Lots of bike time. Lots of Netflix. I know how to work a theraband like nobody's business. I have a complete theraband collection; which is probably equivalent to a complete set of Chocolate Frog Cards in the athlete world. I'm very self sufficient with the underwater treadmill, GameReady, and fancy ultrasound Nevada athletes call "The Magic Machine". After give or take 10,000 calf raises, my calves have returned to their filled out glory.
During the time off my feet I finished: Mad Men, Sherlock, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, any Disney movie that fit my current mood, White Collar, New Girl, Ripper Street, Once Upon a Time, and Breaking Bad. After watching more TV* than I have in the last 10 years of my life, I know what it takes to pick out a show when you cross train:
1) Drama, suspense, and mystery are required.
2)Violence is recommended, but not required.
3) Humor (generally the darker the better, but whatever kind you're into will work)
4) It's complicated enough to keep you engaged.
5) But not so many details you get totally lost when you get distracted by:
a. Pinterest/Twitter/BuzzFeed/Facebook/8Tracks/YouTube/ect on your phone
b. the book you've been attempting to read for the better part of six months
c. absolutely nothing; you have just checked out of life for the last ten minutes
d. your HR is above 190 mid workout and you're convinced lactic acid is dissolving your organs.
7) Any track and field meet with a live stream trumps any and all shows you are watching; even if said feed is in a language you do not understand.**
*I'm not sure you can call watching TV on the internet watching TV. Someone should come up with a verb for this activity. Netflixing? "Inter"viewing? Watching the computer? I'm not creative. English and language majors, you're on it.
**BBC by far had the best feed of the world championships- live, free, no commercials, and see #6 on the list.
At eight weeks my PT gave me the go ahead to run. I had been planning my return to running as those eight weeks had ticked by at a snail's pace. I thought I would get cleared to do a bit of light jogging for a couple days, maybe 20-30 minutes right off the bat. Then build back up to 60-70 miles over a couple weeks. Dive back into tempos and Virginia Lake repeats. Back to business, like I hadn't missed a step. I knew all the time I'd logged on the bike would, at the very least, keep me as aerobically fit as I was pre-injury. Then a lightbulb went on when I checked out of life for a minute on the bike. I'm starting at zero. This is not a little injury that you just get back to business with. I'm starting at zero. I spilled all of this to Mel who, with the most empathetic gaze, said "yeah, you're at zero" (she more than anyone knows what it is like to start at zero). My first two weeks back on my feet were run a minute walk a minute, built up to run ten minutes walk two minutes; with thirty minutes of total running. This is almost worse than not running, because it is a tease. You are running, but really it feels like you are doing long stride outs for thirty minutes. Do you know how long it takes to run thirty minutes when you run a minute, walk a minute? It feels a lot longer than the hour it takes.
The one thing I heard repeatedly over the last 12 weeks (besides: Be careful. Don't rush back. Are you allowed to be off your crutches? Can you run yet? Are you allowed to wear those shoes? You biked HOW long today?) was, "You have a great attitude about this." As soon as I found out how hurt I was, I couldn't be mad. How do you plan for tearing some tendons? How do you see that coming? As painful and awful as it was, I knew it could have been so much worse. I have an unhealthy amount of anatomy text books at my fingertips. I know how to navigate a Google search and WebMD, which always tells you you're dying. Tear any of those tendons completely and that's surgery. Tear your post tib completely and even with surgery, running fast again is not a guarantee. The achillies is in that muscle/tendon/nerve bundle too, and it could have just as easily been that. I had to take eight weeks off my feet and it was not fun and I was not happy about it. Considering the alternative, I'll take those eight weeks. The longest, until now, I've been told "you can not run" has been maybe ten days. If this is the worst injury I ever have, (knocking on my wooden desk as I type that) I'm lucky.
Four weeks back on my feet; I'm at 22 miles and today I get to do a few strides. I've got the next couple months drawn out and have goals for each month. Until I'm at fifty miles a week, I'll be mostly on the bike. Right now, I'm adding strides and speed/power back. After that, add workouts. My fall is locked into rebuilding my foundation so I can hopefully race a little indoors. I'm taking my time and doing it right. If I don't have time to do it right, when will I have time to do it over?