Brad Hess Injury Blog 6/5/2012 – Two Month Check Up
Two Month Check-Up
This appointment was very basic. Actually, I wasn’t supposed to come back until the third month, but by then my second surgery (right hip) would be within a few weeks. And because I wanted to be aggressive with my recovery, it worked out well. So, my mom and I went to St. Louis again. Trip No. 4 past The Arch.
First, another round of X-rays and then I was checked by Dr. Clohisy. He was especially looking to see if the bone (pelvis) was healing. He said it all looked great. So then I asked THE Question: “So can I run at three months?” His response was, “I don’t see why not. But take it easy.” I was so pumped! Only one more month and I’d actually get to jog!
The next two weeks
For rehab I had been going to Jason Russell at Optimum Performance in Fort Wayne. Dr. Clohisy gave me a rehab protocol so I was able to do all of it at home on my own. However, I needed Dr. Russell to teach me how to do the drills and to chart my progress. When I went to see him at two months he was really impressed with how everything was progressing. Last month’s drills were all about loosening up the joint. This month was all about strengthening the muscles around the hip.
I continued working out on the elliptical nearly every day. But that was getting pretty boring so I decided to add something else: Pool running. At Carroll we are lucky enough to have a natatorium with a diving well. That allows the cross country and track teams to cross-train. Carroll doesn’t have enough track coaches so I got to lead the teams in workouts in the pool. Hydrotherapy is amazing for the muscles and I loosened up even more. I was finally able to imitate the running motion without impact. I began to do some of the same workouts I did on the elliptical in the pool.
Between rehab, pool running, and the elliptical, my hip was beginning to feel a lot stronger. I started working out on the elliptical in the morning and then going to practice to use the pool. Nothing hurt and everything was moving in the right direction. So I decided I would try throwing the baseball again. This time I was able to move a lot better and put more weight on my hip. This was yet another sign of improvement.
Second half of month three
This is where the month began to get frustrating. Everything was feeling great. No pain, workouts drastically improving, and yet I still wasn’t allow to run. Sometimes I would think it’s better to be stuck in bed than moving around freely but NOT being able to run. I imagined what it was like to run. It finally just became a waiting game. I started counting down the days till I could run. That was till I hit a bit of a road block. I had developed a bit of a cold and it affected my workouts. It caused me to miss a few days which made things even worse. Thankfully it was short lived and I was able to get back out there and start working out again. Sweating and breathing hard felt great!
I was feeling so great that the instinct to run was hard to ignore. If I was somewhere like a track practice or out in the yard, it seemed like second nature to just turn and run off. But what made it even harder was that for three straight nights I had DREAMS that I was running. Crazy!! Dreaming about running!
On Monday that week I was so excited for my first run that I asked my mom if I could take a bunch of Tylenol P.M. and go to sleep until Wednesday afternoon. I couldn’t wait any longer.
The glorious day had arrived. I decided that I wanted my first run to be with the guys on the Carroll team, so I went to practice. It was cold and raining outside so the team did their warm-up laps around the gym on the inside track. I figured I was start my run with those few laps. I had waited for this moment for so long. I had not even jogged two steps in the past three months and it was time! My mom and dad came to practice to watch and take pictures. They were excited for me.
The first few steps were extremely strange but felt so good at the same time. As I kept going the hip started to loosen up a bit and I started running more normal. I can’t even begin to describe the feelings. I just felt overcome with joy and excitement. I was surprised at just how quickly I was able to regain my normal stride. The hip still felt extremely stiff but I didn’t care, I was finally jogging.
The team started doing drills so I talked to my parents and high school coaches. After they finished we went to the outdoor track where I thought I would run just one mile. Four laps! The whole distance squad stayed behind instead of going off on their run. The first lap was really slow and awkward again. As we went further, things got better and we started to pick it up a little. I managed to make it through the mile in a time of 7:24. Not bad! Just a little more than two minutes off of my PR!
I needed to take the next day, Thursday, off and rest. I had made it three months without screwing things up and I wanted to keep it that way. Also, on Friday night I had big plans: running with James Martin. He had texted me a few days earlier asking if I wanted to go with him to his first collegiate outdoor track meet. Since he was redshirting outdoor, none of his teammates were traveling with him and he wanted me to help him warm-up. It would be just like old times, me and James getting ready for a big race. I was thrilled to go help my best friend and former training partner. We were at Hillsdale and I was able to run with him for about 10 minutes before I just had to stop. That was enough.
I then took Saturday off but came back on Sunday. This time I ran with my dad and sister, Grace, an eighth grader. We planned to run three miles or so, maybe 20-some minutes. I needed to run on grass so we decided on Concordia Seminary. The run was going great until ten minutes in when something strange happened. I was telling my dad that my hip was really tight when all of a sudden, something felt like it was breaking free. It was a weird sensation but my hip immediately felt better. We kept running and my hip started to loosen up. The rest of the run went great and we stopped at 26 minutes.
I stayed with the every-other-day routine and took Monday off and came back on Tuesday. This time I ran in Bloomington because I was visiting my girlfriend at IU during her finals week. I ran alone for about 30 minutes and felt pretty good so I thought I could finally run two days straight. But Wednesday would be quite a different run: I hooked up with my former Carroll teammate Michael Nussa, who is on the Run Club at IU, for a run. It would be my first “real” run. Michael is in great shape and, well, I’m in not-so-great shape. I’m sure we weren’t going too incredibly fast, but between the hills of Bloomington and the early morning heat and humidity, I was dying at three miles. After a few more minutes I had to stop at 24 minutes. Thankfully my hip didn’t hurt but, boy, was I breathing hard. And my legs were trashed!
On Thursday I walked all around campus and my legs were extremely lactic and tight. Because of this I figured a run would help ease some of the pain. This time the run was going to be easy and all by myself. Just a comfortable explore run. I decided to do an out-and-back run. I got to twenty minutes and was feeling pretty good and I turned around. Being a competitive person, and always willing to challenge myself, I wanted to come back in a quicker time. One of my favorite runs has always been doing an out-and-back and doing the “back” much faster. I got excited just thinking about the possibility and started picking it up. Things were going great till I ran into something: “the wall”. It didn’t hit me till 30 minutes but I didn’t let it stop me. My hip felt great but I was just tired. I just wanted to make it back in under 40 minutes and I did: 38:57.
Then came the fun part: I mapped out my run to see how far it was. How far had I run in 38 minutes and 57 seconds? I ran 5.35. I know it’s not very far, but it was nice to know I was still competitive!
Now time for surgery number 2!!
For short quicker updates after the second surgery and recovery I’ll be using my twitter account. My name is @bradhess88.