Tuesday, July 4, 2017

#GlassHalfFull


Oh, Dear Running. Old buddy, old pal, this is not "goodbye," but merely "see ya in a couple months..." (Hmmmm, that might make for an interesting song ... if only I were a song writer).



So, as most of you know, my current reality is about as close to a polar-opposite situation of what I'd ever wanted or imagined possible.  That said, whether I like it or not, it's what I got on my plate for the next couple months In case you haven't heard, I had emergency surgery...and things are gonna be a little crazy for awhile (details HERE ).

How am I doing thus far? Amazingly, I feel alright.

I am extremely overwhelmed with the gravity of what all has happened, but I'm not ready to call it quits and burn my Mizunos. Maybe I'm still in the "deer in the headlights" phase of it, or maybe I'm in denial. Or maybe, just maybe, my #glasshalffull way of life is refusing to keep me down. (stay tuned...I'm still not sure which of these options is at play).

For the past six days, I have taken up residence in a hospital room. I really can't complain about the accommodations, as this hospital resembles a 5-star deluxe hotel (but comes complete with medical professionals who are just a buzz away). And I have learned the fine art of blogging from a hospital bed with a laptop computer (which is not as user-friendly as my desktop computer at home).
coming to you LIVE from room 4015

I have had visitors, received countless messages/texts/phone calls, and have received some pretty flowers while here. The hubby even snagged a few flowers from my garden and brought them in the Gatorade bottle that had accompanied me to that appointment last Thursday (consequently, the bottle got left in the car for the four days following). Needless to say, I will not be drinking any more water from it, but it serves well as a flower vase.
the last hurrah for the Gatorade bottle

I have learned a lot of new medical terminology. Can you say, "wound vac, PICC line, or hemovac" and know what they all mean? One of my nurses is also a marathoner, so her and I have had a lot to talk about. I also have a new friend, Guido. He's the IV pole that has been by my side through all of this (he's even gone to the bathroom with me...every.single.time.)
Hanging out with Guido

...and this is Linus, he's my PICC line, he's a new friend who will be tagging along when I go home.


So, yes, I'm looking at a temporary change of lifestyle for the remainder of the summer. Although I'm always up for a challenge, this is a bit more than I would have chosen. Like with running, it's the tough events that truly make us stronger, so this will not be all bad.

Truthfully, it's not so much the absence of running that will be tough, it's the fact that I simply have no choice but to NOT run. This mandatory running sabbatical comes as a consequence of the unfortunate infection that decided to wreak havoc on my knee (and part of my leg) in recent weeks. It stemmed from bursitis, which we do not even know for certain came as a result of running (since it spontaneously appeared from out of nowhere, with no warning). Emergency surgery was needed to "clean and flush" the area underneath the skin to rid it immediately of the infected fluid. Thus, I am left with not only a 6-inch suture wound to heal, but also a few additional weeks of antibiotics (via IV) to ensure the last of this infection is gone for good. Fun, huh!

This will not be an ideal summer, but it will be manageable. As much as I love running, I do not rely on it for stress relief (at least I don't think I do...so  I will not be missing any "therapy" sessions LOL). I also do not run everyday, so I will not be lacking any daily doses of  habitual lacing-up. And, fortunately, I am not just a runner....I do a lot of other forms of exercise to stay fit, so I'm not worried about gaining weight or losing muscle tone by being side-lined. No doubt, this will be a setback to my endurance, but I'm not worried about that either. Given the delicate state of the skin on my knee, I will need to take things slow anyways when I am cleared to run again. I don't think it will be like starting over, but it will require careful, gradual base re-building.
I may or may not have already been planking and doing push-ups against my window sill

What I will miss, though, is the simple act of running itself. I will miss running by myself and also with my friend, Barb (who has already informed me that she's at a loss as to what she is gonna do these next two months since we do most of our training together). I will be MIA at some fun races that I have done for the past few years. And, I will desperately miss being outside, pounding the pavement in the early morning hours of a summer day.

