Tuesday 2 October 2012

5 hours? Is that all?

So, as you all know because I keep banging on about it, I'm recovering from a broken collar-bone at the moment.  If you've never broken a bone related to upper limbs you probably don't realise quite how many things it impacts that you wouldn't necessarily expect.  You'd expect that "all" you can't do is anything relating to directly weight bearing and lifting with the affected limb.  You wouldn't necessarily and immediately realise that you can't run (easily or naturally and certainly while the break is quite fresh you don't want to be jiggling the joint and broken bits about), you can't cycle at all ("surely you can cycle one-handed?" nope.), you certainly can't swim (and if there's any serious abrasions or related surgical wounds it's an even worse idea) and that stuff like washing, getting dressed, getting in and out of bed/cars etc. is really hard.  So you may not realise that despite it being only one little bone (that was "multifragmentary with anterosuperior, superior and posteroinferior intermediate fragments" which were "malpositioned and displaced" - i.e. broken into a few bits that were in the wrong places), life is impacted quite a bit.  Since I had the plate put in, the clock reset on healing but I already had 10 days of lack of exercise and my arm being permanently bent at the elbow so an extra 10 days of immobility in the muscles and joints of that arm as well as an extra 10 days of gently sliding fitness.  From the day after surgery to put the plate in, I religiously did the basic exercises (pendulum swings, assisted arm raises and cross-body swings progressing to unassisted) to restore mobility to the elbow and shoulder.

Last Thursday I had a hospital check-up that took me off the leash for a few things; showering and bathing (getting the wound/incision site wet), spin bike (no hands on handlebars), and running.  Which meant that I had a green light to get back into training.  With 4 weeks of zero exercise, I need to get it into my head that I can't just pick up where I left off at Galway 70.3.  The physio appointment on the same day as the check-up also gave me an assessment of progress (ridiculously good progress) and some extra exercises to finish off the mobility rehabilitation (straight arm raises overhead, using a mirror and both arms at once to make sure motion is even).  With that green light grinning at me, I let Rich know that I can start doing stuff again and he's given me some training sessions to do that take me up until I go to Kona.  Limited to running and spin bike, with 4 weeks of inactivity, as well as being in the "off season" now, I have a programme this week which totals an incredible 5 hours.  Having been training for months where the average planned sessions in a week was around 13 hours and a peak of 18.5 hours, 5 hours seems weird.  I know a large part of it is the lack of long bike ride at the weekend (that's 4-5 hours straight away) another chunk is no swimming (about 3 hours in a week) and the rest is taking it easy after a break.  But still, 5 hours seems like sod all.  I'll be a good girl though (apart from a little parkrun on Saturday which isn't on the schedule)

Have any of you struggled with getting back to fitness after a long break?  How did you motivate yourself if you didn't feel like doing any exercise or what did you do to hold yourself back if you were desperate to get on with it?  I know that Mike is heading back down the road and has come across revelation number one; how about the rest of you?

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