Sunday, July 23, 2017

Epiphanies Aplenty


This has been a busy and somewhat action-packed week for me. It definitely had me moving and grooving the most since my Road to Recovery journey began....

I had several epiphanies this past week (it seems like all of this non-running-business has lit a different set of light bulbs within my brain). Prior to the past several weeks, I was a very dedicated early-morning runner. Like with anything else in life, I didn't realize how much I dearly LOVED having that early-morning ritual until it came to an abrupt halt.


My last early morning run was on Monday, June 12th. I had met my friend, Barb, and we did our ritual #5at5 (five miles at 5:00 a.m.). Little did I know, my (running) life was in the early stages of a major upheaval.  Since that was the final week of taper for Grandma's Marathon, and my knee had felt a little wonky, I held off on running until race day (June 17th) and I thought all was (indeed) quite well with my world. A few days post-finish line, the knee bursitis returned....and yadda yadda yadda...you all know what happened in the days following (extensive details HERE).

So, here's what went down this past week...

Monday
As I was rising to greet the new day, I was reminded (again) how much I missed my early morning runs. Then ((light bulb moment)), I realized that even if I couldn't go for an early morning run, I still could go for an early morning WALK. (Seriously, why did this (epiphany #1) take so long to figure out??) I headed out, walked a mile through the neighborhood, and felt like I had conquered a mountain!

Walking and planking and strength work...oh my!
By the end of the day, I had walked a total of two miles, done 5-total minutes of planking, knocked out 30 push-ups, done some strength work on my arms, and completed 300 leg lifts (150 each leg). Needless to say, I went to bed feeling quite accomplished. #noexcuses

Tuesday
Eager to continue with my new early morning (walking) ritual, I was out the door by 5:30. I walked a mile to start the day, and finished with two total miles by bed time. All the usual leg lifts, planking, and push-ups continued as well.

Wednesday
Instead of my usual neighborhood route, I ventured a little farther and went 1.5 miles that morning...my  longest walk thus far. I broke out my favorite (retired) pair of running shoes...my Mizuno Wave Inspire 8's. These were the shoes that saw me through my first two marathons and still feel like heaven on my feet. Although they now have far too many miles on them for running, they are perfect for walking.
reunited with the Mizuno WI 8's...and they felt so good
Thursday 
Just like old times, I met up with Barb. She drove over and we headed out at 5:15 a.m. and chatted over 2.5 miles...my longest post-op walk thus far! Even though we weren't running, it was great to knock out a bit of early morning fitness with my running buddy.


Friday
Although I have been doing a pretty good job of staying positive, it has not been all rainbows and lollipops. Don't forget, summer is my FAVORITE season for running and it sucks to not be doing what I love. It's been tough seeing all the other runners on social media posting sweaty post-run selfies. If they only knew how much I'd gladly trade places with them.....
Grateful for every mile in every kind of weather
I headed out early Friday morning and walked my 2.5-mile route. It was hot and it was humid. Then it hit me (epiphany #2)....although I am not allowed to run right now, I am still able to get outside and walk. There are probably a lot of other side-lined athletes in general who aren't able to even do that...and I bet they'd gladly trade places with ME. Talk about a dose of reality. Needless to say, I am grateful for each and every mile I can walk (more so now than ever ), no matter what kind of weather is at play.

Saturday
I was out the door by 5:20 a.m., hoping to knock out a few miles before getting back for my 6:00 IV infusion. Momma N had sent some dark clouds, accompanied with some lightning and thunder (off in the distance). Unsure what to do, I opted to do three laps around the "short" block across the street, which would net me a 1-mile distance. I didn't want to head too far from home in case a storm was about to break.  Wouldn't you know? As I finished the final lap, the dark clouds had moved on and the thunder ceased to be heard! I  was able to do another mile after all...(epiphany #3)... the sun is rising even if you can't see it, so just GO! The clouds may lift while you're out there and you'll be that much further along if you choose to not wait it out!
The sun is rising even if you can't see it
Sunday
With my renewed enthusiasm for early-morning movement, I was laced up and out the door by 5:30 a.m. I took Max out for his morning ritual (1/2-mile walk around the block), stopped back home for my morning IV infusion, then headed back out for an additional 2-1/2 miles). Did you see that? Three miles total! That's my longest jaunt since the marathon four weeks prior! Normally, three miles would not be a big deal...but at this stage in my recovery, it is a milestone. Of course, I cannot walk a 5K as fast as I could run it, but just knowing I can go that far at a decent pace reassures me that my endurance is maintaining despite my lack of running.
This landmark distance called for a funky & festive headband
Incidentally, as I was walking, a gal from our church was riding her bike. We'd passed each other earlier, but this time she called my name and pulled over. She told me she had heard about my surgery and current "state of recovery" and wanted me to know she had been praying for me. She said she was hoping for my speedy return to my passion (running), and was so excited to see me out walking. It was all I could do to stay calm and not cry...(epiphany #4)...to know that people (who I'm not really close friends with) are thinking of me and praying for my healing. That is quite humbling. I, indeed, have a lot to be thankful for.

