For those who follow my blog, you know that I am in the process of recovering from a broken foot – a fracture of my 3rd metatarsal suffered during the 1/2 marathon at Ironman 70.3 Austin. I had a non-weight-bearing cast, with crutches, for 4 weeks. I did what I could. I used the Concept II rower, hand cycle, and Freemotion machines at CSU Sac State. For the last two weeks I had a weight-bearing cast and found a cast cover I could use to keep the cast dry for swimming. With the cast cover and a pull buoy I was able to get back in the pool.
When I got the cast, the orthopedist told me that if I could go a week, weight-bearing without pain, that I could get a removable walking boot. Friday, which was just over two weeks later and more than a week without pain, I had the cast removed and I got a walking boot. The great thing about the boot is that I can reach my take it off to shower. I could bear weight, even without the boot, without pain, but I felt very uncoordinated and off balance. It felt like I was trying to walk after my foot had fallen asleep. My foot and ankle were also extremely stiff and still swollen. When I got home I stretched, went through a lot of range of motion exercises, and iced my foot. My ankle loosened up and the swelling went down a bit. Even better, I got on the trainer that evening. It was only for abut 40 minutes and I stayed on my small chainring, but it was good to spin again and get some movement in my ankle. I rode the trainer again the next two mornings before our long USA Track & Field Level I coaching clinic sessions. Again, no pain.
Best of all, I got in the pool this morning, without the cast, and swam. This is what I had been waiting for. I grew up a swimmer, swimming has always been my active recovery, and swimming has always been the best way for me to work out any stiffness and soreness. I got back in my usual lane and could really tell the difference of swimming without the cast. Oddly, my kicking rate felt a lot faster and my arm turnover much slower… perhaps from doing so much pulling for the last two weeks. I could also really feel the demands on my ankle with my flutter kick, but it’s all good, because it will help my foot and ankle regain strength and mobility.