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My recovery from a Trimalleolar ankle fracture

It's been a really long time since I've added any content to my blog and decided that with all I have learned in the last six months I wanted to get this information out to anyone who may be researching what recovery is like for an athlete who has suffered a trimalleolar fracture. My accident was on July 15th 2014. I was out for a run on a 90 degree plus day when a cyclist hit me full force from behind. When I landed I knew i was not going to National Chammpoinships (triathlon olympic distance championships were less than 4 weeks away) this year as planned. The cyclist called the ambulance while I tried to hold my composure as I looked at my left ankle which was dislocated and facing the wrong direction. If you live in NYC area, I highly recommend Bellevue for their trauma center. I was in Brooklyn. When the ambulance arrived I insisted on getting me out of Brooklyn, I wanted NYU but I got Bellevue. I won't go into the details of the rest of that day but x-rays showed three fractures in my left leg. two on the tibia and one on the fibula called a trimalleolar ankle fracture. I could see from the images how my ankle was clearly unstable and I would need surgery. They splinted and used a soft cast and sent me home.

Surgery was set for seven days later (7/23) at NYU. Swelling needed to go down before surgery could be performed. Prior to surgery I was told I would need 1 or 2 perminent metal plates and a screw. I could expect to be fully recovered in a year and would be able to run again, but not at 100% of my former capacity. I was told it would take about 6 months for the bones to completely heal which meant no running until February. I ended up with two plates and a screw. My main concern was that I was never going to be a good runner again, or perhaps that pain would remain and I wouldn't want to compete anymore. POST SURGERY- WEEKS 1-4 If you are suffering from this or a similar injury you must be patient. This is not my strong suit, and I was miserable sitting around during my favorite months of the year missing out on just about everything. I was able to perform my personal training work. I simply mmodified my client programs so that I could remain either kneeling or sitting throughout our sessions. I think between the injury and surgery I took off 5 days of work. Pain during the day wasn't too bad, it was nights that were usually pretty bad. Getting around on crutches was not an option. I needed to be more mobile than that so I rented a kneeling scooter for about 10 weeks.

Within a week of surgery was my grandmothers 100th birthday. My surgeon said I could fly but didnt recomment it. I'm so glad I rebooked my flight for two weeks later. I was in a cast post surgery for 2 weeks. That was by far the most uncomfortable time. Its very difficult to address swelling with icing when you are in a cast so elevation was key. The the stitches were then removed at two weeks and I was placed in a boot but could not bear any weight at all for aonther 6 weeks. The surgeon showed me my xrays and I almost cried. I had so much metal in my ankle. I had not imagined all the screws that would be needed to hold the two plates in place. The positive at this point is that the boot could come off at night and when I was resting, which made sleeping a little more bearable and icing more effective. I was also encouraged to move the ankle around. Drawing the alphabet with my toes when I was resting with my foot out of the boot. Also massaging the area, icing regluarly, and keeping the leg elevated as much as possible.

I continued to use training peaks to log all my workouts. I just wanted to have confimation that I was staying active and keeping a plan of some sort. Every day I had to play things by ear. Note, I did get approval from my surgeon to do the workouts i'm describing here. The more time I spent with clients, the more sore the ankle was and the more time I had to lay around with my foot elevated and read books.

Five days post surgery I started doing some workouts. It varied from just mat/core work to open chain leg movements like leg extensions and leg curls. Because my gym is in my building I was able to go in the middle of the day when I had the place to myself and just take my time. Lying chest press, lat pull downs, lots of upper body in seated or lying positions. Again the scooter was a great help. I focused on slow movements with lighter weights for about the first two weeks. My body was fatigued, I was not taking any pain killers during the day but understood my body's need to heal and listened carefully. The first month after surgery I was not myself at all. My body felt terrible, I was tired, took naps, was depressed, but kept to as much of my regular routine as possible.

WEEKS 5-12 It took about five weeks post surgery for the surgical area to heal (stitches were on the inside and outside of ankle) which meant I was approved to start swimming. I was really looking forward to taking that step and found swimming extremely beneficial to my recovery over the next 5 months. The bones were less sore so I was able to increase the weight on my leg extensions and hamstring curls. Right after surgery I took tape measurements of various parts of my body. My left thigh and calf had lost an inch of muscle in just two weeks. So with my leg feeling much better I focused on putting time almost daily in strengthening the legs. Hip abduction, lying glute bridges, superman (back extensions) along with any variety of leg extensions and curls I could think of (even just body weight).