I had already planned (before that inevitable day, June 29th, turned my life upside-down) to spend the summer focusing a little more on strength-training and simply maintaining some of my running endurance (you know, for those half marathons that I was going to add to my late summer/early fall calendar). Well, the strength-training can still happen (within certain boundaries), but the running will simply have to take a mini vacay of its own. Healing this 6-inch suture on my knee is  paramount and is now my primary focus. If that doesn't happen, the running will have to wait even longer....and I ain't got time for that.

I have already had my first DNS since this happened. There's a 4th of July 5K in a nearby town that I have done the past few years, and I have placed in the top three in my age group each time. This year, though, I spent the morning in my hospital room, dressed in what would have been my race day outfit.  I had laid out the outfit a few days ago, on my closet floor. As fate would have it, when the hubby packed my "overnight bag," he threw those pieces in with a few other things to bring to me, not knowing they had any special significance. Fate? Maybe.
Even though I couldn't run my race, I still got to wear my race outfit

As tempting as it would be to curl up into a little ball and feel sorry for myself, I realize that would do nothing for my sanity. Trust me, I am pretty bitter that this happened to me, but dwelling on it would just reinforce the frustration of the situation. They say laughter is the best medicine and, so far, it has helped me feel a little less gloomy and doomy. After all, two months is a long time to stay angry. I'd much rather spend it with a positive frame of mind as I look forward to coming back thoroughly recovered and stronger than ever.

So, talk to me....Have you ever been forced into an extended recovery period? Ever have an emergency operation that threw your life (momentarily) upside-down? Were you able to keep your sense of humor through the process?


** I'm  linking up with Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner


**And with Nicole and Annmarie and Jen for the Wild Wednesday Workout






46 comments:

  1. Im glad you are able to stay positive about all this. I know its beyond frustrating but you will be back out there before you know it. Hopefully you can get out of the hospital soon!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa ;-) This will be an awesome test of my optimism ;-)

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  2. Oh wow! I've never had emergency surgery but I've had to take an extended break from running because of an injury that would just not go away. 6 months of no running is no fun. I was angry for a LONG time. It helps to look at what you CAN do rather than what you can't because that just makes you even more angry. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks ;-) That's exactly the perspective I have (at the moment)....I know I can do other things to stay fit, and hopefully the time will go fast.

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  3. Oh lady, I am so sorry you are going through this, but I will say that you can and will get through this, and honestly, though your plans are rearranged, it won't be as bad as you fear! Something that is actually helpful in your situation (though you may think otherwise) is that they gave you a timeline--as in, for the next 2 months don't even THINK about it. That helped me because it took away the "well maybe I can try it today" thoughts and I didn't waste my mental energy on that.
    I've never had emergency surgery, but I've spent plenty of time out of the saddle. It can be a hard transition at first--especially with how active you are--but again, my biggest piece of advice is focus on what you CAN do.
    I am here to talk if you need anything! I've had a lot of practice with time off... and coming back after.

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    1. Thanks Suz ;-) This is gonna be a fun challenge, but I agree...I'm thankful to have a time frame. I want this baby healed properly, and I am not gonna do anything to jeopardize that. I got lots of running ahead of me, after all.

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  4. I've never had emergency surgery but I've been sidelined a few times. The first time, I was super bummed and disappointed. But the second time, I took it at face value -- just something that needed to be done and with proper rest and cross training I would come back a stronger runner when I was able. Needless to say, the second time mindset was much easier to handle.

    Hang in there. You've got this. xxoo

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    1. I am doing the "face value" approach to this as well. I kind of feel like a zombie going through the day-to-day motions right now, but I know it's only a short-term thing. No more "dumb" marathons for me this year LOL

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  5. You know I feel you--getting my sudden diagnosis of RA last December turned my life upside down, and continues to challenge me. Just last Weds I posted about fate and mental toughness and running--I do rely on running for stress relief, but like you, it is just something I do and I am. I always miss it when I am sidelined. But running will be there for you when you are all healed. That is the best thing of all.

