The Road to Recovery: Day 1

At last, the day that felt like it would never come. 4 weeks and a day since my accident and I am allowed to start light cardio exercise again. Not allowed to touch a weight bar or even do a single pull or pushup for at leat another 2 weeks, but at least I can get back out and run.

I still have pain down the right side of my chest, but it is nowhere near how it was even a week ago. For the frst three weeks it did not seem to be getting better at all: it was horrificallly painful to move, lie down, sleep, do anything, let alone sneeze. cough or laugh. In order to be semi capable of functioning I was so zonked out on codeine all day every day, the functioning i could manage amount to a zombie like catatonia. Then all of a sudden, 3 weeks to the day, it suddenly got a lot better. I understand form the Dr that all the time the bone is trying to bridge the gap to the broken part, it is still 'floating' and this is what makes it so painful. Then one day the 'bridge' is strong enough to support the rib and, hurrah, the pain stops. Or considerably reduces.

So, how much has 4 weeks of barely moving at all and taking only shallow breaths affected my performance?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. I chose a millpond flat route for my first outing, and just went for a gentle 5k to start off with. It was horrible. Legs were fine, heart was fine, lungs felt like I was climbing Everest without oxygen carrying a yak after smoking a carton of filterless Marlboro reds. My ribs didn't trouble me at all really, it's just that I have become so used to shallow breathingI really had to struggle to get air in, even running a full minute/km slower than by usual 'easy' pace.

Once I was warmed up, I did 6 sets of 5 minute intervals (2 minute very slow jog, 2 minute race tempo, 1 minute flat out). I was still running considerably slower than I would normally, but wanted to push my breathing as much as possible to open my lungs up. I covered another 7k but by the end passersby were giving me rather nervous looks. i suspect my head must have looked like a beetroot about to explode. I collapsed into my car and it took me nearly three minutes to get the top off my water bottle. But it felt great to be back. And 12k in 1' 11" is a better starting point than I had hoped for tbh.

3 hours later now, and I feel actually pretty good. My legs are a little stiff, obviously, but my chest and breathing feels way better than whe I woke up this morning. In my injury layoff I had been getting quite despondent - I only have 8 weeks till the biggest OCR I have yet attempted (25+ km, 35+ obstacles) and only 11 weeks till my marathon, and I basically have to start my training from now. It is still not clear how long before I can do any upper body strebgth training so I have no idea how that will play out with the OCR. But it feels so good to actually be able to run again. it was hellish but that will get better. All my training plans have gone out of the window, but what the hell? No plan ever survives contact with the enemy anyway. All that matters is that I can run again. Sing Hallelujah and pass the foam roller!


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16 Replies

  • Hallelujah indeedy, Rigs. That sounds like a perfectly respectable 12k time for a first run back. Just stay on your feet and take it steady and the races will take care of themselves. I predict you will do both of them in just about the time it takes you to get from the start to the finish line.

  • Welcome back to the land of the living - this is really excellent news, and that distance in that time is good for anyone, even more so for someone who's had their lungs compressed the past four weeks. Take care and don't overdo it!

  • Jumping around with my pompoms AGAIN. The forum's been a busy place for success stories today! I'm glad you are in less pain now and I'm very impressed by the fact that you ran 12 k after such a long break - make sure that you don't try to do too much too soon though... ;)

  • So pleased you are back running. And that is a great time for a 12k! Take it steady with your training we don't want any more mishaps from you! X 😊

  • thats alot of exercise for a first outing back! but i'm glad it went ok and you're feeling positive! i have no doubt you will succeed in your plans events! the flags are out for the return of rignold! :)

  • Good to hear youre back out there Rig !

    Take care and Good Luck xxx

  • I feel your exhilaration about being able to run again. I look forward to being given the same verdict. You have had a rough time and I hope your road to recovery goes smoothly now you are back running again happy healing.

  • Good job! Glad to hear you're getting out there and pushing yourself healthily. Some people would have hit the hard time during your run and given up. So much inspiration! Hope the rest of your recovery is successful.

  • Glad to hear you are out again. I know you want to crack on with training, but do be careful - you are mortal ( probably!)

  • Wow, that's a really impressive come back. I admire your determination. Just be careful not to overdo it :-)

  • Welcome back! Glad the pain is gone, and what a graat time for a comeback

  • Well done Rig. Glad to hear you got out there after your long lay off. It's like waiting for Christmas isn't it

    You did a lot for your comeback!!!! Crikey. Take care not to overdo it!

    I hope you've recovered and that you're not aching too much

  • Wow.. You have really been through the mill... From your run however it sounds like you haven't lost much of your fitness etc at all and I'd say 11 weeks is certainly doable for a marathon... Take it easy though and don't do too much too soon...and I am so glad you are on the mend...

  • Flippin' eck Rig, you've really been in the wars haven't you! Somehow or another I managed to miss your original post about your accident and had to go back and search for it. Can't imagine how much pain you must have been in, so a massive well done for running 12k only 4 weeks later. Most people would have gone for a gentle jog for their time back out, but no, not you! You did intervals for your very first run- very impressive indeed!

    Now, just you take good care of yourself. I know there's no point telling you not to do too much too soon, so I'll just advise caution and wish you the very very best of luck with your return to fitness. xx

  • Welcome back then.. Your description of run sounds like my normal ones!! Good luck in your recovery phase, take it easy though , don't rush and set yourself back tempting though that is.. Its one time I guess where patience really IS a virtue...

  • Glad to hear that you are making a recovery. I know that it's tough but don't overdo it but trying too much too soon. Good Luck!

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