About 6 weeks post surgery was my second follow up with the surgeon including a series of xrays. Now I could start physical therapy and start bearing some weight on my foot. I got all excited thinking I could go right to using a cane. No such luck. Really painful to walk and at first could put maybe 30% of my weight on the foot. So now I had to use crutches. I used the scooter around my home and in the gym environent with clients as it was much safer and I could move around more freely. But whenever possible I would walk with crutches, then just one crutch, and about three weeks later just a cane. I continued with my weight training, still all single joint work for the legs (squats and lunges were out of the questions) and got into the pool at least 3 times a week. Now I could get on a bike as well but had to be a stationary bike with the boot. Not very comfortable as the boot is neoprene and ick!

Prior to getting approval to start PT I did my research and figured out where I wanted to go. I couldnt walk far, couldn't use the subway so choose NYU Langone PT center. I was able to take the ferry, basically from my back door to 34the street, and scoot or walk up 2 blocks to NYU. Perfect. Plus the selling point here was they had an Alter G anti gravity treadmill that had my name on it. I was so happy to see that machine. Had read about them, but never seen one in a PT center. A tip I will share also is that in metropolitan areas good PT centers are quite buisy. I knew before getting my prescription for PT that I would have to wait two weeks for an opening at NYU. Before I saw the surgeon for my 6 week post op appointment I asked that he submit my script so that I was all set up in the system and could make my appontments! So week 7 I started PT. Just like with personal training it starts with assessments. I worked with a team of two who monitored me very closely with notes. The first couple of sessions they just massaged the area, worked on blood flow and mobility of the joint. Then we got into stretches, some strengthening while bearing some weithg, but mostly only slightly painful mobility work. All of this I was able to do at home with bands and was diligent with my daily PT.

11 weeks post surgery felt like a big leap for me. My ankle was genearlly no worse than a 4 for pain on a 1-10 scale (10 being what I experienced about 36 hours post surgery). I was able to ditch the boot and just use a cane for added support (mostly crowd control). Could go to concerts, and generally had less fear of falling. I started seeing an accupuncturist which was helping with blood flow and swelling and therefor pain. Physical therapy incoprorated body weight balance challenge exercises where I saw progress about every 5 days or so. All this lead to a better mood and feeling of wellbeing.

WEEKS 13-20 Swelling and mobility are good enough now that I can wear my cycling shoes so I added work on my indoor trainer. Varied my workouts depending on how the ankle felt while on the bike. Some days I could handle lower RPM sets and other days I had to keep the resistance light and focus on leg turnover. Also a good time for single leg drills focusing more sets on my left/ injured leg. At this point, not including PT I was putting in about 7 hours of training between weights, bike and swimming. My therapist has been very happy with my progress and I know my diligent work is paying off. Whenever I had a bad night sleep, i knew I had to plan for less stress on the ankle that day. Basically that is how I judged my progress. The night pain wasn't terrible, but if I wasnt sleeping well it was because my ankle was bothering me.

Week 15 I met with my surgeon.  Initially I was told 6 months from surgery before I could start running.  That day I got the approval to start running.  This was based upon NYU having the Alter G anti gravity treadmill.  First attempt was 25 min at 70% of my body weight at 6.5 MPH.  Could feel the support I was getting from the air but also the enclosre around the hips helps stabilitze laterally.  I was sore going into the workout but not additionally sore finishing.  The second run was 48 hours later at 80% and felt a little better.  I recognize now that I need to do more hip (glude medius and minimus) on left side.  All daily activities I feel pretty balanced, but when running I feel the hip drop on the left and integrated more isolated strength work for hips.

Week 17 I went on vacation.  Scuba time!  Had been anticipating this vacation since August but didnt actually book it until October because I wasnt sure what I would be capable of.  Spent a little time on most swims the last 6 weeks working with fins to buildup ankle sterength with fins.  Also choose a destination known for easy diving, not much current, drift diving mostly, and short rides to the dive sites.  Turneffe Resort about a 90 min boat ride from Belize city was exactly what I needed.  Basically I rested all day except for the 2-3 tanks of diving.  Having built up the biking and adding the running I was ready for a recovery week.

Upon resuming physical therapy I was able to run at 90% of body weight then had to back down again.  There were a couple of trying weeks where I was not recovering very well from the running, was anxious to get on a regular treadmill but still not ready.

WEEKS 21-28

To Eat or Not to Eat, That is the ???

