Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK day

6 days after surgery
Thought I'd start today's blog with a photo of the brace/cast on the arm. Not much to see (yet).  Sutures get removed on Thursday (1/20). Curious to see how big (or small) the incision is (and where it was made).  I "think" I know where Dr. Altchek did his work but can't be sure since the pain is generally in one area but not really specific. (BTW, Melisa thinks Altchek looks like a young Charlton Heston.  What do you think?)  Funny note about Altchek: I never doubted Altchek's credentials (his resume is serious stuff- Co-Chief of Sports Medicine at HSS (Hospital for Special Surgery), NY Mets doctor, pitchers in the waiting room on my first visit, etc.), but what closed the deal for me was the super high end Colnago carbon road bike hanging in his office on one of those floor to ceiling bike stands. How cool? (I'll see if he'll let me take a photo of it on Thursday when I see him next.)  The paint job on it is complete custom to HSS.

This is Bandido thinking I'm going to give him a treat. 

So today started with Bandido (the dog) waking me quite early. Good thing since it took me a minute to get the bike set up in the basement with the appropriate support and balancing equipment close by. (By balancing equipment I mean a step stool and chair so I can get an assist getting on and off bike, and a place to rest my hand comfortably as I ride.)  For those of you bike geeks looking at the photo, yes, my bars are quite high in relation to my saddle. I did that intentionally before last week's surgery thinking it would relieve weight off of the one good hand as I train.  It's a pretty upright position but so far so good.

For the workout, I started with a P90X "Shoulders & Arms" workout. Obviously only worked the left side. That was a bit odd but it felt good since it's been 1 week since I did any type of training.  For those familiar with P90X, I'm on my 2nd cycle. The first 3 month cycle went great with all the results to show for it.  Until I did it, I would laugh at the infomercials too, but I can attest that it does everything it said it would: my strength and endurance on the bike and on runs are better than I can remember; weight dropped fairly significantly (lost 13lbs), and generally feel great. Tony Horton (the video's MC and trainer) is the real deal for sure. I'm a month in on my 2nd cycle.  For those unfamiliar with the P90X program, it's one of the best strength, endurance and flexibility programs out there.  The program is 3 months in length, and can be repeated as many times as you'd like.  I never get bored with Tony- he's strong, funny and motivating.  OK, enough of that.  If you're curious about the program, feel free to ask.

Then it was onto the bike:
10 minute warm up at 70% Threshold Heart Rate ("THR") w/ high cadence
10 minutes at 75% THR w/ high cadence
3 x 12 minute intervals at 90% THR at 60rpm with 5 min rests in between each interval
10 minute at 75% THR w/ high cadence
10 minute cool down- high cadence

The basement setup: a bit rough but it works (so far)
Very good first day of training. I was careful not to weight the right arm much if at all.  However, I'm a bit concerned with the sweat factor.  Although I have a fan blowing on me when I ride, my post-Op instructions say not to get the inside of the cotton and/or ace bandage wet.  Not sure if it's bad for my suture.  Anyone know? I'll call a friend who's a surgeon but wasn't sure if that was a very bad no no, or just a "don't get it wet in the shower" type of thing.  Oh well, it's off to dinner and then try to figure out what I'm going to wear tomorrow as a shirt to work.  I went into the office last Friday (why I have no idea) and wore the one button down shirt that this thing on my arm could fit in.  I guess I could wear it again tomorrow, but what then for Wednesday?  I assume that Thursday they'll be putting on a much smaller thing after removal of the sutures. But until then, I've got to cover 2 days at work.  Short sleeves maybe? Talk soon... 

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