I had surgery on my elbow exactly 3 months ago. Physical therapy is a long, slow process, trying to get the elbow to move and the fingers to work again. The elbow only as a range of maybe 40 degrees, and almost none of that is up. The hand, which was affected because of the loss of circulation following the accident, is coming along a bit more quickly, although the pinky and ring finger are hard to bend.

At my doctor’s suggestion, I joined a club in New Rochelle, using a two-week trial, that has a pool. I’ve been there three times so far, and simply work my elbow while leaning against the side of the pool for leverage. It’s a slow process.

But I have been able to run for nearly a month, and feel that I’ve crossed the line into being a runner again. By that I mean that the form is coming back and I fell comfortable at speed. Yesterday was up to Crestwood Station along the Bronx River Parkway, a standard run for me of about 7.5 miles. Good, solid pace of between 6:45 and 7:05 (according to my Garmin). More important was that it was relaxed, as was today’s 6-miler, also up the Parkway.

Given concern about running outdoors at night, I bought a treadmill. I’m up to 40 minutes and feel I’ve broken a barrier there as well, running relaxed. I discovered at the club the other day when I used a treadmill before the pool that things go more quickly if I vary the pace or the incline. I was able to get to 4.5 for 5 minutes. That concentrated the mind.

Today was the Mamaroneck Turkey Trot, long one of my favorite races. But I am not ready to put a number on and race. And I can’t trust myself not to race if I put a number on. So I stayed away, although I regret not seeing some former teammates who ran.

For the week, just under 30 miles. 2 days on the roads, 3 on the treadmill, and the other 2 at PT (which lasts 2 hours). I will try to increase the distance of these going forward as I try to build for the spring. I will focus on Club races, although I’m probably not going to be scoring very often. But there is something special about the NYRR Club series, which I’ll get into at another time.

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