Let's see... I'm back in Austin, able to drive to and from work again and yesterday was my first day of physical therapy. I had my month-out check up before the PT appointment and was sadly instructed to reign in the little bit of exercise I had been doing—thanks to a cautious doc, my power walking has officially been downgraded from a booty shaking 15-min/mi to a much more leisurely stroll.
I can still get as crazy as I want on the bike... as long as I don't lean too much into my aerobars or create any imbalances in my upper body. With some critical thinking and one-too many close calls with nearly tipping over, the trainer has resulted in this rather... "unique" set-up:
It's like I tried to set up my aero-bars Jesse Thomas-style (3rd picture down here) and then got way too overzealous with it. But it works and keeps me from dipping my shoulders and putting all of my weight on the left side of my body, which could potentially 1) do damage to my collarbone and 2) create imbalances in other muscle groups. It's also minimizes the awkward one-handed reach I was previously attempting when having to shift gears during a workout.
Overall, it makes you look like a crazy person but completely worth it. I would recommend it to anyone with back problems who might not be able to get aero (Jamie, I'm looking at you - when you reach that point in recovery) or all of you pregnant ladies out there.
But back to my doctor's appointment. I was going into the check-up hopeful: I had jogged across a crosswalk this weekend while trying not to get hit by SXSW traffic and while it wasn't pretty, it wasn't excruciating either. Sitting in the waiting room beforehand, I read the story of a local Austin woman who bounced back to race a full 140.6 seven-weeks after breaking her collarbone. And, well, fellow Elenz-patient Lance was back racing within three.
The doctor quickly crushed those dreams. Beyond the biking (as much as I want) and a decrease in walking (take it down a notch), doctor's orders also means no
- running for the next 4 weeks
- swimming for the next 8 weeks
Way to break a girl's spirit, doc. I gave him my best "pitiful me" eyes and said "But you had Lance out racing in 3-weeks..." His response? "You're not Lance."
I also went through my first round of Physical Therapy, which basically amounts to 30-minutes or so of my daily life dedicated to rotating my elbow in and out in various directions and then puffing my chest out like I'm stuck in the last stage of the bend and snap:
Instead of "regular" triathlete goals like miles run or hours on the trainer, my goal for the next three weeks (until my next check-in) is to complete the high-end of my prescribed two sets of 3x20reps for each exercise, one set in the morning and one set at night. I know these exercises aren't strengthening the collarbone itself but since all of the surrounding muscles haven't been activated in quite some time and since many were damaged in the procedure itself, I figured going in with as much support as possible couldn't hurt the overall process.
I know it's for the best and that I have to do this whole recovery/healing thing right the first time around to avoid re-injury but it's extremely frustrating. Everyone says, "oh, enjoy the recovery, enjoy your free time", but honestly there's no where I would rather be than riding my bike up and over the hills, running around Town Lake like a maniac and soaking up this 80-degree March weather.