I am back in the pool, and back at the gym, and so far everything is holding together. The rest of this post is lots of detail re that for the purposes of documentation--feel free to skip it.
When I went back to swimming on Saturday (after injury, holidays, travel, more holidays), it felt great. Nothing like the rich aroma of chlorine in the morning! My coach was happy to have me back, too, which made me even more happy. We talked about how I should approach recovery this time, and he recommended more rather than fewer sessions in the pool, but with lowish yardage, gradually building up, and some kind of other physical activity on the non-swimming days. More specifically, he recommended swimming four days a week, seeing how it goes, and (I thought I heard) increasing the yardage by 50% per week. I figured I would add in my two days per week of strength training, and then a wild-card day--either a nice walk downtown or playing squash with the PP, or riding my bike, or whatever. That all sounded great to me--except for the 50% increase per week, which sounded a little over-dramatic.
I approached him about that on Tuesday night, saying that I was down with everything he suggested except the 50% increase per week. He said, "50%? That is insane. I didn't say that. I said 15%." Aha. Makes much more sense, as I was thinking that perhaps an increase of 10-20% per week would make sense. Which, of course, equals 15%. He looked at me with that look.
Anyway, here at the almost end of week one, things are feeling good. I am feeling physically tired, which is appropriate, I'd say, after stepping things up after a long period (it felt eternal, really--it had been about a month) of sitting around. My shoulder feels good--I am almost afraid to say that--like it needs strengthening but not like it is post-surgical. My leg is more or less cooperating, if I don't stress it too much. I am this week swimming about 1900 yards per practice, and that is most or all swim. Flutter kicking on its own stresses my knee, so I have to be careful not to do too much of that. Breaststroke kick is usually OK (does this seem backwards, or what? the stress point for the knee is when the joint is locked, which does not happen in BR kick--whatever), but on days when I have seen my chiropractor (like yesterday), my hips feel out of wack, and that makes the BR kick seem wrong, so I don't do it those days, since it was after a chiropractic visit that my knee freaked out before. And the strength-training days at the gym feel productive but not over-stressful. In all, great!
I am hopeful that with the year's respite from teaching, I'll be able to maintain a more regular pace, with fewer interruptions from the rest of life.