I jogged for the first time today since surgery.
I suppose I sort of forgot to mention I had major abdominal surgery four weeks ago, ha.
I’ve had an abdominal diastasis (if you’re wondering what the crap that is, you can read more about my journey with it here) for the last four years, which eventually turned into an umbilical hernia.
And I finally got it repaired.
It was an intense surgery with an intense recovery, but I’m on the mend and yes, I actually jogged.
Okay, it wasn’t so much a jog as a slow shuffle. In other words, I was getting passed by old ladies who were walking around the track. But still. I was getting a slight bit of air time on each stride, and that’s not too bad four weeks post major abdominal surgery.
At this point I’ve been cleared to walk and ride a recumbent bike, and last Monday I started getting back into a consistent workout routine. Again, just walking and biking, but I’m working on getting myself mentally used to working out every day again, and it’s been really nice. Working out keeps me sane, and after three weeks of physically being unable to workout, of being cooped up indoors, I was really starting to get stir crazy.
My husband and kids are grateful I’m working out again, we’ll just say that.
I should be cleared to swim tomorrow at my four week post-op appointment, should able to get back into running full-on in two more weeks (six weeks post-surgery), weight-lifting at eight weeks, and heavy ab work at 12 weeks.
But the break was nice. After coming off of IM Taiwan at the beginning of October I took two weeks off and another two weeks relatively easy. But once I discovered the surgery was going to be a “go” in December I got rolling with my coach and had about a month of solid base work just to build up a bit of fitness before the long recovery.
I’d been nursing bursitis and achilles tendonitis for the previous five months and I’d started developing a lot of tightness behind my right knee, and in typical fashion, I never took any proper time off of running to let those things heal. So a six week break from running has ended up being a really good thing.
A friend asked me yesterday if it stresses me out to be losing fitness (a.k.a getting out of shape). I thought about it for a second and realized that it really hasn’t. My body was unhealthy for so long with the diastasis and hernia that I’m mostly just relieved to have it fixed, and I feel a lot of peace about the fact that I can finally train the way I want/need to without having to worry about all of the restrictions (no crunches, no sit-ups, no push-ups, no planks, and eventually no weight lifting at all, etc.). I feel really good about the fitness I had going into surgery, and have actually managed to lose weight (obviously some of it is muscle) over the holidays while being virtually inactive. Mentally I feel really refreshed and have been doing a lot of mental training (affirmations, sport psychology research, etc.), and I feel hungry. I’m excited about training and about competing later this year.
I’m finally getting excited about Kona 2017.
The surgery and recovery have also helped to lengthen my perspective. I sort of saw this year as a make or break deal for me; if I saw substantial improvement I figured I’d continue training another year, but if I didn’t I sort of thought I’d pack it in and just content myself on being a Weekend Warrior. But I’m realizing that I’m not going to reach the goals I have in a year. This is a long-term process that can’t be forced. I need to dive into this with the understanding that the build-up will be slow. Ever day I’ll be depositing more miles and meters into the training bank, but the returns may be slow and that’s okay. I want to lay a solid foundation this year and maybe next year really focus on hitting some solid races. We’ll see, but extending my training horizon is freeing and I feel more committed.
So surgery has been a good thing, physically and mentally, and I’m glad and grateful to have done it.