Also as I was walking this morning, I was thinking about fall races. I have done the IMT Des Moines Marathon (in some capacity) for the past several years. It's in mid-October, so it's doubtful I could be in shape for the half marathon by then (and that's assuming I am granted clearance to resume running in September). But (epiphany #5), I could probably do the 5-mile event (on that Saturday) and also the 5K (on Sunday)! Worse case scenario, I could walk both of those races if need be, but I ought to be able to run those distances easily by then. Stay tuned...I may be registering! The price doesn't increase until Sept.19th, so I have plenty of time to access my progress before making a decision.

My total miles (Monday through Sunday) currently are at 23, a huge increase from last week! There will be more dog walks before the end of day, so that number will be closer to 25 by bedtime. I have been doing the leg lifts three times each day (during the IV infusions), so I'm currently at 1500 (750 for each leg). That number will be at 2100 by days end as well. I'm doing 30 push-ups most days (when I remember LOL), and the strength work happens every other day. Even though I'm not running, I'm trying to stay active and do what I can as my recovery allows. #findaway #makeithappen #onward

In case you missed them, last week's blog posts:
*Goodbye to the Gimp!
*TLC of the Knee

Road to Recovery update:
***IV at-home infusions via the PICC line continue. I was supposed to meet with my Infectious Disease doc last week, but he had to reschedule (death in the family). I'll be seeing him on Tuesday and hopefully leaving Linus (the PICC line) with him. Thus far, I have done 54 infusions on my own (YIKES!).

***Mobility is improving dramatically. Occasionally, the first 20 steps or so are a bit stiff (if I've been sitting for a long period of time), but overall I'm walking "normal." Going down steps is still a bit slow, but that will improve as my range of motion increases.

***Range of motion is getting better each day. My surgeon gave me clearance to slowly start doing squats, but not to bend the knee any more than 45-degrees for now. He also said I could start "walking fast" as my range of motion allows.

***The suture site is pretty "sealed" but will need more time to completely heal.The scar (whom I named Voldemort) doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. I've noticed everything feels best when I have a compression sleeve over it and the remaining "fluid retention" is almost gone. In other words, both knees are almost the same size again!
An evening walk with Linus and Voldemort....
In other news:
My #FridayFashionFlair post was well received on my Instagram page. I went with black and blue this week, complete with the scarf and funky sandals. I'm thankful my place of work has a pretty casual dress code...it would be tough to be in pants with the bulky compression sleeve over my knee. By the way, I invite you to play along...post your Friday outfit and tag me (@runningonthefly)!


Be very careful with sunless tanning lotion....I finally had a golden opportunity to lotion up (as the Steri strips have fallen off of my suture site), but I wasn't too careful with the whole "blending in" thing.

No, I did NOT just poo on myself.....
Last of all, this beautiful lily has not bloomed during the past two summers....but I was pleasantly surprised to see its return this week. Isn't it beautiful?

Enough about me...How was your week? Hot & humid weather? Any training/mileage milestones?
Any fall races on the calendar?

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


54 comments:

  1. I am impressed (but not surprised at all) that you are up and about at 5 am getting your walks in. You do have the best attitude. I know it's not always easy have a great week

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This summer is really testing me on a lot of things LOL It's been frustrating, but also very enlightening.

      Delete
  2. You are certainly on the road to recovery and it's a beautiful thing to see :)

    I love that you are still staying active, and finding new ways to stay active as well. I'm glad that you are still able to get your walks in during the mornings (I know how you love early morning workouts). Congrats on steadily increasing your mileage throughout the week.

