First of all, thanks for the wonderful words of encouragement yesterday! I know I try to be very positive on my blog, but there have been some real "down-in-the-dumps" times these past few days. Yesterday was a good day in my recovery. I was able to take off my bandage (picture at the end of the post!) and ice, ice, baby! It has really helped the swelling and pain. This morning I was able to walk daintily around my house without crutches, so long as I was careful not to bend my knee too much or straighten it too much. This is without Vicodin, so that is good. My goal is NO VICODIN today. It makes me tired, loopy, anxious, and constipated. (Had to throw the last one in there because it's true!!!) So there's a little update for you. Now, onto my post...
Still those thoughts were there...
"What if I die from the anesthesia!?"
"What if I am worse off after the surgery than before!?"
"What if the surgeon screws something up and I can never run again!?"
And of course on the day of the surgery my knee felt fine. It felt strong. It felt normal. So then all morning I was thinking, "What if it miraculously healed for good overnight and I don't need surgery!?"
The day before the surgery I decided to go for a run. My PT had told me not to run so I would get better faster- advice which I followed until the day before surgery. On Wednesday, I wanted to go for "one last run". While I'll most likely be doing light activity in less than a week and hit the asphalt running in 2-3 weeks, I still know that recovery time is not the same for everyone. And even though it wasn't probable, I also knew anything could go wrong with surgery. I had to get one last run in... just in case, you know? So melodramatic of me...
Unfortunately it had to be a treadmill run. I don't know if you heard about this polar vortex thing, but I live in Central Pennsylvania and at 5am it's like -12 degrees out! I sure would have liked me last run to be outside, beautiful, and freeing, but it was not. It was in sweaty, smelly PF.
I gotta be honest about something. There's a girl at Planet Fitness in the mornings that is young, fit, and has the perfect running body. (I know there is no such thing, this is just me being envious over here!) She is usually on a treadmill and runs pretty fast. Whenever I see her, she makes me want to run. But I couldn't run for awhile, remember? Well not this day. I was gonna run 5 miles and I was gonna do it fast because I just wanted to feel like myself again.
I nonchalantly walked behind her machine so I could see her pace.
P-SHAW!!! I could do that easily! At least, I used to be able to. I wondered if I still had it in me? I figured I'd work my way up. I hadn't run in about 3 weeks, so I wasn't just going to hop on the treadmill and run at a 6:58 pace. So instead I worked my way up.
Mile 1- 8:30
Mile 2 - 8:00
Mile 3 - 8:00
Mile 4 - 6:58
Mile 5 - 7:04
I always run at a 2.0 incline so it better represents the outdoors.
I was pretty pleased with myself! I know I shouldn't compare myself to others, but I just needed to prove to myself I still "had it". My speed, my strength, my confidence... it was all there. It doesn't go away when I stop running because I still train my body in other ways and it translates over to running.
But not sub sevens for me for awhile... I unwrapped my knee Friday morning. Check it out:
Ouchy wa wa!!!!
Don't worry, I have ice. I'm on it.
I wish I didn't have to run to feel like myself, but it is true. It's such an important part of my life. If I can't do it, I don't feel complete. I know running doesn't define me. But it certainly makes me feel more like "me".
What makes YOU feel like YOU?