Sunday, August 20, 2017

Scaling Back


What say we scale back the mileage, and give the body (and mind) a bit of a recovery week? 

Funny how that all worked out at a time when a small setback was on the verge of staging an appearance. Yes, you heard that correctly, a small setback almost became a reality in my Road to Recovery strategy this week (full details on what lead to my recovery situation HERE). Care to hear what happened?

Monday
I was out the door by 5:00 and did 3 easy miles in the wee hours with my friend, Barb. The air was crisp, but felt nice (still experiencing fall-like temps in the early mornings). Never miss a Monday!
How about a driveway selfie?

I worked the majority of the day, then the hubby and I were off to the Iowa State Fair for the evening. There was some walking at the fair (probably at least a good 1-1.5 mile round trip from the our parking spot just to the entrance gate), so there was plenty of movement.
I was a little bit country, he was a little bit rock'n roll
**side note** While at the fair, we saw an awesome band, Hairball (check out their website HERE). We've seen them three other times, and they give an amazing show. Based out of Minneapolis, they travel and perform extensively in the Midwest (but also do a lot of national venues as well). Their claim to fame is their stage show...they have three lead singers who take turns impersonating famous lead singers of "hair bands" of yesteryear. We're talking elaborate costumes and lots of pyrotechnics as well. It's like seeing 15 different bands all in one evening...including Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Journey, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Queen, Guns & Roses, AC/DC, Prince, Poison...just to name a few.

Tuesday
Three miles in the early morning, and a couple bonus miles in the evening. Nothing too crazy.
Another beautiful sunrise....
Wednesday
The struggle bus was late leaving the station, but the ride went smoothly once we hit the road. I didn't fall back to sleep, but just could not get my buttocks to move. I finally made it out the door around 5:30, and did 2.5 miles (just as the sun was rising) and 1/2-mile jaunt with Max in the afternoon.
I'm not always in the happiest of moods #reality
As mentioned in previous posts, the suture scar has continued to drain... not a lot, but it is still not completely closed. Earlier in the week, while gently applying pressure to the drainage site (literally, it's like the size of a pin head), a huge burst of fluid erupted. On Wednesday, I also noticed the skin had a faint tinge of pink over the knee cap (panic attack #1). I called the surgeon's office and was instructed to keep the opening covered, apply some anti-bacterial ointment, and to discontinue expressing the fluid (previously, I had been told to gently press--not squeeze--along the scar to help the flow of the fluid to work its way out).

Can you see the tinge of pink at the bottom of the scar?
Thursday
I was relieved to see the drainage had dramatically decreased (returning to its normal smear on the bandage, only needing changing a few times a day). I headed out, and got a text from Barb, that she was on her way to meet me! What an amazing surprise! We hadn't chatted since our walk on Monday, so I wasn't expecting to see her at 5:00 a.m. We knocked out a #5Kat5 and called it good.
Another early morning conquest complete
Throughout the day, the knee was intermittent "normal" looking and then it would have that pink tinge (panic attack #2). There was no pain involved, and the drainage appeared to not be an issue. As a precaution, though, I called the surgeon's office again, and they recommended a Friday morning appointment to give it a check before the weekend.


Friday
I did an easy 3-mile walk in the early morning. All looked and felt good. And check out that waning crescent moon? Venus was also high in the sky (near the moon) at 5:15ish when I headed out (though it's not in the picture).

By the light of the (crescent) moon
The surgeon was out, but I was able to see his PA (whom I had met while in the hospital following the surgery seven weeks prior). He was not concerned about infection, but wanted some blood work done (to have a baseline) in case things didn't improve (spoiler: the blood work came back normal, so no sign of infection). He also called in a prescription for a seven day round of antibiotics, just in case there's any impending infection in the works.  He advised me to try to scale back my extensive walking (which, fortunately, I was already doing this week anyways).

