…until my knee surgery, which is August 2. The doctor plans to scrape behind my knee cap to clean up the arthritis, and repair my IT band. It is by no means major surgery, and the nurse said I will be able to walk normally after about a week. It is really more of an inconvenience than anything. I wanted to go with my daughters to take my grandson to Holiday World, but I won’t be able to walk around, and I won’t be able to drive for several days. I won’t be able to teach my Zumba classes for a month; I will miss my classes terribly. My new eighth grade classroom is on the third floor of the junior/senior high, so the steps will be tricky. That being said (written?), it’s a small price to pay to be able to run again.
Gary and I, along with other instructors from Everbody’s Fitness, are going to Atlanta the last weekend of July, and since we will be working out all day for four days in a row – yes, WORKING OUT FOR FOUR STRAIGHT DAYS – I had to schedule my surgery for after that, but before the start of school. So, for the next three weeks, I will continue to teach Zumba, attend some classes at the gym, and attempt short runs. I probably shouldn’t bother to try to run, but on beautiful summer days, it is what I want to do, whether it is wise or not.
Today was one of those days. I hadn’t exercised for the last two days, and I had eaten more than my fair share of crap: doughnuts (What else is one to eat at 6:00 a.m. during a yard sale?), Wendy’s (We were hungry again by 11:00, and Wendy’s is quick and cheap), pizza (dinner after getting ready for yard sale), fried fish, and a couple desserts after church today. All of that was consumed in less than 48 hours! After church, we attended a brunch for our new minister, and then I crashed on the couch for an hour. I had been attempting to take a nap for the past two days, and it just never worked out. Today, I was taking a nap. Afterward, I felt like a toad. A giganto, green, puffed-up toad. All of the junk food weighed heavily on my belly, and as I was painting our French doors, I was contemplating exercise. The only thing that sounded appealing was going for a run. It was 90+ degrees, but running outside was what this bloated body needed. Gary had a workout at the gym, so I rode in with him, turned on my favorite playlist, and took off toward the river.
We are so blessed to have such a beautiful river walk in our small town. It is one of my favorite places to run or walk. I had no idea how far I could run before the pain set in, so I went with no goal in mind. I knew I had about an hour to run/walk, so I cranked up the music and ran. When I had gotten to one mile, my knee still felt pretty good. The problem is that even though my knee was okay, my endurance was not. After working for four years to build up my running endurance, it is so disappointing to know that once I get the go-ahead to jump back into running after surgery, I will be starting all over. When I had a hysterectomy two years ago, I only had to go six weeks without running, which was hard enough. I have hardly run for the past three months, and it will be another six weeks before I can really get back into running, and that’s assuming surgery goes well. I can say without a doubt that I will put in the time to build my strength back up. I love running enough that even though it will be very difficult, I know the time and effort will be worth it. I need running to relieve stress, to spend time with my best friends, and to get in the workout that best suits me. I need running to feel strong, confident, and accomplished. It is such a part of who I am, and I can’t imagine giving it up.
Once I reached the one mile mark, I continued on since I was still pain-free. My knee became a bit achy after that point, but I was able to make it to about 1.6 miles before it became unbearable. I walked a couple blocks (walking doesn’t hurt at all), and then proceeded to run again. I then set a goal of running two miles. I ran to about 2.15 miles, and then had to stop again. I went to 2.15 because there were several people sitting outside at Frostop, and I didn’t want to stop and walk in front of them. If you are a non-runner, you likely think that sounds really crazy. If you are a runner, I would bet you’ve done it before! I planned to walk the rest of my time out, but after a little more than a half mile of walking, I wanted to run again. I ended up running 3 miles, and even though there were walking breaks interspersed, I was thrilled to get some running in. When Gary and I got back in the car, my temperature gauge read 93 degrees! No wonder it was so hard! It probably wasn’t very intelligent to run during the hottest part of the day, but that’s what runners do. We push the limits because we can. Or we think we can.
I will continue to try short runs just to try to stay in some type of running shape. I am praying that this surgery does the trick, and I can spend fall and winter gaining back what I have lost. I miss participating in races, and though I have thought about future racing opportunities, I won’t make plans for a race because that would just make it more disappointing if I am unable to run.
So, I will continue to wait, and you can bet that I will keep you posted on the progress. The last time I had surgery and made a comeback to running (that makes it sound like I am a pro athlete), I wrote my ebook Grandma Wears a Running Skirt. Who knows? Perhaps if I have a lot to say, and an interesting experience, I will write another one. Grandma Wears a Knee Brace?