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    1. Thanks, dear friend ;-) I SOOOO appreciate all of your care and concern during this. I wish you lived a little closer ;-)

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  6. When my plantar fascia tore I was worried deep down inside my running may be over, then i had so much pain in the following months trying to run, I was reduced to 3 days for a long time and one of those days was intervals... I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever feel okay, but the body is amazing healer if you just give it time and now I have been running four days a week for the past several months and held up okay. It is not that i feel perfect now but I am stronger than a year ago :) Never give up, even if it takes awhile you will heal up!

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    1. Thanks Karen! I am so grateful for all the support I've received through this. It's encouraging to know others have been through a similar trial and came out with a happy ending.

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  7. Once again I love your attitude and that is going to help you recover faster. If anyone can come back stronger it's you!

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    1. Thanks, Deborah ;-) I appreciate your support and encouragement. Too bad you're half a country away...I could really use a good on-call chef ;-)

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  8. I think that you are doing extremely well considering the circumstances! I'm sure that your positive attitude has a lot to do with it.

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    1. Thanks, Kim!! The plus side? I was considering a fall marathon and was debating how long to recover from Grandma's....problem solved! LOL There will be no fall marathons to worry about (this year).

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    2. and you will be saving money!!

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  9. I totally get what you are going through. I had ankle surgery and did not run for 5 months. You can imagine how many tears were shed. And besides t hat, I was told that I may never run again and definitely no halfs.

    Yes I did run and many halfs have come after. But it was a low point in my life.

    I got through it and as they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    I am a better runner and I appreciate running a lot more than those who have never had such a setback.

    You will too. You will survive and I know that you are strong and fit. Only good things are ahead.

    See you in Vegas!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Darlene ;-) Two months seem like an eternity right now, but I'm thankful it isn't any longer. I'm also thankful running isn't my "one and only" or I'd really be a basket case LOL Vegas is my beacon!

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  11. Oh gosh, so sorry to hear about your emergency surgery - that must have been a bit scary. I love your attitude though and have no doubt that you'll find other ways to have fun the rest of this summer. Sending hugs and healing wishes! Feel better soon!

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    1. Thank you, Annmarie ;-) I'm already rallying some ideas on what I can do to stay active without compromising my recovery. My arms/back/shoulders ought to look really buff after this LOL

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  12. I know this is a dark spot in your life right now but I am so glad you are staying positive and you realize that Running is NOT your entire life! I am sorry you've been in the hospital for 6 days. That seems like an excessive amount of time for knee surgery. Is that normal? Are you still there?

    On the bright side, lm sure there are other things that you will be able to catch up on now that running is off the table. I am sorry you didn't get to run your 4th of July race but maybe you can take comfort in knowing that because you didn't show up, there is a lady out there that finally placed in her age group! You just made someone's day Kim!

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    1. YOU totally made me laugh out loud ;-) I'm still hospitalized because the suture wound is still draining and the surgeon wants to give it one more day hooked up to the wound vac. Ugh, right? ;-)

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  13. You have an amazing spirit. I'm glad you have the glass half full despite the challenges you're facing! When I had my metatarsal stress fracture a few years ago it was devastating to me and it set me back a couple of years with my running...attitude really makes a difference.

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    1. Well, I am pretty bitter I was the one this happened to (not that I'd wish it on anyone else), but it's over and done and I just have to move on. Thankful it's only for two months if all goes well. It could have been a lot worse, so that gives me some perspective.

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  14. Bodies Heal. That's been mantra through my own setbacks and lengthy "time-outs". And, they do -- but not always as quickly as we would like. ;) My Sanity (bike) helped me muscle through and I was very thankful I was allowed to ride during my last two sideliners. I have no worries you'll stay fit!! Hang in there. Vegas Baby!

