Saturday, 18 April 2015

The power of parkrun

What a lovely morning for a parkrun!

Given my current post-op situation I was of course unable to parkrun myself today. I didn't even feel that I was able to volunteer, partly because I wasn't sure if I could stand in one position for long enough to be of any use and also partly due to the volunteer roster already being full.

All that said, I was determined to be there. I've missed the last two, firstly due to being hospital and then last week due to being too immobile to get there. The fact my wife had decided to parkrun herself today, when she normally wouldn't, was also a great reason to be there to cheer her on.

I was in a strange mood yesterday, a bit bored of the things I've been doing (not much) for that last two weeks and I suppose I was feeling ready to up the ante in my recovery (mentally at least), but knowing that I really shouldn't try to do too much too soon.

parkrun this morning was just what I needed!

I was reading Debra Bourne's book "parkrun - more than just a run in the park" yesterday, as I have been for the last few days, and there are (amongst many others) a few truths that I read in that book yesterday about all the benefits of parkrun. Being out in our beautiful park, in the sun, seeing so many familiar faces, cheering on all my friends and countless others that I don't know quite so well, or even at all. The feel good factor was amazing this morning and the perfect lift to start my day.

I had chats with so many of my parkrun friends this morning, all keen to come over and say hello and see how my post-op recovery is progressing. One of my mates even stopped half way through his run to chat to me for at least a minute, completely unconcerned about the detrimental affect on his own parkrun. I really felt that strong caring side of our parkrun community. It was great.

I'm still not sure what I can do, but I felt compelled to volunteer for the next two weeks. I suspect that standing will be comfortable by next week, so I'm sure I'll be fine. By committing, at least I guarantee that I head up to the park for my fix of parkrun awesomeness the next two parkrundays!

I'm really glad I went. parkrun is amazing!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Two weeks, two walks

Today marks two weeks since my Total Hip Replacement. I decided to mark the occasion by attempting two longer walks today, having managed 400m just yesterday. 

This morning I managed roughly 600m (12% of a parkrun) in about 14 minutes, giving a projected parkrun time of 1 hour 56 minutes.

And this afternoon I did a full lap of the block we live on (previously measured on mapmyrun at just over half a mile or 800m). This equates to 16% of a parkrun and totalled with the morning walk gives over a quarter of a parkrun in the day. This walk took roughly 18 minutes, giving a projected parkrun time of 1 hour 49 minutes.

The most important things are that I am being very careful, it is getting easier, the aches and pains are lessening, the flexibility and strength are returning and my gait is gradually feeling more natural every day.

Tomorrow I see my consultant and am hoping that he is pleased with the progress and encourages me to keep upping the distance and regularity of the walks and other exercises. With a bit of luck I might get his approval to swim and also to get on a static exercise bike before too long.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Improvement measured in parkruns

I recently entered the more active part of my hip replacement recovery.

Up until the end of last week, all exercise (hobbling with crutches and various strengthening and flexibility exercises) had been strictly limited to around the house.

On Saturday, being parkrunday, I was drawn into stepping outside the house for my first "longer" walk. I set my sights pretty low and headed for the top of the road, roughly 50 metres away. The 100m round trip took roughly 8 minutes. Giving a projected parkrun time of roughly 6 hours 40 minutes. I know all us parkrunners deal in distances based on the unit of a "parkrun". That wasn't quite PB territory, but that wasn't really the aim on this occasion.

On Sunday I decided to follow the post-op advice to the letter, of increasing walking distance daily. So this time I headed down the hill aiming for the second telegraph pole, roughly a 200m round trip. This time it took about 11 minutes, for a projected parkrun time of 4 hours 35 minutes. Getting quicker but still a struggle and not feeling like normal walking at all.

Yesterday (Monday) I upped the target to the third telegraph pole, for a 300m round trip. This time it took about 15 minutes, still feeling anything but comfortable. Project parkrun time at a very similar pace of 4 hours 20 minutes.

I have just been for today's expedition in glorious sunshine and this time I aimed for the end of the road, 4 telegraph poles away and a fully 400m round trip. 

Two gas engineers were setting up some barriers across the path half way down the road, and much as I was tempted to test my post-op hurdling technique they were kind enough to move the barriers out of my way. I mentioned that I was going to the end of the road and would be back in a minute. They jokingly pointed out it would "be more like 15!", and duly took a well deserved tea-break. Needless to say I was down and back in around 6 your face gas men! The round trip took only just over 11 minutes, for a projected parkrun time of 2 hours 18 minutes. And this time it almost felt like a natural walking gait, certainly more so than any other time since the op. Today felt like a huge step forward, without being risky. 

Slow and steady wins the race!