Should you eat before your work out? Is it better to exercise on an empty stomach so that you tap into your fat stores and burn them away?  What if you have a sensitive stomach?  Should it be carbohydrates or protein or both?  The bottom line is that when you eat carbohydrate-rich foods before exercise, you will perform better, both mentally and physically, during the workout.  The question then becomes, what works best for your body Got a Sensitive Stomach?

If so, choose low-fiber and low-fat foods before exercise as they are easier to digest.  Also, try to eat at least one hour before beginning your workout.  Avoid foods like peanut butter and high-fiber cereals before your workout.  Fat and fiber hold food in the stomach longer, and with your sensitive stomach, you want the food that you eat to be digested and out of your gut when you start exercise.  Some good low-fat, low-fiber options are:  Banana, low-fat yogurt, and whole wheat English muffin.

Trying to Burn Fat?

While it’s true that exercise on an empty stomach allows you to burn fat during exercise, this does not translate to a reduction in body fat.  When the body is burning fat for fuel during exercise, it inevitably means that you are working out at a lower intensity.  What does that mean?  It means that you are burning fewer calories per minute of exercise.

To really blast through fat stores, you need to be in the carbohydrate-burning zone.  When your body is using carbohydrate to fuel exercise, it means that you are burning more calories per minute.  If  carbohydrate is not available, your intensity drops, both physically and mentally.  Therefore exercise on an empty stomach generally feels much harder.  Choose a satisfying meal or snack, but keep the high calorie additions to a minimum if you are trying to loose body fat. Give yourself 30-60 minutes to digest and then hit a high intensity workout.  Best lower calorie carbohydrate-rich foods to blast fat:  cooked oatmeal with some berries or banana;  whole grain (look for sprouted bread) toast with a light spread of almond butter (less than 1 tablespoon) and natural preserves; or low-fat yogurt and fruit such as fresh berries.

What about Protein to build Muscle?

Eating protein-rich foods before exercise won’t necessarily lead to muscle gain.  Focus your attention on complete protein from animals such as chicken, salmon, and turkey post workout when your muscles are more receptive to the muscle-building affects of protein.

Before any workout you need carbohydrates.  Carbs power exercise, especially high intensity workouts like weight lifting, cycling and running.  You can blow through your glycogen stores (carbohydrate stores) during a heavy lifting or cardio workout.  And when glycogen levels get low your mental and physical energy will drop.  When trying to build muscle choose pre-workout meals that provide carbohydrate and a bit of protein for extra calories.  Best muscle-building options are: Hummus and raw vegetables; Oatmeal with fruit and some low-fat chicken sausage; baked sweet potato topped with cottage cheese; or snack on edemame (soy beans).

Prime your body for exercise by choosing carbohydrate-rich foods for your pre-workout meal.  When possible, give yourself at least 30 minutes to digest the food and absorb the nutrients.  Experiment with which foods which work best for your body.


Week 10 was my highest volume week to date and I learned some things I should have noticed about my schedule and modified it for this week.  Monday following this week I was feeling a bit off.  My running is slowing and i'm not happy about the pain in my low back.  It went away by Tuesday, but these are some of the things that I added that week and I'll suggest what I should have done differently. I ran 62 miles this week, my highest volume for the training period so far.  Two weeks prior I ran 60.  I added speed work with the fartleks and I added a race at a pace I have not been training for.  The race should have been viewed as a priority run and I shold have adjusted the schedule to allow full recover for race day.  The purpose of the rece was to gague whether I am on target for a 8:00 marathon.  But that being said I should have done one of the following: Eliminate the speed training on Monday; give myself a full day of rest on Friday and therefore cut my total miles for the week by 6miles; Skip running in the snow on Sunday (the day after a race) and run on a treadmill instead at 6 miles instead of 10: and should have skipped the indoor bike training for the week.

I mention all of this because there were too many new variables to that week.  I know I could have raced better and would not have felt any back pain ( note I've never experiend low back pain from running) the day following the race if i had modified the training to have only 2 hard training days, 3 really easy days, and only one moderate day.  Instead I had 3 hard, two moderate, and 1 easy.  The good news is that as i'm writing this on Tuesday following another fartlek run and my back pain is gone, but i'm still running about 10-20% slower than I would like.


