Saturday, April 16, 2011

Four Months Post-Op

This is NOT one day post-op.
That photo is not fit to print.
If you told me four months ago that I was going to run 10 miles, I would’ve laughed and called you overly-optimistic. I was one day post-op, lying in the ICU, drugged to my eyeballs and having fond memories of things that never happened and seeing friends that weren’t even visiting.

The drugs were there to help me not be completely aware of the massive pain my body was in. Their intent also was to keep me mostly motionless because of the ventriculostomy that was placed during the surgery. An over-arching concern was that I was going to over-drain the excess cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) that was in my head. Four months ago, I wouldn’t have believed and thought that you may be on the same heavy-duty steroids that I was on.

I’ve never been so glad I fell in love with long-distance running. I was told that my stamina made me an ideal patient and that it would help with recovery. Today was not a marathon 8+ hour work day, but I had to buckle down and do my long run.

My intent was to stay close to home since the majority of my running group was going to be in Boston for the marathon & my normal running buddy was out of town volunteering. The forecast of upper 90s persuaded me to drive to the beach. The weather at the beach was still 77*, but far more arable than what I would’ve found in The Valley. After putting a second coat of body glide on, one of my other running friends showed up. This was his first run back since facing and conquering the torrential rain at the LA Marathon.  He had been persuaded to get back out there and keep training.

We shared our distances… I was going to run 7 and he was going for 10.  The plan was to run a bit together before we settled into our own paces and training regimen. After the first mile and a half, and our first water break (and loading up our Nathan’s), he switched his pronouns on me, and all of a sudden WE were going to run 10 miles!

Along the way, we shared our Bible power verses to get us through tough runs…. He: Philippians 4:13 and me Isaiah 40:30-31. He stayed with me the whole way cheering me on to our turn around and then all the way back to our cars.  Being very conscious of the heat, we hydrated every mile and made sure we had plenty of water with us. After my last long run, I also realized that I MUST fuel during the run even if I think I won’t/don’t need it.  The Clif shot block every 45 minutes was key for my last training and proves to still be a necessity. The last mile was not fun. I was tired. BUT, this last mile felt different than the last mile during last week's 7 mile run. My muscles were fatigued, but my body did not ache and was not cold (which are signs of lack of nutrients).
Ten miles was my favorite distance prior to surgery, and it still is— DOUBLE DIGITS wow. Today’s run, while it wasn’t fast, it was what I needed.  I'm so grateful to have friends who push me and stick with me for the long run and when they need a little pushing to do their best, I'm glad I can do the same for them. More than anything, after today, I have more motivation to stick with my training schedule— Today's run tweaked my mind and my body to the direction it needs to be in to be in Marathon Shape.

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