It’s strange to think about what the last 6 months have been like; and what they were originally supposed to be, what with the doctors original orders being to take 6 months off before I started back running again. I honestly can’t imagine the past 6 months without running, looking back. I also don’t know if I would be as full steam into it again if I had taken so much time off.
When it first happened, I looked high and low across the internet about recovery times, post-recovery running, if I would ever be able to run again, so-forth and so-on. The doctor assured me before he ever operated that I would eventually run again, but he seemed to stress the eventually part. The day it happened, I remember being worried about being able to work again, though, much less run. I had just come back to work a couple months before from nearly a year layoff. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to stand up for 8 hours on concrete anymore.
Looking back, I was scared to death. Nothing seemed to ease my fears. Well, the morphine helped, -a lot-, but that’s a whole different ballgame. I didn’t seem to know anything about anything that may happen.
After the surgery, I got a pair of crutches (life completely sucks on crutches, by the way); and orders to sit and do nothing until instructed otherwise. So I did. I turned on the TV, an Xbox, and literally wasted 3 weeks of life. Next MD appt I was allowed to get up and move about some, and could make a trip to the mall and whatnot. So I called everyone I knew that would give me a ride and off to the malls I went. I was even brave enough to head out on black Friday on a set of crutches. (8 hours on crutches=worst idea ever. My arms ached for days).
Next appointment led to ditching the crutches and using a cane. I must say, I really liked the cane. I thought about making it a permanent part of the wardrobe. You know what all a cane is useful for?? Not to mention the sympathy vote you get from everyone while you hobble along?? It was great. ( really seeing the silver lining on that one now. I’m sure I hated it at the time).
It was just under 3 months when I got the OK to start running again. I was shocked. As much as I wanted to tackle an aggressive schedule; the MD kept me on a tight rope for a long while. I was limited to 3 miles at a time, 3 times a week, for my first 3 weeks. But I felt like I could go further. Always felt strong. Granted, I wasn’t as fast, but who cares? I was running! First thing I did after getting the ok to run and increase mileage as I wanted to- Find a half marathon. I decided the distance that left me broken wasn’t going to keep me down, that I would beat it one way or the other.
I hap-hazzardly trained, missing days due to cold (both sick cold and cold outside…) and basically was completely reckless about bumping up mileage. I started with 3.5+3.5+7, 4+4+8, 4.5+4.5+9, and so on until I got to 5+5+10 (that I went ahead and stretched to 13.1. Oops.) All the while I started racing again. My first race back was on March 12th, 2011, one day shy of 4 months. I ran a 10k trail race.
The next week I ran a 5k road race, finishing in 21:49, which meant I had lost nearly 2 minutes in a 5k. I was surprisingly OK with that, I managed to finish 3rd out of 6 in my AG that day.
March 26th, 2011- Martinsville half marathon. I did it! I was so excited to have beaten not only the distance but also my previous personal best of 1:44:xx. I finished that race in 1:39:xx. I was on top of the world. The race director heard of my story and they also gave me an extremely nice award for determination; coming back that quickly and that strong from such an injury. Coming home that day on a real runner’s high, I decided it was a good idea to run another half as quickly as possible, and found the Raleigh Rocks half marathon the two weeks later.
In total, I’ve now ran a two mile race, 6 different 5k’s, a 10k, and two half marathons. I’m still not as fast in the 5k distance, but I’m getting closer. I got it down to 20:3x a couple weeks ago. My PR is only 19:55, so once I figure out how to shave 10 seconds/mile I’ll be there again.
I’ve also started a mini running streak in the last couple weeks, even if it is accidental, now I want to keep it up to see how long it lasts. Yesterday’s 10k run made day 14, and I have 2-3 miles planned for tonight when I get off work.
Am I completely healed? Probably not, I still have aches and pains that I never had before, and things get sore in my hip joints that never bothered me before. I also stress it a lot more. “what’s that pain” is a question I have to ask myself more than once or twice a week. I had to sleep with a pillow between my knees while I was healing to keep my hips properly aligned while sleeping, and now I can’t sleep without one. If I do, everything waist down aches the next morning and it’s tough to get out of bed.
But I’m making a good attempt. All I know is I can’t wait to take on that d@m* Danville half marathon again in November.