Last Tuesday, 5 weeks out from surgery (exploratory laparotomy), my surgeon cleared me to run again. My husband and I never expected those words to come out of his mouth. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor and I drooled all over myself. I think my husband was really worried. He told me, “I don’t think he quite understands what running means to you! We’re not talking about a jog through the park!” I just responded with the only thing that came to mind, “He unleashed the beast!”
Originally, my doctor had told me that it wouldn’t be until November when I could run. Needless to say, the day he cleared me I came home and bounced into my running clothes and jumped on my treadmill for a test drive. I didn’t get any stomach pain, but my ankles and knees were really tight and verging on becoming sore. I felt heavy and slow. I stopped at a half mile. (Granted I had put on some extra pounds since surgery which I can definitely feel now when running.) The next day, I got on my treadmill and ran 3 miles with minor soreness in my joints. It felt like pure joy to run again. Over the 5 weeks I was out of commission, I had developed a new relationship with running. I felt so out of touch with life in general while I couldn’t run. I obsessed over running constantly (I kinda do that even when I am running, LOL). Suddenly, now, running is like this incredible gift I’d been taking for granted.
My endurance is fairly zapped, but there are lingering remnants of it. My leg strength is definitely subpar. After managing to run almost 12 miles last week, I have slightly sore muscles and tendons. It’s going to obviously take a little time to get acclimated again. Dropping my weight back down will help a lot. I told my 15-year-old daughter to take advantage of me being back to base training and run with me. So far, it’s been working, somewhat. She’s even considering training for the Pensacola Half Marathon in November. We shall see how that goes.
I do plan to still try to run the marathon. Obviously, I’m not expecting any PRs. If I don’t feel ready for it by then, I’ll just run the half. My sister, who lives in hot and humid Mississippi, stepped back to the half marathon. She was originally going to run the marathon, but she’s had her share of difficulties training for it. There’s even some indication that my mother also might be attempting to run the Pensacola half! It would be like a family racing reunion!
This week I think there’s a good chance I can get up to 15-20 miles. I’m planning to run 5-6 miles today since my longest run last week was 4 miles. If that goes well and I have minimal soreness the next day, I’m hoping to increase my long run dramatically over the next 3 weeks and begin running 2 long runs a week until I can run a 20 miler. My muscles and tendons will dictate everything at this point. Hopefully they will be quite agreeable. I’ve got my heart set on hitting the trail this coming weekend. I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to get back out there. It’s going to feel amazing. I don’t know if there’s been a night where I haven’t dreamed about running the trails since I got sick. Anyway, I am planning to do a 10-mile jog/run and just take my time and enjoy myself. Maybe I can get lucky and coax my daughter to tag along if I promise to buy us lunch!