The Power of Positive Mental Attitude. And a puppy!

12 September 2021

Since my previous post some 8 weeks ago, I have spoken with two other ‘runners’ who have had similar surgery and we unanimously agreed that a positive mental attitude and can-do (will-do) approach to exercise and recovery has been a significant factor in all of our excellent progress (to date).

Subjectively, I feel great with free and easy mobility and rotation of my right hip, which remains totally pain-free. My goal now is to continue building strength in and around the new joint in readiness for when I start run/walking in a weeks’ time. I have stuck rigidly to my recovery plan and have not rushed or over-cooked my training. This week I completed my first +4mph walk, whilst carrying a laptop bag and rucksack so 6kg in all, over three miles and I was really happy with the achievement.

Bike benchmark

8 weeks post-op peak W was on par with my pre-op benchmark and I thought getting back on par with my pre-op performance was good progress. If you’re a cyclist, please do challenge me here and share any experiences you have. The week 12 effort showed sustained improvement so benchmarking these milestones is proving a good motivator over such an extended period of time, with full recovery expected to take 12 months.

Week #DateMoving timeDistance milesAverage mphAverage power wPeak WAvg CadenceL/R leg power split %
Wk 0 (b/mark)9/6/2110:003.3119.851574607758/42
Wk412/7/2110:023.1318.801933868154/46
Wk810/8/2110:023.3219.92264767553/47
Wk1228/8/2110:013.2119.22215178153/47

Meet Olive

The photo at the top is of Olive who is our 13 week-old labrador and new addition to the family, she has a fabulous nature and wonderful personality. It has been three years since we lost our previous lab (Holly) and as a family, we had forgotten just how supportive, fun and enjoyable it is having a dog around. And brilliant for keeping our positive mental attitudes on track too!

The only temporary downside has been my early morning exercise sessions have been replaced with puppy walking, but that’s a quality problem to have, right? With early morning dog walks being great for the mind, body and soul. 

I have shuffled my training routine around to be a bit more creative on timings and my weekly exercise volume is getting back to an hour a day. Before contracting Lyme’s disease and the subsequent hip issues, I was averaging around 12 hours a week of exercise, most of which was running. This more rounded approach to strength and endurance should hopefully help me to be leaner and stronger. We’ll have to see about the running……..

Swimming

I have continued swimming at least once a week in Marine Lake, which is sea-filled lido within walking distance of where we live. The cold water and being out in nature is as close as I can get at the moment to the feeling of being in an ultra. Once strength returns, I will try and get back in the sea.

Well-being

Overall, my energy levels are now back to pre-seizure and Lyme disease levels (of summer 2020). Sleep was back on track until Olive arrived, although now she’s settling down and going through night. Amazingly, sleeping on my back now seems quite natural and much more comfortable on the hip. I would never have believed it possible……. Nutrition wise, I have comfortably completed a number of 18 hours fasts and feel ready for a longer 48 hr fast in the coming weeks. Which I think is my body’s way of confirming that my recovery is going well.

Next steps

My goal is to do at least a marathon distance event next summer and in my mind it’s only an additional 8km to complete an ultra 😊 So, I have in mind one of the XNRG Humanity Direct ultras next summer. This would be a good mix of trail and paved running and walking and XNRG don’t have cut-offs, which could be useful if I suffer a bit….. and walking poles are also allowed!

I know I mustn’t run too many miles each week in order to ensure the ceramic hip outlives me! My weekly training will therefore be based around Wattbike, Waterrower and swimming during the week and working towards a longer trail run at the weekend. I have started to include weighted steps into my routine and will continue this great strength building exercise, plus will add some heavier weights in a few months’ time to really load the joint. My goal is to get back to ten hours or more of exercise.

We are into autumn here in the UK, so good luck planning your next season’s events. Isn’t it great to being getting back to some kind of normality after this strange time we’ve been through? Wherever you are, good luck to you as you plan your next events and adventures.

Cheers

Andy

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