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    1. Thanks, Holly ;-) My recovery will be a little tricky with my knee...I won't be able to do much that will involve lots of bending for awhile (until the suture is thoroughly sealed). I'm thinking lots of leg lifts and some yoga, and speed walking (after a few weeks...I have to be careful to not do much sweating LOL)

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  15. I've had minor injuries but knock on wood so far nothing major. I do use running for stress relief though! I enjoy other forms of exercise, but it's really the best stress buster I know.

    But running is what we do; it is not who we are.

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    1. I'm really having a hard time calling this an injury...if feels more like an unfortunate "accident" or cruel twist of fate that smacked me in the knee LOL That said, it will be interesting rehabbing this knee without being able to bend it for a few weeks...fun times ahead!

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  16. I hope you have a speedy recovery! You are totally seeing the glass half full!!

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    1. Thanks ;-) This will be an interesting summer...

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  17. It's not surgery, but I've been battling ITBS for 4+ years. The first couple years there was little activity, and I know what you're going through. Running has always been my sanity saver, and not being able to run was very difficult. I did bike, did yoga, found Pure Barre, but it wasn't the same until I could start running again.

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    1. This will be a whole new arena for me these next couple months, no doubt. Running is what I do, so it will be strange do everything BUT run as I rehab my surgery wound.

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  18. So sorry you have to put your running on hold for a while Kimberly - I'm sure you will find a way to maintain your fitness no matter what. I love your positive attitude - as an avid runner it's not easy to put your running on hold.

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    1. Thank you, Ilka ;-) This is gonna be a most interesting summer. I think it's really gonna hit me after these next two weeks of drama wind down...getting the stitches removed and getting off the antibiotics. THEN, it will be weird sitting idle...

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  19. I've had three time outs. I guess the first one doesn't really count since I was still new to running, but I had foot surgery and then threw my back out from using crutches. Nightmare. Then a few years later I had a knee injury and was 5 months out of the running. Of course my other foot felt left out and last year I had surgery again. I didn't let my body heal properly though so I've had to take a huge step back with training and races this year. I try too to pull the positive out of the situation but I also think it's not only important but totally ok if you feel like your glass is half empty from time to time. Its normal to feel sad/angry/frustrated/ bitter and no one will judge you for that. xx

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    1. WoW. ALL of those sound like nightmares. Believe me, there have been a few moments of anger, bitterness, and frustration, and that water level in my glass has waivered a bit...but I am just so thankful this wasn't any worse. Thank you for ALL of your support and encouragement. ;-)

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  20. As I've said before, I love your positive attitude. I know you will find many other ways to keep active and fit! Just think of the huge celebration when you go on your first run. We should plan a big virtual run for that day and get as many of us blogger friends to run in your honor and see how many miles we all log! Wouldn't that be fun? :-)

    I was sidelined with an injury in February 2012 and was a DNS at the Rock 'N' Roll DC Marathon. I was so sad to see my husband and good running friend Beth race while I stayed home, but it was the only choice I had; and I haven't been able to train for that distance since...

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    1. ok, Deb, you just made me cry, but in a happy way ;-) That first "return to running" run will be an emotional day and a HUGE victory. I'd LOVE to have my blogger gals with me ;-)

      I bet that R'n'R race was a tough one to miss. I'll be missing R'n'R Chicago next weekend (with Wendy and Marcia, none the less) and also was gonna see a few other runner friends while there. Hmph.

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  21. Your attitude is great and that is they key to getting through this and healing quickly. This is temporary and when you make your comeback it will be awesome, plus I know you will find plenty of activities you can do!

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    1. Thanks, Toni! My attitude will certainly have a challenging summer to guide me through LOL

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  22. Well, this is such a bummer, but your positive attitude will definitely get you through!

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    1. That's my goal! I have to focus on the positive and do my best to ignore the negatives...

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  23. You have the BEST attitude and it's going to go a long way in helping your recovery. Two months will end up flying by. :) You may not be running, but I have no doubt that you'll continue to do as much strength training as possible.

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    1. I just put together a plan of action...which may need tweaking. We'll see ;-)

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