I am officially over 4 months post-op. I am gradually inching back toward normalcy, but some days the process feels so incredibly slow. Sometimes I feel very patient and then there are days where I just want to go for a run, dammit. I can bike for hours and it just doesn't leave me with the same feeling than a simple 6 mile run does. But I am running. Kind of. Not really. I am running, but it doesn't feel like running. I find no joy in what I am doing at the moment. It's almost a chore to do. But let's back up for a minute.
At 16 weeks post-op, I had an appointment with one of my PTs and he told me that I could start a sort of prequel to a return to running program. It involved running for 30 seconds, followed by 4:30 of walking. Rinse and repeat. Have you ever set a watch for 30 seconds and ran purposefully for 30 seconds and only 30 seconds? It's about the equivalent of jogging across an intersection. Absolutely maddening. I would rather just walk than mess with the mind game that is 30 seconds of running, but I was a good patient and did as I was told. After a week of that, I bumped it up to 45-60 seconds. And after a week of that, I had another PT appointment.
At this week's PT session (18 weeks post-op), she gave me a real return to running plan. It looks like this. My "runs" are supposed to be every other day.
Week 1: 90 sec run / 3:30 min walk x 6 cycles
Week 2: 2 min run / 3 min walk x 6 cycles
Week 3: 3 min run / 2 min walk x 6 cycles
Week 4: 4 min run / 1 min walk x 6 cycles
Week 5: 25 min continuous run or take 2 walk breaks
She asked me what pace I typically ran at during a normal run. I told her anywhere between 10-11 minutes per mile depending on the length of the run, terrain, etc. She then said that she wanted me to run faster than a 10 minute mile for my running segments to promote better mechanics. I was fine with that. However, then she started spouting off about how my body used to be trained to run for long distances and now that we're starting over she thinks I can be running 3-5 miles at a 9mm pace soon. I just laughed at her. I once ran a 5K in 28 minutes and wanted to die at the end. That was in 2010. Now I'm recovering from surgery and my cardio and what little speed I had are both essentially gone. At least she gave me a good laugh.
So I did my first 90 seconds x 6 last night. I estimate I covered approximately a mile during the total of those intervals. I did not have any pain while running, but walking home I did have some aching in my groin that has lingered into today. It is hard to tell whether it is coming from the joint or just high in the adductor. I did ice as soon as I was finished with my "run" and I'll ice a little later and perhaps take two days in between runs just as a precaution. Like I have said repeatedly, I am in no rush. I just want to be running pain free again.
Hiking and biking have continued to go well and are pain free. I put in 403 biking miles in the month of June without any issues. I have not hiked anything longer than about 7 miles, but I also don't really have the motivation to do so. Recently the blackberries have appeared and are ripe and ready to pick. I fought the bugs and the bugs won, but I did manage to come away with a few good handfuls.