Ironman Countdown

Friday, May 22, 2015

Recovery -- Becoming Bionic





It has been almost a month since the great "Frederick Road Pothole's Attempt on My Life."  And it has been 25 days since my surgery.


I had my first post-surgery follow up two weeks ago with Dr. Gelb.  I got to see my X-ray with my new hardware.  It was pretty impressive.  Dr. Gelb was happy with the way the incision (i.e. my future badass scar) looked and how it had healed so far.  And he liked how the fracture itself looked on the X-ray.   He cleared me to bike via spin class or my trainer.  And he asked that I keep the sling on for another two weeks. 
the incision site

the hardware:  9 screws and 4 plates
For the first two weeks after the accident, I was in too much pain, or at least uncomfortable enough, that I did not miss biking or running.  I never miss swimming - residual from a lifetime of it I guess.  And I was busy trying to get everything else back to normal speed like:  showering without a garbage back on to shield the incision; brushing my teeth normally; driving; drying my hair; etc.
sling and my new cycling jacket!

I also was receiving lots of love from my triathlon peeps and my family and friends.  I got so many
happy greeting cards and well wishes.  From my dear friend Suzy, I even got this gem:  Wonder Woman, with a sling!  Perfect!
Wonder Woman with her gimp arm

I also got the very sweetest card ever, as well as this cool shirt, from my "niece" Meagan.  I've known her since she was a baby, and am so proud of the woman she has become. 



I am pretty good at seeing the big picture in most situations, always aware of the greater good and the ultimate goal.  So while I was in the initial stages of recovery, my general positive outlook prevailed.  I am also acutely aware of how lucky I am, that all I sustained was a broken collar bone.

However, just after Mother's Day, I was starting to feel pretty good, minus the shoulder area discomfort.  My body didn't ache anymore.  I was more or less sleeping normally.  My left-arm function for every day tasks was either up to speed or getting there.  And the weather was beautiful.   And all the first triathlons of the season were happening all around me.  And the running races.  I could feel myself getting antsy.

My first race this year was supposed to the the Olympic distance Columbia Triathlon on May 17, 2015.  It's a challenging course, and a great lead-up to Eagleman 70.3 in June.  The race is about 7 miles from my house, which means I can be there, race, and be back home well before lunchtime.  In the mommy balancing act of life, I can't argue with that.

However, the Columbia Triathlon and I have a history.

dangling derailleur
In 2013, I signed up for it as my very first Olympic distance (.5 mile swim; 25 mile bike, 10K run) triathlon, and my first major step towards longer triathlon races and goals.    I had a great swim split, and was off on my bike -- 5 miles in, my derailleur snapped off, ending my race

In 2014, I tried again.  The day before the race, my beloved yellow lab Bisbee got seriously ill.  I went to packet pick up, racked my bike, and spent the rest of the day at various vet hospitals.   I had to put Bisbee down that afternoon.
my beach dog:  Bisbee

I was an emotional wreck, and seriously considered not going.  Then I got the email that they cancelled the swim portion because Lake Centennial, due to all the recent heavy rain and run-off, had toxic levels in it.  So the tri became a duathlon of sorts.  I woke up race day, with a heavy heart, but did the bike/run anyway.
I did manage to smile
And here we are again, in 2014.  With the accident, and later surgery, I wasn't initially thinking of refunds or deferrals.  When I got back to work, I contacted the Ulman Cancer Fund, the race organizers for the Columbia Tri, to find out if I could defer until next year or arrange something else so I didn't lose the entry fee.  Unfortunately, all requests for deferrals were needed months ago.  So no refund, no deferral.  I went and got my race shirt anyway.  Might as well!
my 3 "race" shirts from Columbia
I was a bit sad over the last weekend, missing Columbia.  I know I would have had a good race, as my bike has gotten so much stronger.  And it felt like everyone had a race over the last two weekends, James included, and I was feeling down and left out of the fun.  Yes yes, I know, patience... and this isn't forever.  But I allowed myself to wallow a little.

I did start back to the spin class at the Y.  And Wednesday I got my bike back from the shop, complete with new handlebar tape and a total "safety" tune up after the crash.  She's already up on the trainer, so I will be back in the saddle with her this week.

Today, I am about to head out to see Dr. Gelb.  I am hoping and praying he'll clear me to run/jog.  I am hoping the fracture looks good, is healing normally.  Wish me luck.  Either way, I do see the big picture and always will.  There are a million things worse than a broken collar bone and delayed training!

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