    You're going to come back stronger than ever - I feel it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim ;-) I know sitting idle and dwelling on what I (currently) CAN'T do would not be wise...I'm glad I figured out a strategy to do certain moves/exercises that I CAN do

      Delete
  3. I feel out of sorts without my early morning exercise/me time - I'm sure that epiphany will go far to save your sanity. And, yes, a lot of people are cheering for you and praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwww, thank you! It is pretty humbling hearing from so many people (via Facebook and at the grocery store LOL) who know "my story" but I have not seen or spoken to them in years.

      Delete
  4. You are inspiring for all of the exercise you are still able to get in! Sometimes it's fun to find other ways for activity - I need to get better at pushups! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Push-ups are still tough, no matter how often I do them. They keep me humble.

      Delete
  5. Being able to ride my bike saved me during my last two injuries. And, as a huge bonus, I found out I really like to ride. I've really been enjoying my after dinner walks this summer. I'm happy to see you've made so much progress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been doing these leg lifts for the past 12 days or so...and holy cow! My quads and hamstrings are really feeling the burn!

      Delete
  6. So great to see you doing early morning walks! Going at a different pace must mean you notice different things.

    I have a feeling you are going to end up just as strong, if not stronger, once you are fully recovered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is weird to be walking instead of running, but it's going alright. I can feel my quads flexing with every step LOL

      Delete
  7. That is awesome that you have a new found enthusiasm for morning walks!
    It's also great to know that people everywhere are praying for a speedy recovery for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I had the light-bulb-moment and realized I could still do my early morning routine (albeit walking instead of the preferred running).

      Delete
  8. Yes! Never take for granted even the smallest of things! You are so right ....While you want to run, some people would be happy just to walk. You have the best attitude and are inspiring others as you journey back to running! ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Teresa ;-) I sometimes surprise myself at how positive I've been throughout most of this ordeal...it has been pretty life-changing

      Delete
  9. Glad to hear that you are getting back into the swing of things with walking! I'm sure that it has been tough over the last few weeks to have a different routine than your 5am running routine. Little by little, you are making great improvements!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really feels great to be rising and shining early again (and actually being active instead of camping on the computer).

      Delete
  10. Great job getting out there and getting your miles in. I have found the key is to find the activity you can do, and it helps keeps the crazy thoughts away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! If I didn't have the early-morning walking (and leg-lifts), I'd be worried about my fitness diminishing. At least now I know I have something that will keep me accountable and focused until I get the green light to resume running ;-)

      Delete
  11. When I can't run, that's the one thing I miss the most - starting the day off with a run. Going to the gym at that time really does have that same kick. Lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figure if I can't run, at least I can wear my "running" clothes and get some action in the running shoes ;-)

      Delete
  12. I love how you are embracing your walks and other workouts right now. It's not easy to be positive when on the sidelines, but you are doing AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Amy. My situation is pretty unique in that I'm limited to what I can do with my knee...I'm glad there are plenty of options available (if one has the persistence to look for them)

      Delete
  13. I love the way the Lord works in times like these! So many people are thinking of and praying for you right now. The Lord hears those prayers! Remember Phil. 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Jeremiah 29:11 is another powerful one..."for I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" ;-)

      Delete
  14. There is almost always something we CAN do, and it's better to focus on that than on what we can't (no matter how super frustrating it is). I walk the dogs almost every day, except if it's too hot, too cold, too snow, too wet, too icy . . . yeah, they're weather wimps. Today is very rainy but if there's a break I'll get them out there. We do 1-1.5 miles most days. They could go longer when it's not hot, but I have other things to squeeze in.

    The walking & staying active will definitely help when you return to running.

    Your flowers are so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the most part, I have had a good attitude dealing with this curve ball. I know dwelling on the negatives will get me no closer to recovery, so I might as well focus on all the positives. Now that I can walk "normal" again, and almost at my pre-surgery "fast" pace, things are really feeling great.

      Delete
  15. Sounds like you are doing really well (despite not running and wanting to). Great to hear you are able to get walking, I'm sure that movement is helping your recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I tell myself LOL I know the walking (and any movement for that matter) are keeping my legs strong and increasing my range of motion.

