Thursday, 23 February 2012

I need Gok Wan..

Things are crazy hectic with organising the upcoming Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon on Sunday..  lots of work, a new (and naughty) dog and school/special needs issues with my eldest son. I have a stinky cold at the moment too, I can't run and it's likely my knee will need surgery.  Put that all together on top of the last 2 years and it's no wonder I'm feeling wrecked. BLEUGH! am I allowed to grumble?? 

I'm really in need of some TLC.. or maybe just a holiday.  A friend of mine (who suffers from cardiomyopathy and doesn't run at all anymore) said to me last night that he felt like he was 100 years old and I know exactly what he means. Being surrounded by fit runners all the time doesn't help either and I'm seriously thinking of finding a knitting or jigsaw club instead.. ;-) 

A friend said to me yesterday that I looked 'rough' (it was meant in a kind sympathetic way).. and believe me.. I feel it too.  What I need is a Gok Wan makeover! My body image and confidence isn't at it's best (that would be a major understatement) and I find myself living in 'sweatpants' and comfy clothes most of the time.  This is partly to 'hide' the bag and for comfort reasons too.. tight jeans and a stoma don't go terribly well together - or at least not all the time.  The biggest problem I have though, is the fact I've gained weight, am really not athletic looking any more and just feel really untoned and unfit. I'm torn between beating myself up about it 'having a stoma and surgery is no excuse' and feeling just a little bit sorry for myself. 

I know I've been through a lot, but other people have much worse and I can't sit around blaming the surgery or my situation. But it's hard to stay positive and strong all of the time.. and right now I'd quite like to hide away under my duvet or a giant sack. 

I've got an MRI scan on Saturday for my knee, but the surgeon is pretty sure it's a torn meniscus which is going to need an arthroscopy. It's not a big deal in terms of surgical procedures, and I should probably just get on with it, but it'll mean another 3-4 weeks of recovery and not being able to run at all. The thought of the anaesthetic and another trip to the operating theatre frankly brings me out in a cold sweat.  UGH!

Without it though I won't be able to run at all, and in order to get fit and be where I want to be, it's got to be done and I just need to be brave. So I'll see what the surgeon has to say on Saturday and what the MRI shows.

Anyway.. I can't sit here moaning all day... I think I need a good kick up the backside... and if anyone has got Gok Wan's number then let me know! 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The running coach who can't run..

Right.. well there appears to be another 'blip' on my road to recovery... And this time it's nothing to do with my ileostomy or my stupid dysfunctional bowel. 

My right knee has been getting worse and despite doing the correct strengthening exercises and having treatment etc the pain is increasing and I can hardly run at all. So I sought out a second opinion from a physio and she seems convinced it's a tear in the meniscus - not just a muscular tracking problem which we first thought.

This isn't good news. It means a referral to a surgeon, MRI and possible arthroscopy to fix the tear.. followed by 4-6 weeks of no running at all. Physio and strength work just won't sort it. To say it's frustrating after everything else I've been through would be the understatement of the century.  

I've given up running altogether now and the sessions where I coach my group Sarah's Runners I can just about manage a 2 mile hobble with the beginners.. but it's painful and I would reprimand anyone I coach who tried to run with that much knee pain.  So much for my dreams of doing the marathon this year! 

So I am officially the 'running coach who can't run'! ha what irony. 

Me (in the middle) with my lovely runners
On the upside though, we held a charity ball on Saturday night for Sarah's Runners which was a fantastic evening. We raised over £700 for Hospice in the Weald where my dad died a few years ago and everyone had an amazing time. When I started the group 8 years ago it was with a gang of 4 mums from the local village who had asked me to teach them to run. Now the group has grown beyond anything I could ever have imagined where we see over 100 runners each week. I'm really proud of the group and of every single person who comes along, usually petrified on their first session but who then learns what they're capable of and how running can transform their lives. They're a great bunch and I get a huge amount of pleasure from coaching and encouraging them. 

I'll be honest though.. it's not always easy and I have pangs of major envy when friends and others I coach proudly tell me about their fantastic achievements, races and distances. I'm thrilled for them.. but just feel a moment of sadness for myself.  

So yet again I'm faced with another 'bend in the road'. I'd hoped that by now I'd be back running, back in shape and even gearing up for a marathon. Hmmm... 

No-one could have predicted this knee injury and it's nothing to do with the other surgeries. It's just bad luck and could well have been brewing for a while.. My resilience is certainly being tested to the limit though and it's a little set back I really don't need. 

The mention of surgery at first made me go a bit cold. I'm SO done with hospitals, anaesthetic, pain medications (and pain!), surgical procedures, recovery and rehab.. and to have to put myself through it again really DOES NOT appeal. But if I can't run, I can't coach and that is my life. It's who I am and what I do. Running isn't just a hobby. It defines me.

So now I just wait for an consultation appointment and see what is to be suggested. Cycling is still okay though, and as we have thick snow and ice outside, that must mean it's... turbo time!