Friday, March 21, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

...But my morning run Tuesday was delightful!

I awoke to this sight:



32 degrees and heavy, sticky, new fallen Spring snow was on everything.

I really debated going for a run in that muck, but as it turned out the snow was only an inch deep. I geared up and headed out to my usual running path.

The path was perfectly undisturbed. Not even as much as a rabbit had left its mark, leaving me first to plod through the snow.

With trees arching overhead forming a sort of roof, it was a very Robert Frost moment.

Wednesday I had a brief visit with my PT to review exercises and status. You want numbers? My final ROM is 138 degrees flexion, probably -10 extension. This is identical to my good knee, and further flexion limited by the bulk of my thighs. All is well, except she wants me to concentrate more effort on hamstring development, which she states is quite important.

I see Molly again in 3 weeks when I pass into the final phase of rehab--weeks 13 through 26--and begin hopping, tons more balancing, figure-8, square hops, and finally running with cutting motions.

12 more days and I'm halfway home. New countdown clock to celebrate!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An analogue

There's an LA Fitness along my running route being built, opening this summer just a measly 4 blocks from my house. It's so close I can see it walking a half block North, then looking West.

I thought it'd make a nice analogue to my recovery. They broke ground about the time I was injured, and will be open for business right about the time I return to Karate. I'll post occasional pictures.

For those who celebrate the season, hope you had a nice Palm Sunday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hitting the ground running!

Today I celebrate day 2 of my return to the PT bandwagon.

It was simple, yet profound; my first early-morning run in perhaps 6 months. Granted, it was walking 4 minutes, run one, for 20 minutes total, but what a gorgeous time of year to do it.

If the weather outside is at least 20 degrees, I'm very comfortable running. I don't own a treadmill, and haven't had a health club membership in over a year. Better than all that, I have a packed-gravel bike path that is flat and straight for miles, located a scant block from my front door.

It's also kept clear of snow throughout the season!

I ventured down this path, in the prescribed walk-4-run-1 fashion, and was just enthralled by the sheer beauty of the sky at 7 am, and the peaceful silence that wrapped itself around me. It's a great time to mentally walk through the form I'm learning, too.

Ahhhhhhh...

This is where I am meant to be.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Keeping the dream alive!

Boy, oh, boy, have I been just horribly busy lately! Unfortunately, I've totally been slacking on my PT. It's a horrible thing when you hit these doldrums, here in good ol' week 9 going on 10.

I mean, I'm grateful for having full ROM back. I'm thankful for not having put on extra pounds (well, one too many buffets this weekend, but other than that...)

Most of all, I loved the look on Dr. K's face two Fridays ago!!! At the beginning of that visit, the nurse strapped me in to a KT1000 Arthrometer and measured both knees' laxity--the displacement of the shin relative to the knee joint. This is essentially a carefully measured version of the Lachmann Test for ACL injury. the KT1000 gives 3 different tones throughout its range corresponding to three amounts of force the clinician is pulling on it with.

So...what were my results? At the three different pulling forces, my good knee was 4, 5, and 7mm of displacement. My operative knee was 4, 5, and 6mm! Technically tighter than the non-operative knee, but for all intents and purposes they are about even. Cool.

Dr. K said I can start the slow kicks planting on my good leg, including ankle weights, but nothing involving planting my operative leg right now. Apparently at this phase, the ACL will be at its weakest, about 20% of final strength. Ah, well, I'll take what I can get!

The weather has finally broken with a threat of springtime, and I'm really looking forward to it. This morning I got back on the PT wagon and strapped on the ol' ankle weights for some 5-pound lifts of fury. Gotta work up to 30 reps @ 10 pounds!

I am resolved to alternate days of running, ab core and pushups with days of exercise bike warmups, leg lifts, various tugs and squats, and lots of stretching everywhere.

Oh, and here's a relatively current photo. No, the fuzziness isn't my camera out of focus, it's my hairy-ass legs:



Speaking of which, a piece of advice for men getting ready for ACL reconstruction: Shave the surgical area. I had a particular knob of scab that didn't want to let go--turns out it was tethered by hair that was sewn into the wound...