Hello all. Long time no post. Here's the update. Today, I am 2 months out of surgery. I have very little pain except when I sit for more than about 5-10 minutes. When I do that I get a quick wake up call to stand and move.
I am walking 4-5 miles a day at a good pace. I do this 6 days a week. I am lifting lightly with a good deal of restriction. I am swimming with some regularity. I do a good deal of ab work, and overall I am getting stronger. But my flexibility sucks!!!!!!!!! I am not allowed to do anything where I bend my upper body over my lower body (bending at the waist activities are a no no). So stretching is tuff. I stand and put my legs up on things. I lay on my back and pull those legs in. I twist and turn on the floor. But I feel like I've got some painful, hard substance in my back when I stretch. I've made some progress, but flexibility is SLOW to improve. I have not really ridden the bike at all, either. I can't sit for long so the spin bike is hard. (I've done some 10-15 minute sessions but then I get real uncomfy.) Riding on the road is out until spring. I also have not run at all. I can start that in a limited fashion after the new year. BUT I AM NERVOUS.
My surgeon is a friend of mine. He and I were BSing about my spine last night. He explains the area as " a sick disk." The disk herneated as badly as it did because of this "sickness." It will always be a point of weakness, even though surgery remedied the immediate problem. I can build my core to protect it (as much as possible). But it will always be prone to injury, an area of reduced flexibility, a source of soreness etc. The nature of the "sick disk" is to spray that material out of proper position in the cavity whenever pressure is applied. As it stands now, I've got way less disk material than before. If a herneation happens again, I'm looking at spinal fusion. Spinal fusion is a motherfucker.
The plan...I've kept myself in the best shape I can. I have not allowed myself to gain any weight. (Still at 172, which is a good weight for me.) I am feeling fit. But I'm sure my CV fitness has diminished. I plan to start running lightly after new year. I'll begin by mixing a mile in here and there with my walks. I've got some well groomed trails near the house. The ground is softer than the pavement. That's where I'll work on building up a run base through the winter. Come spring, I'll take to the road and get back on the bike. This will get the CV Fit back up. I do not plan to go anywhere near my old running mileage. (I used to log 40 miles running each week.) I do not intend to do more than 20-25 miles per week running, once I'm back at it full bore. My plan is to increase the swim miles, increase the bike miles, mix in the fast paced walking, and stay with lifting. I also do not plan to do anymore long runs (nothing beyond 8-10 miles max). And I will not race anymore long run races. (No run races beyond about a 10k.) I'll also focus on the sprint tri category. I'd love to get back to Olympic Tris...we'll see.
For 09, I'll be VERY happy if I can get myself ready for a Sprint Tri. My goal (right now) is to get my ass in that ICE COLD L.I. Sound for the Ironclad Tri in May.
That's the goal....we shall see.
Oh... and enjoy this pic of my hairy, scarred back. It is truly amazing how much work they can do, now, through a very small incision. My buddy had a similar surgery 5 years ago. His scar is 5 times as long as mine.