Sunday, October 28, 2012

Retraining blows....

Retraining blows…

This is my running goal...
I think we have established that my body has been torn up in more ways than most people can fathom but this fall it took another couple of blows.  Since I had Clara and I was completely ‘gutted’ my body created a lot of adhesions throughout my abdomen.  At first it was just a nuisance, I had to follow a careful diet, take a few prescriptions to keep things moving and that worked…for a time anyway.  Over the past two years I wound up spending more than 30 nights in the hospital with small bowel obstructions (SBO) due the adhesions.

This spring I had my best running season ever, in fact I think it was a season of personal bests that I will never beat.  I trained incredibly hard, was in super mental and physical health, and honestly felt ready to do my best at every race.  In fact, when I qualified for Boston I had spent Sunday-Thursday in the hospital with a SBO came home, did a few miles on Friday and Saturday and qualified on Sunday.  In fact my entire running season pretty much followed that same schedule.

I finally could not take it anymore (and neither could my family).  It was hard going to bed at night and not knowing if I would have to make a mad dash for the ER at 2:00 a.m. usually driving myself (not being pregnant and always having a “hospital bag” ready is not normal).  In fact one day I had actually parked my car in Leonardtown to head out for a ten mile run got out went about two miles, got back in the car, headed to the ER and spent 6 nights in the hospital.  This was not how I wanted to live (plus, SBO’s are really really painful).

I went to surgeon after surgeon and I finally found someone I felt comfortable with who could do the procedure laparoscopically at Johns Hopkins.  On August 3rd, 2012 he cured my belly woes and for the first time in over four years I was not nauseous, no more sucking on Zofran every few hours just to hold my cookies.  Perfect.  Unfortunately he found one of my ovaries to be large and ‘unfavorable’ looking.  I had to have it followed up on.

So, I went to Washington Hospital Center’s (WHC) Surgical Oncologist and was told I was too complicated…um, wha…oh shit!

Off to GBMC where WHC referred me…on September 17th, I got the ‘unfavorable’ ovary removed (also laparoscopically) and the recovery has been hideous (I think I am one surgery away from officially being able to use the mens room, shorter lines...SCORE).  I got a massive lung infection of some sort from the intubation and have been struggling to breathe.  So getting back into running has been a trip (and yes, I am still running, I think we have established that I will run through anything).

Me trying to breathe while running...pretty!
Between the two surgeries I had a couple of 45-55 mile weeks and actually did not feel too horrible. After the second surgery running has been a beast.  Yesterday after timing the Costume Caper 5K in Colton’s Point I decided to go for a ten mile run.  It was the first day that I was averaging a marathon pace for most of my run, unfortunately it was only a ten mile run.  As I retrain I am finding that I feel big and clunky when I am trying to gain speed…probably the not breathing thing getting in the way. 

I know I can get back, it’s the time that is killing me.

My friends kept telling me that my body would be so happy with the break from running and I would come back kicking some serious ass.  WRONG. 

What I feel like when
 running since my surgery!
Luckily I have a few running partners who are not afraid to push me a little and who also let me rest and walk when I need a break.  This is the first time that I am doing more partner running rather than solo running and it actually feels amazing.  I still enjoy the solitude and quiet I find when I am out on a long run, but even more I have loved feeling the sense of community and support from other runners. 

Are you a runner?

Which do you prefer, the solo or partner run?

Have you had to retrain?  Any advice, tips?


  1. I'll be with you on the retraining soon enough :)

    1. I sure am glad you ran that safe!
      Lots of prayers coming your way.

  2. I hate retraining. Part of you is happy you can get back to it but the other part is angry 'cause it's not what it was beforehand. I had a bad case of Planters in August. Then some other pains came after that. I got through it and got the mileage back. I did lose some speed. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. I ran MCM yesterday and the speed wasn't there. I'm still happy with the accomplishment though. Next time...
    I love both single and partner running. When I run by myself I get to do "my" thing. In a group run, I gain huge support from others, the kind of support that keeps me going. I love to give that support back too.

    1. My time is horrible. I am doing a 50K in November with a goal of "finish". It has been a very long time since that was my only goal! Congratulations on the marathon, finishing is always an accomplishment...especially after an injury.