Saturday
My body has been feeling so tired this week, even with the scaled back mileage. Without setting my alarm, I didn't wake up until around 8:00...talk about a 3-hour delay in starting my day! I walked to my sister's place, and her and I walked about 3.5 miles together (adding in the distance from my door step to hers, my total mileage came it around 5 miles).
That's right! I'm wearing sunglasses because I got out the door much later than usual
Sunday
I awoke to the rumble of thunder (off in the distance), and there was a rampant pitter-patter of rain on the skylight above me. Ugh. Seriously, Momma N? Sunday was Day 35 of my Road to Recovery walking streak...I have "rose and shone" every morning, not always bright but always early, and walked a few miles in the pre-dawn hours. And, all of these pre-dawn miles have been outside. I had to introduce Voldemort (my lovely 6-inch suture scar) to Millie (the dreaded treadmill who has been sitting dormant since a cold, rainy day back in March). Again, I was reminded how much I loathe the 'mill...especially for walking, because it takes much longer to get the job done. Alas, since I'm scaling back the mileage, I did a mere two miles (instead of the usual 3 miles) and called it good (which still took nearly 30 minutes). Although I was safe from lightning, I did not stay dry (hello, major sweat fest indoors in between the central air cycling). Glass half full, right?
Hello, Millie...remember me?
So, this week was a much-needed scaled back week in terms of mileage...total mileage is around 30 (at the time is post goes live). That's a reduction of 12 miles from the previous week. My gut was telling me that my mileage (even though it was all from walking) probably needed to be cut back a bit...funny how the PA told me the same thing. Over all, I am feeling great, though, just annoyed this suture site is taking so long to thoroughly heal....but it is almost 6-inches in length, and that's a pretty substantial size. Although I didn't mention it, I am still doing my daily planking and push-ups, as well as some strength training here and there.

In case you missed them, here's my blog posts from last week:
**Upping the Mileage
**Ever Played the Fueling Guessing game?

Road to Recovery update:
Mobility is still improving, but the gains aren't quite as obvious. I'm still able to walk "like normal" and I can walk pretty fast. Descending the stairway is still a little tricky, but has gotten much easier in recent weeks. Getting in/out of the car is much easier, but climbing in the backseat is still a challenge for my long legs.

Range of motion has improved, but is also plateauing a bit. The suture site feels really tight at times, making it difficult to bend my knee as much as I'd like.

The suture site is fading in color, but is still looking pretty ugly. Again, it's almost 6-inches in size, so it will be a prominent "feature" for some time. I'm continuously applying raw shea butter to it and massaging it throughout the day to stimulate the circulation. The knee is a high-maintenance area for a scar of this size since it's in constant motion (bending). It's a delicate balance between bending the knee to keep the joint from getting stiff, but being careful to not put too much tension on the healing scar. Fun situation, huh!

In other news:
My #FridayFashionFlair post (on My Instagram page) drew a lot of attention. I am totally obsessed with the cold shoulder craze right now...anyone else? This purplish top is a great option when I'm "going casual" without looking sloppy, especially for work. Of course, you all know I love my bejeweled sandals. And, I never leave the house without lipstick, right? Play along...post YOUR Friday outfit (or any favorite fashion piece), use the hashtag #FridayFashionFlair, and tag me (@runningonthefly), so I can see what kind of a look you're rocking.



And, last of all, we took the son back to college this week. He graduated from a community college in May, and is continuing his education at the University of Iowa, the hubby's and my alma mater. Go Hawks!
All moved in!
So, that's another weekly wrap! Tell me about your week...hot summer temps still? Cool mornings? What's the longest outdoor walking streak you've done? Have you ever dealt with an especially difficult suture scar?


I'm linking up with Madhuri (on behalf of Holly and Tricia) for the Weekly Wrap. Please join us!



58 comments:

  1. I don't even run 30 miles/week! Wow! I'm thinking maybe you were doing too much?

    I hope your knee calms down.

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    1. The walking thing is a crazy challenge to figure out. Walking is (in many ways) much easier than running...which is why it's "easy" to overdo it (which I think I'm guilty of).

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  2. I definitely would have freaked out, but I'm glad that the suture site seems to be calming down a little. Very good news that your bloodworm was good too! Sounds like a cutback week was just what you needed.

    The temps here are still pretty humid. I think the humidity has been worse than the heat this summer, but we had horrible thunderstorms on Friday!

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    1. I think I'm gonna continue to keep my mileage more moderate. Just because I can walk so many miles certainly does NOT mean I should be doing so.

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  3. Girl, you better slow your roll and heal that wound!! Can you keep walking but maybe drop the mileage just a bit? Hang in there!

