Two weeks ago today, I ran over 10 miles. Some of the miles were miserable, but I ran through the pain and I accomplished my goal that day. It was my first 10-miler in over 5 months and the next day, I was overjoyed at how little my body seemed to be affected by the run. No muscle aches, no major pain, mostly my body just felt like my own.
Now….twelve days after my surgery….I miss that body. I know that I needed the surgery. I know that I needed the aching of my leg to stop. But I also know that I just don’t feel right.
Since the surgery, I’ve tried to walk a bit every day, as my doctor ordered. She said to do some “light walking.” To me, light walking started out at a half mile, and now up to 3 miles. Ok….maybe 3 miles isn’t light walking, but the 1 1/2 miles I did this morning were. I listen to my audiobook and try to just move my body carefully yet consistently and just let the story I’m listening to take me away. (BTW, the book is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and it is wonderful!! I especially love the Maine accents. How could you not?) I do time my walks, just to see if I’m improving my speed at all (I’m not). I have no reason to do this except my competitive side keeps wanting to push things a little further and just RUN!!
Friday afternoon I got home early so I took a walk before my son came home. It was chilly and sleet started to fall just a few minutes into my walk. I already had a cold, my leg ached some and I generally felt like hell. Yet as I continued walking and listening to the lovely voices slip through my earbuds, I started to feel…..alive. I felt like the end of this “illness” was finally in sight and things would be back to my normal soon. My left leg was itching to run while the right leg limped along but at a jauntier clip. I was cold and damp but felt unbelievably RIGHT for the first time in days and walked 2 1/2 miles.
Saturday afternoon was a different story. I had been on my feet most of the day baking cakes and having a wonderful day at home. I knew I needed to take some kind of walk that day, and finally started out at 3pm. From the very beginning, my feet hurt. They were swollen and I was wearing the wrong socks for walking, but I kept going anyway. I didn’t turn around until I was past the 1.5 mile mark. I wanted to do a 5K on way or another. My leg was already hurting, but I had no choice but to keep walking. As soon as I walked through the door, I stretched and took 3 ibuprofren. I was nearly in tears but since it was my own damned fault, I continued my punishment by lifting weights and doing 100 crunches. (That didn’t hurt but it’s something that I’m not particularly fond of!)
This morning my leg was sore. Since the surgery, I’ve had certain sore spots. I’m not sure if that’s normal, but I haven’t been overly concerned about them. Yet now I have a few more hard, sore spots on my upper thigh….and I’m just not sure what to do about them. I had stopped wrapping my leg a few days ago, when it felt like I could and it didn’t hurt horribly. This morning I wrapped it again because I don’t know if I’ve hurt myself….or damaged what the surgery was supposed to repair. That’s what it feels like. I hope I’m wrong and am just being overly worrisome, but my leg just doesn’t feel like it should.
I go to the doctor this week and am hoping to get a few more answers on what my leg should feel like. Until then, I will not run. I’m truly afraid to run. I’ve had several running injuries and was always a little nervous about running again….wait, that’s not right. I was always nervous about getting injured again, not about running. I couldn’t wait to get out there and run—–to feel the wind against my cheeks, to listen to the pounding music flow through my buds and into my brain, making my legs move my body down the road and up the hills……And now?
Now I’m scared. I’m not afraid that I won’t be able to run next week or make my 740 mile goal this year. I’m afraid I may have hurt my body in a way that time cannot heal it. I’m afraid that I may have to keep my leg wrapped constantly or even have another surgery.
I’m afraid that I won’t be able to run anymore at all.
I’m afraid that I had this surgery for absolutely nothing, and instead of getting rid of the achiness and the slug-like veins, I’ve replaced it with another kind of pain and still some of the slugs remain. That is what I’m really afraid of.
For now though, I will put my fear aside and continue my “light walking.” I will put my running clothes on (I missed them!) and I will do things on my walks that I don’t typically do on my runs, like listen to audiobooks or pick up cans and bottles on the side of the road. I will think good thoughts and just hope for the best. That’s all that one can do, right?