Friday, February 27, 2009

As If I Needed More Challenges...

If you've known me for a while, you probably recognize that I've had my share of klutzy moments. Broken ankles, broken fingers, broken arms...etc. My latest klutzy moment? Gave myself a concussion.

While getting into my car last Friday, I managed to hit my head on the top of the door. A nice whack right behind my left ear. The subsequent bruising and swelling freaked people out at work. It looked worse than that it felt, but it didn't feel great.

On Monday, I started having some very slight but very unusual headaches, so I decided to go see my family doctor yesterday and get checked out. Turns out, I have a very minor concussion which means I'll keep my slight headache for a few more weeks.

Dr. Jeter said I couldn't have found a worse place on my head to whack because of the location of a major artery in that area. And, as is always the concern now that I'm on blood thinners, I have to pay attention to any other minor (or major) symptoms which could result in much bigger issues.

If I'm not careful, I'm going to end up as the kid who wears a helmet and pads everywhere he goes and is tethered to the jungle gym on the play ground.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Status Quo

Still trying to settle into a routine now that rehab is over and I don't have a "mandated' workout schedule. I've found my comfort zone at the gym. I run on the treadmill Mondays and Wednesdays and lift weights those days as well. On Fridays, I've implemented a run during lunch. I only have about 30 minutes to warm-up, run and cool down before I have to be back in the building to shower and change but it's turning out to be a great workday break at the end of the week. Long runs on Saturday or Sunday, depending on Rachel's schedule. This past Saturday, I ran 8 miles. New distance record since the heart attack. Felt good. Just tired. I'm still building those long distances. I hope to be at 10 miles before the Monument Avenue 10k. Not sure why I set such a random goal, but I'm sticking to it.

Though I haven't checked my blood pressure since leaving rehab, I still track my weight weekly and, of course, constantly monitor my heart rate before, during and after runs. I've stalled a bit on the weight loss at 17 pounds down. My will-power has been tested quite a bit over the past 2 weeks. I haven't gained. I just haven't lost any more. I'm focused again and won't allow any more "treats" for another 8 pounds.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Transition

Since leaving rehab, I have had difficulty staying on a routine schedule. The first week, I made it to the gym on Monday and had to travel for work on Wednesday. I was fortunate to have access to a treadmill at the hotel, but only got in a 25 minute workout. This week, I had to travel on Monday and I got home too late to get to the gym. I switched to Tuesday, but that threw the rest of the week off. Tonight, Morgan's class held a parent advisory group meeting. Rachel and I share the lead responsibility of the group. She went to the meeting and I stayed with the girls. My next chance to workout appears to be Friday after work if I can get out of the office on time. Then my normal run on Sunday.

I had it easy when the workouts were prescribed. Now that I'm "freelancing it" again, those 4 in the morning runs look much more attractive. I'm sure I'll find a schedule that suits me. But, as I often note, I enjoy the little rut I've carved out for myself in life and I don't do well with change.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Beat Goes On (Thanks To These Guys)

Friday February 6, 2009...Graduation Day. There were no hats. There was one gown, but it was for something semi-unrelated. It was my last day at rehab. I decided to snap some pictures of the staff to commemorate my moving on. The charming group you see here were my team of caregivers. From the left, Adele, Pat and Ed. Adele and Pat are nurses and Ed is the Physiologist. They worked very hard with me to ensure my meds were correct, to make certain I didn't over-do it at rehab, and to make absolutely sure I don't come back in there again. They are a phenomenal team and I'm lucky to have been cared for by them. Thanks to you all.

As I finished my final workout and started my cool down routine, I noticed two loud and cute little faces come running through the door. Rachel brought Olivia and Morgan down to see me finish my last day. It was the most wonderful surprise. Everyone in the clinic smiled as they saw our two beauties. Morgan immediately wanted to hit the treadmill. Olivia was ready for a steam. Rachel eyed the weights. But, we left as a family to re-start our live without rehab. It was a great way to end a great program.

Earlier, I mentioned one gown. Here it is. It's an advertisement for women's heart health month. A reminder that heart disease takes more women's lives than any other illness. I think I look pretty.

Originally, I thought I would return to rehab 2x per week for the first few weeks until I'm comfortable moving to a gym. Over the weekend, I decided to move to the gym sooner. So Monday, February 9th was my first day not going to rehab. It took some getting used to at the new gym. For one, the other clientele was much younger. Still, I wasn't in my comfort zone at the new place. I felt a bit out of place. That will settle after while I suppose.

It's been over a week now. I've been to the new gym once and ran at a hotel health club once. Today, I ran outside...7.30 miles in 1 hr, 10 min. I was tired, but recognize I'm still building those long distances. Only a month until my first post-event race. The Monument Avenue 10k. Ideally, it should be no problem. My true goal is to get to 10 miles before the race and make the 10k a breeze. Doubt I'll shoot for personal records, but I will do my best and run my hardest.

So, this blog started to be about my heart attack. Then it moved to focus on the recovery. Now, I guess it' going to track my running efforts as I endeavor to run 800 miles this calendar year and complete 2 marathons in the fall. So far, 63.51 miles completed in 9 hrs 53 minutes. 8% of my goal for the year. Were I able to run every day, I would only need to run 2.29 miles each day. In case you're curious.

So the hard part seems to be over. With the exception of the Stress Cardiolite in April and the pending green flag for marathon training, the medical part is on maintenance and I'm going full tilt with running. Look back every once in a while if you desire. It's always nice to know people are checking up on your well being.