I’m running again!

Yesterday, 50 days after I broke my arm, my doctor gave me the okay to start running again. As usual, I walked home from the appointment, taking the long way home via the waterfront trail. I hadn’t walked more than half a mile when I was seized with the desire to run right then and there. It didn’t matter that I was wearing jeans, an old tired pair of shoes, and a warm jacket!

I must have looked silly out there shuffling along dressed like that, like someone trying to run for the very first time. I didn’t care. The first few steps were great! Then my legs suddenly felt like they weighed 500 pounds apiece. Never mind that I have walked, on average, more than 8 miles every day since my injury. I learned yesterday that running and walking use different muscles, and that my running muscles are now seriously out of shape.

I managed to run 1.1 slow miles before having to take a walk break. I ran/walked a total of 2.25 miles back to City Pier, and then walked a bit more slowly home from there.

It is simply wonderful to run again!

I’ll get the endurance back, I know. Today I’m taking it easy, but tomorrow I’ll go out and try to run a little longer, a little stronger.

Meanwhile my slow progress with physical therapy has been frustrating and at times depressing, but I can see improvement day by day. I have almost all of my passive range of motion back, and I’m beginning to work on reaching, lifting, and regaining strength. I go through a series of exercises that takes me about 45 minutes, twice a day, and I look for other chances to work that arm throughout the day.

I had a DEXA scan for osteoporosis, and I was pleased to learn that my hips are in rather great shape for my age (thanks to the running). I do have osteopenia in my spine, but it’s toward the low end (-1.6) of the osteopenia range and a long ways short of osteoporosis. My doctor believes that — given my risk factors –if I hadn’t started running five years ago I would definitely be osteoporotic in my spine by now.

Everything that I have learned about bone health and healthy aging over the past 50 days has strengthened my commitment to engage in some sort of physical activity every single day. Where the body is concerned, it’s definitely “use it or lose it.” The great thing is that I have so much fun being active that “using it” is its own reward. Gaining a healthy body and the prospect of a long healthy life are bonuses!

I’m still a few weeks away from riding my bicycle, but I’m headed in the right direction. Given that I had only just started to feel comfortable on my new road bike, I will need to know that my arm is strong and dependable before I reach way out there to those handlebars. Those exercises I’m doing every day will get me there eventually!

For now, I’m excited about returning to regular running, but I know better than to try to do too much too soon. I’ll resume my pattern of running about three days a week and very gradually work on increasing the distance and speed. I will walk most of the North Olympic Discovery half marathon (a week from tomorrow) as I’d planned. My running goal right now is to be able to run, without walking, the entire 5K that I’m registered to run on June 21. One step at a time!

8 responses to “I’m running again!

  1. Reblogged this on Slow Happy Runner and commented:

    At last…!

  2. I’ve been here and there on the blog and didn’t know you’d broken your arm! If I was you, I’d have ran too, jeans, coat, and trainers that aren’t meant for running! Hope your physio isn’t too bad, speedy recovery :)

    • Hi Kerrie! Thanks for the visit and the good thoughts.
      At least I can tell an epic story about how I broke it — by tripping and falling at 10.3 miles into an 11-mile trail run. And I get to call it a genuine sports injury rather than an injury due to fragile, crumbling bones. Overall I have to look at this as a wakeup call and a reminder to stay active and healthy!

  3. Glad to hear your good news. Are you taking some calcium and vitamin d supplements re your osteopenia? Julie

    • Hi Julie!
      Yes, for the past several years I have taken calcium and vitamin D. I recently added K2, which is getting some notice as a regulator of calcium absorption. I monitored my nutrition very closely when I was training for my marathon last year, and most days I was getting more calcium from food sources than from the supplements. Good thing I love cheese and yogurt, and I’m learning to love kale.

  4. Such good news, Lori. I’m very glad for you and know it has been so difficult to wait for the official “OK,” but now you can begin to resume your training. I’m interested in your mention of K2. That’s unknown to me, and I’d like to know more. I’ll do some reading. I have also been eating a lot of kale, and about a year ago I was eating Brussel’s Sprouts like they were candy. I assumed at the time my body knew what it needed. Keep talking bout your bone health awareness and what you’re learning. I am encouraged by it! :-) Happy running, my friend.

    • Debra, the K2 thing was a surprise to me. CFL was doing some research on heart disease and stumbled upon this. Unlike the better-known K1 (which is found in green leafy vegetables and regulates blot clotting), K2 is found primarily in organ meats, egg yolks, dairy products, and some fermented foods. I eat yogurt and cheese daily and I usually have an egg, so I’ve been getting some K2 from food. The best vegetarian source is natto, which is a fermented soybean product from Japan that looks, smells, and tastes awful by most accounts. Fortunately it’s available in capsule form!
      Anyway, what the K2 proponents say it does if you’re getting enough is limit the leaching of calcium from your bones (so it does’t end up deposited in your arteries). So it’s being touted as preventive for both heart disease and osteoporosis. Who would have thought those two were connected?
      I’m not yet 100% convinced that I need to add another supplement to my diet, one that may turn out to have no more credence than any other “cure” that comes in pill form. But I figure it’s worth a shot while I continue to do my research.

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