If I was 5 years old, I'd be stamping my foot and declaring it all to be 'so unfair'. That's exactly how I feel right now as I'm sitting here with an ice pack on my calf. But as I'm a grown up, instead of stamping my foot and having a tantrum, I'll just have a moan in my blog instead ;-)
I guess now I look back with hindsight, I realise I'd started to do a bit too much over the last week or so. A 7 mile run last Saturday was really demoralising and I ran too fast and with too many hills. I had gone with a (faster) friend and I just couldn't keep up with her, so I ended up having to push it too hard and was completely wrecked when I got home.. bursting into tears as soon as I got through the door. I know that sounds childish, but it just feels like I take one step forwards then get knocked back again.. and I'm having to dig really deep.
I'm pretty sure that long run then contributed to some tightness in my lower back and hamstrings which has resulted in my calf going 'twang' when I was coaching yesterday. It's a relatively minor tear in my soleus, but it's just annoying when things were starting to go well and it just means taking a few days off, icing it, getting some treatment and seeing how it responds. It's hardly surprising given the state of my core stability and despite doing my exercises, it seems it's just not enough.
It's SO frustrating and so hard to know how much I can (or can't!) do. The rules have all changed now and I'm having to relearn how my body responds, recovers and progresses. And as much as I love my beginner group and my coaching work, it's really tough watching everyone get faster, fitter and feel so good about themselves, while I'm slowly struggling on. People say that I'm an inspiration, but I don't feel like it. I just feel unfit, overweight and mentally knackered from it all.
Having the ileostomy in itself isn't really a problem any more. Now I'm using convex bags I haven't had a leak in a month (yippee!!), I'm figuring out the sorts of food that work best (nuts and porridge are still off the menu!), my blood sugar levels are better and I'm feeling recovered pretty much from the surgery itself.
The PROBLEM is that my body is wrecked from having 4 abdominal operations in a year and the posture and body composition changes that have gone with that. I've pretty much had 16 months off training, have lost a lot of muscle (and gained plenty of lard!) and my immune system has taken a bashing too. Some issues at home with my 12 year old and having to find a specialist school for him, are also causing my stress levels to rocket and I have an almost permanent headache. Stress, recovery from surgery and running don't really go very well together!
People ask me if I'll be able to get back to 'racing' again.. and the answer to that is I have no idea. Last week I thought I might be able to run the marathon in April.. this week, I'm not so sure. All I do know is that I'm going to have to ramp up the rehab, stretching and strength/conditioning stuff if I've got a hope of running more than 5 miles ever again! So it's time for yet another rethink. Pilates, swimming, gym work, foam rolling and massage need to be a higher priority - I can't afford to be complacent for one second.
In the words of Dick Wolf 'As soon as you get complacent your show gets cancelled'.