Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Summer 2017---Thumbs-up? or Thumbs-down?



It was the best of times; it was the worst of times....

No, not Charles Dicken's famous novel, but the summer of 2017. Specifically, my summer.


This summer was a polar opposite example of what my typical summers are like. My summer started off great, but the greatness was short-lived....read on:

In May, the  Des Moines Women's Half Marathon and the Market to Market Relay both ushered me into summer with an enthusiastic excitement for what was to come. (Both thumbs-up!)
I ran this 13.1 course with practically ZERO effort, and had a great finish time

Market-to-Market Relay...I ran a cumulative 16 miles
In early June, I ran my 10th consecutive Dam to Dam Half Marathon....although we had some unexpected high heat and humidity, that race has been my favorite race ever since the first time I ran it. (Another thumbs-up!)
Another Dam race with the hubby
And, let's not forget Grandma's Marathon! Although I had a weird energy/fatigue crash, I never felt like quitting, and I had a blast running most of the race with my gal pal, Rachel. In the end, I wound up setting a "course PR" (though not by much)...but a HUGE thumbs-up none the less.
Feeling oh-so-tired, but energized as well
Then, a few days following Grandma's finish line, my world did a complete 180. A recent outburst of knee bursitis returned with a vengeance, landing me (unexpectedly) on the operating table with an emergency surgery to clean out a staph infection (that one of my local docs had missed). (Major thumbs down!)

I spent an entire week in the hospital, fighting the staph infection and waiting for the suture seam to  stop draining. So, the running shoes were carefully put into hiding, and I began the slow process of recovering from a surgery that probably could have been avoided. (thumbs-down to the max)
My week-long vacay came complete with an IV and wound vac
Thankfully, my infection was not as bad as it could have been. The surgeon informed me that we caught it just in time, or I may have needed a skin graft to correct the damage done...and my running days would have probably ended. Yikes! That was a definite thumbs-up (in the big picture scheme of things).
Displaying IMG_1907.JPG
My new reality
In an attempt to make the best of my less-than-desirable situation, I started naming some of the major players. (triple thumbs-ups)
The IV pole that accompanied my every move in the hospital was named Guido

The PICC line that went home with me was named Linus

And the suture seam/scar that would be with me for the rest of my life? His name is Voldemort
I had two races on my summer schedule that had to take a DNS (Did Not Start)... and I had some pretty painful FOMO to face. (definitely two thumbs-downs)

When all of the stitches were removed, I was given clearance to walk (with caution). With that, I had a new perspective.....although I wouldn't be running in the early summer hours, I could still get outside and WALK. (Bigger-than-life thumbs-up!)
I was SO happy to be back outside in my favorite season
Throughout all of this, I had a pretty significant revelation: Instead of being bitter and envious of all of my friends who were logging miles in the summer heat, I chose to be thankful for what I could do. I was still able to be outside, after all, and I was still able to walk (even if it wasn't my sport of choice). There are lots of other injured runners who can't even do that, and they'd probably trade places with me if given the chance. Every mile is a gift and should be appreciated, no matter how slow, hot, or uncomfortable. (Big thumbs-up!)


I have logged many miles (like, 270+ miles) this summer (since that surgery) by means of walking, and have been able to keep my fitness in check. In fact, I may be in even better shape now than I was before the surgery. I certainly have a much better perspective on things, and I know I will never take another mile, run, or race for granted. Ever. How's that for a thumbs-up?

So, all in all, I have to give the Summer of 2017 a thumbs-up. It certainly wasn't anything I could have predicted, but it was what I was given and I'm happy to be coming out of it a better, stronger person. Life is, after all, what you make it, right?

How did the summer treat you? Any big goals knocked outta the park? Any setbacks? Any requests for a do-over?

**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run... We're talking about Summer 2017. Join the party!

...and with Susie and Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.

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



28 comments:

  1. It was not an easy summer for you, but you certainly persevered! Its awesome how you decided to walk so much. Im sure you will have a smooth transition back to running when its time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fingers crossed! As much as I have embraced walking, I:m ready for something else LOL

      Delete
  2. Life is definitely what you make it and you certainly made some very delicious lemonade out of that weird twist of fate. Can't wait for you to make your return to running!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha...yes, I have been slamming the lemonade (and an occasional slice of pie) ;-)

      Delete
  3. It's all about how you look at things, right? I know you had lots of FOMO. Your return to the road will be that much sweeter! You're almost there. And we've got plans.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your ability to always see the positive in every situation is so refreshing and always makes smile

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awhhhh, thanks ;-) Cowering in a corner and being bitter wouldn't have made my recovery go any faster...

      Delete
  5. Wow -- I am amazed that you give your summer a thumbs up -- you have every right to do the opposite! But yes, often times we do come out of adversity stronger than ever. We definitely don't enjoy it, but then again, you can't enjoy the highs without the lows.

    My summer was okay. Not bad, I guess good overall, often frustrating, and busy. I'm happy I got in a few hikes because before you know it I won't be able to hike anymore. Hoping to get in a few when the leaves are changing too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, there were times when I felt the opposite, but being negative about my situation did me no good. Staying optimistic really helped me stay focused on the future instead of dwelling on my current realilty

      Delete
  6. Gosh what a summer you had. I can relate in a way though - after getting sick and working through the FOMO, I realized that I had to be grateful for anything that I was able to do because it could have been a lot worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FOMO is painful, isn't it? Almost worse than the injury/recovery itself.

      Delete
  7. Your summer started off so good but what a bummer on the way out. I've admired your positivity and ability to keep doing what you can when dealt a really tough card!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You definitely did not have an easy summer, but I am so glad that you were able to keep your positivity throughout the whole experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This summer will definitely go down in history LOL

      Delete
  9. You have definitely had an interesting summer! Thanks for taking us all along on the ride! Looking forward to hearing what the end of the year has in store for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm eager for a new season and a new beginning

      Delete
  10. Your #glasshalffull has certainly been very impressive. I may have just curled up in a ball for a lengthy pity party. I can't wait to watch your amazing comeback!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were times when I wanted to curl up and hide, but I knew that would not accomplish anything...so I just tried to keep looking on the bright side of my situation

      Delete
  11. You've definitely made the most of a situation most people would wallow in. I'm so glad you were able to see the upside and enjoy your summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks ;-) It wasn't easy...but it made me stronger

      Delete
  12. We had so much fun at Grandma's! I'm glad we got to race together and your knee didn't totally derail your plans. And more importantly, I'm glad it's healing nicely and that you've been so active this summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grandma's totally rocked (despite the crazy heat and exhaustion in the final miles). Yes, we need to find another race ;-)

      Delete
  13. I've totally admired your attitude through all of this. I've loved following along with your story this summer. You rock, Kim!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jessica! I appreciate your support ;-)

      Delete
  14. I think you are amazing. You took something that would send mostly anyone else into a deep depression and made it into something good. Youve walked more miles than i can count and I know when you start running again it will be better than ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm excited to get back in the running shoes!

      Delete