      Delete
  16. I love your epiphanies! Now that I've settled back into an early morning routine this summer, I really think I'd miss it. It's great that you've reclaimed yours through walking. Happy to see you doing so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really glad I had that "early morning" epiphany...that has been a major game-changer ;-)

      Delete
  17. I know this has not been easy for you but you have done a great job at keeping moving! Good luck at the doctor's appointment, I hope it is a victory for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fingers crossed I can bid dear Linus a fond farewell....

      Delete
  18. I love that you've subbed in walks in your favorite morning slot! When I was sidelined from running, I rode my bike on many of my running routes and it gives you a new perspective. That lily has to be a good omen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the lily was an omen, too. It feels good to be back outside in the "running clothes" even if I'm not actually running yet...

      Delete
  19. Way to go with the morning walks and progressively longer distances. You'll get there! Hopefully you will get that PICC out soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bidding Linus a fond farewell will be the next milestone in this journey ;-)

      Delete
  20. That is so nice you ran into someone and they gave you encouragement and prayers :) There is a lot of power in both!
    I love walking! I walked a lot during my foot recovery and wondered if i really wanted to run again some days lol I did of course, but I truly know how enjoyable it can be :) Glad you're able to maintain some of your routine and feel accomplished.
    Hang in there - it sounds like you are really on a good path and almost recovered!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although the walking has been great, I do know (for a fact!) I want to run again ;-) But, I do not want to rush it...I'm doing everything the surgeon tells me regarding recovery. #GoodyTwoShoes

      Delete
  21. I think that has been the hardest thing about this knee pain, it's actually worse to walk...so I am craving my normal mornings outside instead of in a gym with weights. Thus the weekends I'm taking advantage of all the trails and trying to still get in a shorter run outside, until I get this fixed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never,ever, had any knee issues, so the "not-bending-the-knee" thing is tough to deal with. Ironically, it's not really my knee that is in danger of any harm...it's the 6-inch suture living there now LOL I'm thankful I can walk or I'd really be an emotional mess...

      Delete
  22. I am so glad you are finding your way through this recovery with such grace and positivity. You are doing great and you will be back out there doing what you love so soon!

    Keep it up and keep smiling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jen ;-) As I have said (many times in the past few weeks), my situation is only temporary and it could have been so much worse. It's frustrating, none-the-less, but-it isn't forever.

      Delete
  23. This whole post made me smile. Where there's a will, there's a way. I love that you've been making the most of this recovery period, getting in some miles in the early mornings eve if you can't run them. Love the positivity! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks ;-) I'd give almost anything to be running in the summer heat...but walking is giving me a nice "substitution" endeavor.

      Delete
  24. YOU are a force to be reckoned with, my friend. You get knocked down and get right back up!! So proud of you and so happy for you that you're able to be active and keeping up with your routine. Woohoo!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. It's nice to see you up and at it again! I hope the PICC line goes bye-bye tomorrow! Let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You are so inspiring. Seriously. So many people would wallow and just lay there. I love that you are doing what you can and staying positive!

    ReplyDelete
  27. you are amazing! I love your epiphanies! I often try to #findaway with all my injuries and different body part recoveries. we have to do this to stay mentally balanced too! so kudos for doing just that!!

    I had yet another week "off" but I got the cortisone shot in my foot so I'm hoping this means my worries are soon over. All I want to do is run!! I feel like the Half in Dublin goal is going to have to change again. Only 3 weeks left and I don't have any run over 15K yet (and that was even broken up in 10K and 5K after a 5K bike ride...). Sigh.

    I'm already thinking of #alltheraces I'm going to run next year. Next year is truly going to be my year :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I just love your attitude. You are so inspiring. You cold be relaxing but instead you are still up at 5 am.

    You'll back to running in no time and I bet with not much loss of fitness.

    Thanks for linking up.

    ReplyDelete
  29. You have such an incredible attitude about this whole situation. Kudos to you for still getting up at 5am to get those workouts in, even though you've had to make a lot of modifications. I have no doubt that once you're cleared to run that you'll quickly get back into your groove because of how active you're staying.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's great to hear that your recovery is coming along so well. I'm hoping that you left your picc line behind yesterday when you saw your doctor!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your recovery seems to be going great! Glad to see that you're able to still do a lot of walking. You're so inspiring - even with an injury you still make the most of it and keep active!

    ReplyDelete