running in the water, walking in the sun

I logged my first mile running since the accident today.  I was in physical therapy, and used their underwater treadmill.  Actually, I ran a mile and a half, but who’s counting?

It felt great.  The top speed of the treadmill is 10 min/mile, so that won’t set any records, but it’s amazing nonetheless to be progressing so nicely, relative to where I was just six weeks ago.

Physical therapy for me is focused on a couple of things.  We spend a lot of time stretching and strengthening my left shoulder.  I broke both the clavicle and scapula on that side, and the shoulder is both tight and weak.  My therapist Matt specializes in torturing me with exercises that will no doubt work, but take their toll on me twice a week.  Perhaps he’d go easier if I did the exercises he assigned me to do at home.

The other things we focus on are balance, core strength, and stamina.  So before running today, I stood on each leg individually, with my arms above my head, trying to balance in 4 feet of water.  It’s harder than you’d think.

After going through the regimen at physical therapy today, I decided to get lunch at a nearby Indian restaurant, and then walk to speech therapy, which is currently up at Evergreen Hospital.  That’s a five and a half mile walk – my farthest yet!  I was concerned about making ST in time, but it turned out not to be a problem.  I lucked out further because the rain stopped just before I left lunch, so I got to walk in the sun.

I kept a good pace when walking, getting close to 4 mph.  I caught the Sammamish River Trail and walked the three miles or so up to 124th, and then took the roads to the hospital.  I felt really good on the way too.  Of course exiting speech was a different story.  By then my muscles had a chance to contract a bit, so walking home from the bus stop felt longer than normal.

This walking is getting to be a regular workout for me.  Since last Saturday, I’ve walked about 23 miles.  Doing three or four is pretty usual now.  I figure if I can’t run or bike, then walking is the next best thing. 

My short-term goal is to condition for my trip up Mount Si on Christmas Eve.  I’d like to go up Tiger Mountain next month as a measure of my readiness to try the longer hike six weeks later.  I’m also considering registering to walk the Seattle Half Marathon over Thanksgiving weekend.  I’m missing the vibe around the running scene enough to think of other ways to get there.


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