Tale of the Broken Elbow – Week 2

Race Swag from the Boulder Peak Triathlon. Coach Nicole wasn’t able to race, but she still picked up her race packet. The event was unfortunately cancelled due to resources being called out to a nearby wildfire.

Tale of the Broken Elbow – Week 2

I’ve made it through two whole weeks after my elbow surgery. The second week after surgery went a bit better than the first week. I am now completely off pain medication, even Tylenol, and am noticing progress in my range of motion work.


I go to physical therapy twice a week, where they stretch me, have me push the limits of my allowed range of motion, and do some manual work to try to loosen up the muscles around my elbow. Holy adhesions that were are in my biceps and triceps!


Coach Nicole getting some heat to warm up the elbow and working on some strength by squeezing some putty at a physical therapy appointment.

Getting some heat to warm up the elbow and working on strength by squeezing some putty.


The goal is to get to 100% extension at six weeks. I still have a ways to go, but I do see the improvement. It’s also nice to be able to get my arm out of my sling while I’m at my desk and I am back to typing with two hands!


I have also been restricted to 90 degrees of flexion, but the two week mark means I can start adding 10 degrees each week. Small steps, just like endurance sport training.


On the home/work front, things are pretty much back to normal, other than it still takes me longer to do routine tasks. I have to remember I won’t be able to use the arm for anything that requires weight for another four weeks, which is why I’m supposed to be in the sling for that duration. The sling is in use when I’m not at my desk, sleeping, or just relaxing on the couch. It acts as a very obvious reminder that I can’t lift anything with that arm.


In addition to a few easy spins last week, I’ve added some longer workouts on my trainer. With that and the physical therapy exercises, and taking my dog for walks, I have plenty to keep me active.


Coach Nicole on her indoor trainer (Wahoo KICKR) to keep some cycling fitness while she can’t swim, run, or ride outside.

Getting on the trainer to keep moving. I rode the Boulder Peak course on my Wahoo KICKR. (Yes, I need to clean my desk…)


This past weekend, I headed to Boulder to be at the Boulder Peak Triathlon. I still picked up my packet, and met with team, “For the Love of Nicole’s Elbow,” the 303Triathlon.com ambassadors who were doing a relay for on-course review of the event. I also got to meet Flora Duffy, who was there to participate in the pro relay event. But when a nearby wildfire demanded the attention of all emergency personnel, the race had to be cancelled at the last minute. Disappointing for sure, but very understandable. (Here’s my non-event report I did for 303Triathlon.)


Team “For the Love of Nicole’s Elbow:” Bobby, Sarah, Marty, and Coach Nicole the day before the unfortunately cancelled Boulder Peak Triathlon.

Team “For the Love of Nicole’s Elbow:” Bobby, Sarah, and Marty. And of course Coach Nicole in the sling.


Current ITU first place female, Flora Duffy, and Coach Nicole at the Boulder Reservoir.

Current ITU points champ, Flora Duffy was to swim in the pro relay at the Boulder Peak Triathlon.


The event being cancelled did allow me to get back to Colorado Springs earlier than planned, so I had time to go to a barbecue that was an informal fundraiser for Fixie Dave’s Kids on Bikes campaign. He’ll be racing the Route 66 Bike Race  in October. (Team NEO athlete, Tony, is planning to race it as well!)


 Enjoyable times at the BBQ to support Dave and his goal to ride the Route 66 Bike Race this fall and raise money for Kids on Bikes.

Enjoyable times at the BBQ to support Dave and his goal to ride the Route 66 Bike Race this fall and raise money for Kids on Bikes.


This next week is going to be an interesting one, both on the elbow-front, as I get to add that 10 degrees of flexion, but also on the sport front. I’m heading to California to be on a crew for a Badwater 135 runner. While my duties will be modified from what was originally planned, I’m excited to be out there supporting Sandra as she attempts this epic event (read about how she did at Badwater Salton Sea) and work with an all-star crew – Team NEO athletes Rodney and Khem.


I’ll definitely have a few posts when I return to share my experience!


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Nicole Odell



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