 30min. So to say I am behind is an understatement.

However, there were some TEASINGLY nice days out there this winter. And I went outside. AND IT WAS AMAZING. Uplifting. Glorious. Awesome.

But you can be SAD when the weather immediately takes a dive and you go from 70 to snow in a day.

there was something else wrong though. I knew I was depressed. PT was almost done – insurance not approving many more visits and doing PT every-single-freakin-day-at-home for 6 months gets really old. REALLY old. I just stopped. I couldn’t do it. I reached my breaking point.

Everything talks about how hard this recovery is. Until 5 months 1 week, I really didn’t understand it. I held me Poop together really solid, but when I lost it… yeah, I lost it. So basically, this month sucked. Plain and simple, no sugar coating, it was probably a close second to the first month of recovery – but this time more mental. Big time mental. This gradually got worse going through the last week or month 6.

There was some good, for sure. My swimming times were dropping rapidly and I was going to go to the Illinois State Swim meet, I knew it would be just to “participate” I had no expectations of getting any points for the team, but I needed the connection, I needed to get back into some form of competition, so I went. Only doing Free/Back this year. Usually I pick all the longest events (200yds+) because real swimmers hate them and I have the best chance of points. 400IM, 1650 free, 200back, 200 breast – these are the bane of real swimmers. As an endurance athlete, that’s my playground. In short, I actually pulled points in 2 relays and the 1650 free (7th) – which blows me away. I should have been pleased. I wasn’t really and it took a deep toll on my body. I raced like I was in shape, I WAS NOT IN SHAPE. And 2 weeks later I am just recovering. Wow.

In the end I figured out there was an environmental factor at play (mildew most likely – an old allergy I’d basically forgotten about) and once I resolved that, BOOM, Energy restored and attitude fixed and recovery moving along more normally. So, believe it or not everything is not related to my stupid hip!

Running – however, has been moving along. I was cleared to run at 4 months but my running coach Janet said – Um, yeah no way. After some simple tests it was clear that the hip may be healed, but the neuro muscular coordination just isn’t there. She has been my coach for years and pre-surgery, the coordination is spot on. The joint was unstable, which explains why I couldn’t run well, but the coordination was lost after surgery and we needed to get it back. So basically out of PT and into Running 101 lessons.  How long, who knows. Couple months more? time will tell.

The weather is getting nicer, so workouts are moving outside more and more and that is a huge mental plus.

The blog updates are going to slow down now – a lot, as everything I am doing are basically building back my FUNCTIONAL strength. I will keep it updated on my journey back to running though, because there is always this specter out there that i will be doing this all over again on the left hip. I sure hope not and we have no symptoms, but until we are running again, we won’t really know. For now, I just have to play it out. But my primary goal at the moment is a Aquabike at IM Maine (aka Rev3 Maine Old Orchard Beach) – 1.2mile swim and 56mile bike.

Continue here Months 7-12.

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