So I'm just back from my second run since surgery and I'm feeling pretty wonderful... and I christened a pair of brand new trainers that have been sitting in my cupboard since January. I bought them in a hopeful moment, but never got to wear them. They've been waiting for me to feel well enough to do them justice.. and today, 8 months later, I felt just like that. Anyway here they are.. and they've been used! they were lovely too. They are K-Swiss Keahou, lightweight and just the best running shoes.
Anyway... today's run was a whole 7 minutes longer than the one I did on Tuesday. 27 lovely minutes of running (shuffling). I'm not measuring distance yet, it would be too demoralising. But it's a short route around my house, with a few hills and I only had to walk up one of them. To be honest my legs (and arms too!) were pretty sore after Tuesday's 20 minute jaunt, so I've been cautious about making sure I was feeling recovered before I tried anything else. I've also got quite a few aches and pains. My right ITB and knee aren't great, both calves are really tight, my right piriformus is niggling and something is going on in my left hamstring.
It's hardly surprising.. I've had 4 abdominal surgeries over the last year and have done next to no training for the last 14 months. All that lying about on hospital beds and sofas has affected my posture and core strength and that's not to mention the numerous incisions through my stomach which have caused immeasurable damage. I need to work really hard on re-building that, get plenty of sports massages and just be really careful. The last thing I need right now is a running injury!
I am also going to start a training diary again. I've always done this and found it really useful to not only track progress but look back over sessions and figure out what went well or not so well. It's also handy for tracking the cause of injury and illness. I'm hoping in 6 months time I can look back and be proud of how far I've come.. or perhaps just laugh! I've entered Tunbridge Wells 10km which is in exactly 4 weeks time. It's ironic that I did this race last year and it was my first race after surgery then too and I did it with the temporary bag I had at the time. My PB for 10km is 39.56 (some, ahem, years ago) and I ran Tunbridge Wells 10km last year in 54 minutes. It's hilly and it was only 8 weeks after surgery but I was quite proud of that given where I was at the time. I'm not putting ANY pressure on myself at all and don't really care about the time, but it'll just be interesting to see how it goes this year.
I'm not complaining because I'm feeling SO much better.. but this is all REALLY hard. I feel like a complete beginner again and I've never been so unfit in my entire life. Everyone keeps saying it'll come back really quickly, but I know how much work I've got to do. Not only to get my fitness back but avoid injury and manage the potential complications of dehydration, fuelling for longer runs and also the bag itself. I also estimate I've got about 10lb to lose as well.. quite how I managed to put on weight when I was ill for so long and not able to eat I'm not sure, but I did. I'd gone from training around 10 hours per week to lying about on the couch and eating mostly 'white' food as it was all I could tolerate. Everything is WAY more wobbly than it used to be too and (shock) I've got cellulite! How unfair is that!?
But I'm not going to beat myself up, I know I'm making great progress and I'm feeling really positive, energetic and just well, better! I just have to look back a few months when I was feeling so poorly, awake all night sobbing in pain, unable to eat, exercise or sleep, I can appreciate just how far I've already come. I don't feel depressed, nor am I grieving for my 'old' body, I don't resent the bag, nor do I wish things were any different. I am honestly grateful for my little stoma and glad I was able to have this surgery.
And do you know what the best part of today's run was? (aside from my lovely new shoes). As I was running along, I realised that I had completely forgotten that I even had an ileostomy - I didn't even notice it was there. Just how brilliant is that?!