Strangely after the race i didn't crash like i usually do.  We had a long drive home from NJ and David seemed more tired than I was.  Ate quite a bit of food at the post race party and then ordered in some Thai Curry for dinner, but didn't over eat and wasn't terrible hungry.  Looking forward to allowing myself to eat carbs as much as i want for the next few days. On Monday I awoke to feeling similar to when you have the flu.  My chest is still congested and my body aches, but nothing in particular is sore.  Well my calves are tight and that's a new one for me.  Between clients did some foam rolling and stretching.  Throughout the day i just took it easy and did take a nap in the afternoon.  Tuesday was much like Monday except my chest feels better, but i'm still lethargic.  For the first time following a race i don't feel motivated to do anything.  Usually whenether my body feels great or not I have a mental urge to do some exercise, but not this time around.  I don't know how much of this is due to the race but feel it's a combination of the race and still having this cold.  Did more stretching and foam rolling on Tuesday as well.

On Wednesday i was still feeling lethargic, but muscles all feel fine.  By mid day i got the urge to run and decided to just get out for an easy jog.  I coughed a lot at the beginning of the run and although i wasn't thinking about pace at all was surprised how slow it was.  That's a good clue to stop and go home and rest some more.  Only ran 2.5 miles and pace was 10:12.

Thursday i continued to rest my body, still not even feeling like doing any weight training and i've been eating whatever i want which is not a good thing.  For instance, board between clients, went to have coffee and a muffin even though i had brought my Isalean shake with me as well as a banana.  Hope tomorrow i'm feeling up for the task of running again.  Put my energy into setting up my next race.  Signed up for the Paris marathon 4/11/2010.  David already has his airline tickets so decided now was the time for me to take some action.  Also started working on my training program.  It will be a 26 week program with a nice long base period.  Looking forward to having more time to train (never had a plan this long) and therefore i can put in a longer sharpening phase.  Last year the sharpening phase was real short and I feel I worked too hard because of the shorter period.  This program will also be more forgiving if i need to take a day off because of weather or travel.

Friday im feeling like it's ok to run.  Not coughing much today and my body doesn't feel achy anymore.  From my house i jogged easy to the bridge.  I took the hills real slow and the flats and downhills probably a little too fast for my first real post race run, but it felt good.  Didn't cough during the run but did hack a bid after.  Averaged about a 9:20mm fter a 10 min warm up which is about where i should be for an easy run on hills.

Saturday is my first long run since the race on Sunday.  I warmed up 10 minutes at 10mm to the bridge.  The main set was 57 minutes over the bridge, up the west side and back over the brige and down court street.  Miles for the main set were 6.35 and my pace average was 9:00, exactly where it should be for my marathon goals.  I stopped at the hardware shop for an o ring for my water pack and finished with a cool down all down hill for a little over a mile.  Everything feels good although it felt like more effort than i would normally predict for an easy long run covering only 8.5 miles.  I'm still congested, but itns' not apparent at rest.  Was coughing a bit during the run.

I've been looking forward to sunday for a while.  I met this great guy in the bike shop who invited me out on long bike rides with him.  I don't know a lot of courses and was getting bored with the 9W rides i did during tri training all summer.  And i don't like having to drive over the bridge and take away from training time by commuting.

Anthony lives in Brooklyn as well and we met on a corner at 9:15am and planned for a 3 hour ride.  As he described the route on the phone i got the feeling that this was going to be longer than three hours.  If i needed to turn back at an hour and a half i could, but it was a really nice day and decided to go along with his plan.

We ended up in long island, ending at point lookout which is almost to Jones beach.  We started on 4th ave, rode over the path running along bay ridge, past coney island and along the belt parkway in the Jamaica Bay area.  All this was familiar.   We passed one bridge and took the second to the broad challel??  Continued out to the rockaways, passing atlantic beach, long beach, lido beach and ended at point lookout.  It was a nice sunny day but a cool breeze.  I wore just the right amount of clothing.  The ride out felt easy and we cruised at about 17mph even with all the traffic lights.  We stopped for some food.  I had an egg sandwich while Anthony indulged in his regular treat for that route, apple pie ala mode.  As we headed back the wind had picked up.  I didn't feel like there was wind at out back when we went out, but there was a stiff wind returning home.  We took a different bridge back over the channel and followed ocean parkway back into Brooklyn.  On the way back my left knee started to hurt quite a bit.  I did some drafting as i was getting tired around the 4 h our mark and was not expecting this wind.  Total time was 5:33min.  I didn't look at my monitor at all during the ride, just went with the flow and that was the whole point of this ride.  My cadence was about 72 on the flats, hr av 124, av speed 13.33 and total distance a whopping 74 miles.  Yikes.  Thoroughly enjoyed my shower that afternoon and then started cooking dinner.  Iced my knee that night as well.

