Sunday, February 27, 2011

Life After Injury and Surgery

Today I pulled out my neglected runner's training diary.  My last entry was way back on July 14th.  That day I lifted weights, swam a half mile, then went to the doctor's to get fitted for a walking cast.  I wore that monstrosity for three weeks.  I continued swimming, biking and lifting weights and hoped like heck that my foot would heal quickly so I could get back to running.  Even though I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing, my foot just wasn't healing.  I decided to give Eastern medicine a try.  After just three visits with my amazing acupuncturist and two weeks of taking Chinese herbs, I finally had some pain free days.  I continued treatments and finally, after three months off, was able to begin running again in the fall.  My whole attitude towards fitness had changed.  Pace, distance and races were no longer important.  Running is a gift in and of itself.

I got in a three good months of running, cycling and swimming.  I thoroughly enjoyed each and every workout.  Heavy in my heart was the knowledge that I'd have to take eight weeks off all exercise to heal from a surgery.  I just realized that for the first time in three years, I am going to miss running in the Eugene Marathon.   I just don't have the base to dive right into that kind of training.  The longest I've run since last June is a mere nine miles.  Even the half marathon would be a stretch.  That's just crazy since I was once so accustomed to throwing down 20 miles at a drop of a hat.  I'm not going to let it get me down though.  I have to measure my successes on a completely different yard stick these days.

After three weeks of easing back into post-surgery workouts, I finally felt like I had turned a corner.  It's time to start logging my workouts and training again!  It's been a great week for me.  The highlight was running four miles with my running partner, Laura.  I had such a good time chatting and catching up that I forgot to take the walk breaks that I'd been accustomed to.  It felt like old times again.  I couldn't think of anyone with whom I'd rather share those miles than Laura.  We have been running together since training for Eugene Marathon 2009.  Together we have run for hours on end and logged hundreds of miles.  The second highlight was taking my bike for my first post-op ride outdoors.  I had a terrific nine miler along the river path.  I felt so strong and energetic that I decided to finish the morning workout with a swim.

It takes time and patience, but there is life after injury and surgery.  I won't be running a marathon this spring, but other adventures and challenges await me.  As I embrace my running come back and initiation into the triathlon world, I appreciate this 39 year-old body of mine more than ever.  Thank you healthy strong body for letting me do the activities that I love!

I still can't believe how much I love swimming!

Wrapping up my bike/swim brick 
With my daughters on family day at the pool


  1. I am sooooo glad you have fallen in love with swimming too. It is such a good break for those days my body just can't handle another cardio impact day. Great job, and thanks for your sharing. You are inspirational!!

  2. Thanks Terrie! I love hearing about your training & am inspired by you too!

  3. Awww, I love your writing! Oh, and I see you've had to update your bio because you're such a multi-sport athlete now :-) Those 4 miles indeed went by too fast, but pretty soon we'll be chatting away the HOURS on our long runs. See ya soon, pardner.

  4. So great to find another Oregon runner. So sorry you are going to miss Eugene this year...maybe you can do the Women's Half in September?