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    1. Yes, I'm gonna keep walking but keep the mileage more moderate, at least until this stubborn suture is thoroughly healed. It's frustrating to have all this energy but be limited (somewhat) in what I can do...

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  4. It sounds like it was a good idea to cut back a bit! Hopefully you continue to see improvements.

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    1. Last week was my first cut back week since I've started walking. It's tough to cut back when I have so much energy, but I'm gonna continue to take things easier until everything is better healed.

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  5. Like Wendy said above I don;t even run that far so walking 30 miles sounds like quite a bit to me. Glad to hear you are cutting back and listening to your body. Love the Friday fashion top. The state fair sounds like a blast. It's hard to let the kids fly away from the next isn't it?

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    1. I'm gonna continue to keep my miles more conservative...I gotta get this suture thing healed. Damn Voldemort....

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  6. How exciting for your son to go to The University of Iowa! The longest walking streak was 3 days when I did the AVON Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. Apparently it wasn't enough for me because I did it about 3 different times.

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    1. I have heard about the AVON Breast Cancer walk...sounds like an awesome challenge

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  7. Glad to hear that you had a successful cut back week. It sounds like you needed a little bit of extra sleep too! I didn't realize that your suture site was still draining. That extra burst of fluid would have freaked me out too. Glad to hear that is getting better!

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    1. This past week was really tough, I'm not sure why I felt so tired, especially since I cut back my miles. Crazy how the body works!

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  8. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you healing continues! Sometimes it just takes a long time, I had an incision in my stomach that go infected several years ago (very small) and it took a good four months before I could start working that area normally.
    It is nice your running buddy is meeting you for some walks :)
    Sleeping in is good of your body is craving it, I've been doing some cutting back myself.
    Rock on! Hope this week goes well

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    1. I wish this suture site would just heal already...like last month LOL It's tough not being in control of it...

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  9. Glad you got everything checked out, but not sure your doctor would agree that 30 miles a week -- or even 3 miles a day -- is scaling back. You are so far above average with your activity levels!

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    1. ha ha....I guess my "standards" are pretty high for myself. It's a tough reality when you feel fine, and don't feel like you're over-doing it...but, looking at the numbers tells a different story LOL

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  10. Wow, what a busy week. I'm glad there was nothing too concerning with your knee and glad everyone is still keeping an eye on it. That's great that your sister lives close enough that you can walk to her house. I hope I can do that some day.

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    1. Yes, I'm thankful I was lead to these wonderful doctors that have had me under their wings the past almost 2 months. I like my local doctors, but they're not quite as pro-active.

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  11. 30 miles is a lot of miles! Scaling back sounds like a good idea! That suture is coming along! The one I have on my shoulder blade looks like hell :-( have a great week!

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    1. This suture scar is SO ugly. One of the nurses (a male nurse, none the less) who was taking care of me that first night after my surgery, told me I could get a really cool zipper tattoo over the scar....ummm, no thanks. But maybe a gigantic dragon fly? (#kidding)

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  12. I'm happy to hear you've scaled back, but 30 miles is still a lot of walking! I have an 6-7 inch scar on my ankle where a split tendon was repaired (pre-running injury). I wore a walking cast for a long time. I got a new/fresh cast every week or so as the swelling went down. My point -- yes, I have one (LOL) -- I couldn't see the incision. By the time I was out of the cast, it had healed nicely. You'll get there too!

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    1. I'm realizing now (in looking at these numbers) that I am still being a little too ambitious in maintaining my endurance. I can rationalize that it's "only walking," but walking can be just as strenuous (maybe more so?) than running if there's too much of it. ugh.

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  13. Yikes! Sorry to hear the suture site is still giving you grief. What a relief the fluid test came back normal. Glad you are scaling back. I can't even imagine walking that much unless you were planning on walking a marathon or something.

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    1. Ha! I may be walking the 13.1 in Vegas if this bursa fluid doesn't reabsorb or completely drain out of me ;-)

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  14. One thing I have noticed as I've gotten older is any cuts take longer to heal. I don't know why, and maybe that's why the suture site hasn't closed up completely. Good to know there's no infection, but the knee is a tricky spot for healing.