DC Nations Tri- Recovery Week

This week i just took everything as it came and didn't plan a thing.  Overall i trained  only 8hrs 45 minutes and every workout felt good. Monday, the day after the race, was a beautiful fall day.  I had a light client load and just couldn't help but go for a run.  I ran with no plan at all.  Ended up running along the promenade in Brooklyn Heights, into Borough Hall park and then about a third of the way up the bridge before i turned around.  Kept my pace slow at 9.25mm average and low HR throughout.  Don't know when the last time i went for a run less than 45 minutes.  Spent a good 15 minutes stretching after.

On Tuesday i had some time between clients and put in just 20 minutes of weights.  Focused on back and shoulders.  In the evening i rode my bike to prospect park for 3 laps.  I had to meet a client for a training run so went early to get in a short ride.  Total time was one hour.  During the ride i witnessed a cycling accident.  Another cyclist stopped first to assist and then i stopped.  The guy rode right into another cyclist who was intersecting the road and did not look before he crossed.  The injured rider landed on his shoulder and hit his head.  Wasn't wearing a helmet.  When I arrived the other cyclist was asking if he could call an ambulance for him.  He responded negatively.  I stuck around to make sure he was coherent and didn't need immediate First Aid.  After about 5  minutes he started to feel the pain and listened more to our suggestion to get help.  I asked how his shoulder felt as he was becoming aware that the multiple scrapes and slight head injury were not the problem, but that his shoulder was.  I asked if he would show me his shoulder.  He had a bump, just like mine after my accident but not as severe.  Looked to me like he had separated his shoulder.  At that point i really encouraged him to at least allow an ambulance to come and check him out.  That he didn't have to necessarily go to a hospital (i found out that he didn't have insurance) but if the medics suggested it he should not ignore this injury.  I told him a bit about my cycling accident and resulting separated shoulder.  Didn't want to freak him out but could see in his eyes he just didn't want to deal with what was happening.  I really felt for him and understood what was going on in his mind.  Once he agreed to an ambulance i left.  The police had arrived and i had done all i could plus i was late for meeting my client.  Wish i had thought to give him my business card because i know he's going to want someone to talk to once his diagnoses is made.

Wednesday i did a light workout in my gym.  Worked with the trx, cables and free weights.  Mostly back but some shoulders and chest as well.  Spent a good 15 min on abs and started with some shoulder PT work.

Thursday i had time between clients again so did a circuit of back and shoulder work.  5 exercises and 3 sets.  Felt easy which was my plan for the week.  After my clients i went for a run downtown because i wanted to do a flat run.  Included some fartlek work but really felt easy although my average pace was a bit faster than i would have expected for such an easy run.  Pace was 8:52mm and my av hr was only 152.  Usually a flat run at 152bpm is more like a 9:10mm.  Based upon how my legs are feeling and resulting HR my body is recovering really well from the race.  Nice to see.

Friday i took my bike out to prospect park for some laps.  I wanted to use a Garmin feature called mark and lap.  At a given point at the top of the park i set this feature and the GPS is supposed to mark that spot so that each lap starts and finishes at that point and you don't have to manually pres a lap button.  Found that only half of the laps got marked.  Not sure what's up with that but will try this setting again.  I completed 7 laps.  Average HR was 145bpm, speed about 17, cadence about 72.  Cadence was actually faster.  Noticed that when i'm on a steep downhill and don't pedal that the 0 cadence gets averaged in for the ride.  Dont' really like that, but don't think there is a way to adjust that.  The last two laps i took significantly slower than the first 5 (was feeling fatigued).  Took the big hill at a 50-60rpm pace.  Took it easy going home.  Overall rode 1:46min over 27.84 miles.  spent a lot of time looking at the 4 screens i have set up on the garmin to see if i like the way i've programmed the data to appear.  Think it shows everything i want in a good pattern.  Easy to read as long as it's bright.

Saturday was my first run designed to test out a pace for my next race.  The half iron in two weeks ends with a 1/2 marathon.  I have not run a half marathon race in two years so don't have a good  history to judge a pace for this race.  My thought has been that i should be able to manage a pace similar to my last marathon after finishing a 56 mile bike ride.  This of course is dependant on HR as well, but the course is going to be really flat.  So i set out over the Brooklyn bridge to the flat terrain of the west side.  Set my garmin for a new program with a warm up and then two 30 min intervals.  Once i got to the west side and could run without traffic i set the first interval working a little slower 8:25pace  and planned to pick up the pace about 10 sec for the turn around.  After the 30 minutes i took a 30sec break, had a gel and turned around.  The second 30 minute was at 8:19 mm average.  My average HR was 162bpm for both directions (the first half was against the wind).   This was a good test.  For the half iron run i should be able to manage 13plus miles at around 168bpm no problem, so i'm thinking if i start a bit slower (maybe 8:30 pace) and can add a little speed after 3 miles or so and actually exceed my last marathon pace of 8:25.  The real question is how to stay motivated during all that without an Ipod.  I never run without it.  Something i guess i should practice next week.

Sunday i finally fit in a swim.  Since the Riverbank pool is closed for maintenance for the whole month my only training options is with TNYA, my masters swim team.  Often not a real productive workout but today was pretty good.  Trains were messed up.  It took me an hour and a half to get to the pool and changed so i missed the 15 min warm up.  Most of the workout was freestyle intervals.  My stroke was strong and long.  Felt real relaxed until about the last 10 minutes of the 1:05 workout.  Skipped the last set of butterfly intervals.  I don't do butterfly, plus i was freezing.  It's going to be impossible to get in any swims on my own before the half iron so will just focus on getting in a team swim one time each week.  Just can't pull off two swims a week because i won't get home before 10:30pm from the workouts on week days and i have to get up between 5 and 5:30 am to meet clients.  Would like to get in another weekend open water swim but will be out of town next weekend so can't swim with the Brighton swim club.  Today's strong swim made me feel confident that if i do stick to just two more quality swims before the race i'll be in good shape for the 1.2 mile swim.

Recovery Week- Commute Run

I'm feeling much more rested now, but will not push my limits.  Today i'm going to put together training plans for a half ironman that i'm planning for October 4th.  I have not signed up for it as i want to see how training goes over the next week or two.  I feel that by the end of this week I need to get in a long bike and a longer run as well.  Since running is my favorite i'm skipping any bike training during the week and going out for an easy run again today. My morning started later than usualy and it's super humid outside.  Ran over the brooklyn bridge and around city hall park to my gym to see clients.  Had a isalean shake when i got there.  Thought about doing some weights, but just wasn't into it, so i didn't.  That's what this week is all about.  No plans, just go with the flow.  Ran back over the bridge for a total of 6.3 miles at a 9:30pace.  I have not been doing these commute runs during my training, because they are sort of pointless, so I'm having fun adding them in this week.

Recovery Week- easy swim for 1.2 miles

I always find when i need a light training day that getting in a swim is just the right thing.  I'm feeling a bit more lethargic today than the other days following the race.  Could be the weather, but think i need to keep my body moving with a light workout so I head to the outdoor pool in Red Hook.  It's overcast but quite warm and humid so will be nice to take a refreshing swim. Since i'm already thinking about the 1/2 ironman I want to do in October I'm planning on swimming longer distances for my easy swims.  Today the plan is a easy warm up followed by a  1.2mile swim at a slow, long stroke rate.  I have a lane to myself, oh joy.  I warm up for 15 minutes and set my tempo trainer at 1.20 seconds per stroke.  I've never spent any amount of time at this slow stroke rate but i'm wanting to take it easy and this will be an interesting test.  Each lap was between 45 and 48 strokes per length.  Breathing was easy, ave HR was only 132  It took me 45:17 to complete the 1.2 miles.  Interesting, because  just last thursday I swam the same distance at 1 sec strok rate, HR was 140 and i swam that only 4 seconds faster.

This tells me it's more valuable at this point to focus on form, slow stroke rate, longer stroke, being efficient, so as  not to waste energy.   Moving forward for my 1/2 ironman i want to plan for 3 swims per week.  All an hour 15 min or longer.  One day easy, working on extending my easy swims over a longer time.  Another day focusing on intervals.  And the third day in open water is possible, and if not possible with my TNYA swim team workouts.

Recovery Week- Starting with an easy run

On Monday I took a day off.  Felt tight, but not sore from Sunday's race which made me really happy.  I am tired though, partially from less sleep than usual  but also my body signaling that i need more rest, so will make a point of getting more rest this week. There are no plans on my training calendar this week.  Just going to plan a day ahead based upon how i feel and today i wanted to get in a short run.  So today i ran over the brooklyn bridge to my gym to see clients.  Had an Iselean shake when i got there, trained clients, had a piece of fruit and ran back home.  Total distance, 6.4 miles at an easy 9:30mm pace.  It was really humid and my HR was higher than i like, so will continue to take all training real easy this week.