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    1. Yes, the knee is a tricky spot...constant motion and the size of my suture scare are definitely two strikes against me. UGH.

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  15. Sounds to me like you did everything right concerning your suture. Hopefully the healing will continue without any more scares!

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    1. Amen to that! I'm sort of "done" with all this waiting and wondering...

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  16. Hope your scaling back week helps your knee. Take care of yourself.

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    1. Thanks! The scaling back is a tough card to play...

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  17. I really admire your dedication to fitness! Well done on scaling back at bit though. Crossing all fingers and toes for your continued recovery x Congrats to your son too! What wonderful news!

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    1. Thanks for the fingers (and toes!) crossed ;-) Hoping the end is in sight...

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  18. Great week of workouts. I love fairs especially when they have great music and food. Sometime we have to scale back a little in order to push harder later.

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    1. I'm all in favor of scaling back in order to move forward...it's just tough when it's "just walking." I feel like the walking is already scaling back from running LOL

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  19. Sounds like you got in a lot of walking even with the cut back. I'm glad that the doctor didn't think it was anything serious and hopefully your road to recovery continues forward!

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    1. I"m headed back for another follow-up appointment this week....hoping things look better

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  20. I'm glad it's nothing dire. But it must be frustrating. Scars definitely take a long time to fade.

    I love cold shoulder tees, not so much the long sleeves -- simply because if I'm long sleeves, it's cooler and I don't want to be cold!

    I've never had stitches (knocks on wood). I did once cut off the top of my thumb knuckle -- it took a long time to heal & when it finally did, it was stuck in a bent position. But that eventually went away, too.

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    1. This scar is a nasty battle scar...it's probably healing faster than I'm aware because I see it all day long

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  21. Uff I'm glad your knee is healing up and you are being extra watchful during recovery. Very thankful the pinkish coloring wasn't anything serious! I saw Hairball at a music festival many years ago and they were awesome! Looks like you and the hubby are having some great times this summer :)

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  22. You really were putting up some huge miles, so maybe cutting back makes the most sense. I'm sorry for the setbacks, but I guess it's one of those two steps forward/one step back kind of things.

    It's still mostly hot as heck here. We had one "cool" day with 74 degree temps, but I'm not sure that counts LOL. I would love for a break in the weather.

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    1. I already feel like I'm scaling back with walking (instead of running)....but it's my reality. Onward!

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  23. Haha, I would love to see Hairball!! My mom listened to nothing but 80s rock when she was pregnant with me, so of course I love it all! I even remember she and my dad going to a Tesla concert when she was pregnant with my brother! Tesla would've been his namesake had he been a girl, haha.

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    1. I actually saw Tesla a couple years ago...also at the Iowa State Fair. I wasn't really a fan of them, but they opened up for Styx and Def Leppard LOL

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  24. I know that you're eager to be out there moving, but make sure that you're also allowing yourself the time that you need to heal. The last thing that you want is for infection to set you back even further.

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    1. I agree...the healing is far more of a priority than staying (too) active.

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  25. Wow sounds like you still got a lot of walking in even with the cutback. I hope your knee continues to heal without causing you any more panic! Congrats to your son on the University of Iowa - hope he has a great year!

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    1. The drainage appears to have stopped...but I'm not holding my breath LOL So much of this is out of my control

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    1. Thanks! We're excited to have another Hawkeye in the house (his older sis went to the "other" state university)LOL

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  27. Great job! It's good that you were able to talk to the doctors and keep a potential injury at bay. You still walked a ton of miles, so scaling back doesn't look so bad!

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    1. I know...the scaling back is a necessary evil.... ;_)

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  28. Kudos on scaling back and concentrating on recovery and rest. It's just safer to check with the doctor even if it's nothing. Better to be cautious. Hope you heal faster and you're back in form in no time. Thanks for linking up with me, Holly and Tricia this week.

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    1. Thanks ;-) These doctors are SO proactive and never make me feel like I'm wasting their time with my concerns

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  29. You never cease to inspire me. Glad you were able to recognize that there might be a potential injury coming on and talked to your doctor. Sometimes we don't want to notice those things. Always safer to err on the side of caution!

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    1. You're absolutely right...we DON'T want to see potential injuries lurking....Ignorance is bliss but not wise

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