Sunday, June 26, 2011

On the path to recovery: week 3 of 6 complete...back to work, and a green light to excercising!

That's right, I'm back at it! Although the nurses and surgeon had told me I'd need to wait six weeks to return to work, exercise, house cleaning and other activities, it's been only three weeks since my surgery and I'm feeling pretty good.

This week, I returned to work part-time, from home. Although my brain wasn't able to keep up with some of the longer conference calls, and I did need to lie down every so often for quick power naps, on the whole I felt fine. It's nice to be productive and contributing to something meaningful. There's only so much daytime TV and reading I can handle before I start getting bored!

I also had my post-op consultation this week, and my surgeon told me I was healing well, and gave me the green light to start exercising again...slowly. I was over the moon!

So on Thursday, with the sun shining down on Halifax and the ocean sparkling, I laced on my shoes and headed out for a short run. The first half was mostly downhill, which was a nice warmup. I didn't feel any pain, although I could tell that my muscles needed some loosening up from not having been worked in some time.

I made it down the hill, then turned the corner for a gradual incline to the main road. I could definitely feel the exertion there! By the time I made it to Herring Cove and crossed the street to Tim Horton's, I was starting to huff and puff, and I was done.

As I walked home, my Tim Horton's tea in one hand and a bagel in the other, I realized once again what great mental training long-distance running is -- pushing through those long runs on days when you'd rather be lounging on the sofa teaches you to learn patience, and optimism. Because there's always a better run after a bad one, and in the end, after weeks of training, you're standing on the starting line among hundreds or thousands of other runners and feeling the buzz of excitement.

So although I could have been disappointed that I'd only made it about 1 to 1.5 kilometres, I focused on being happy that I was out there, three weeks sooner than I'd planned. And that means the recovery will happen that much sooner.

I plan to start incorporating various forms of cross-training into my recovery plan this week, including yoga and stationary cycling. I'm also on the lookout for post-op recovery programs.

And this afternoon, I'll pull on my workout gear, and either head out for another short run -- to the end of the block, the neighbourhood, or wherever I can manage.


HRG addendum: No sooner had I published this post, than I slipped on my new running shorts, running top and laced on my shoes. I headed out the door for what I thought would be an easy 3k loop near home, but 500 metres in, my incision started to hurt. By around 1k I decided to walk and see if it would ease up, but it appeared my run was done for the day. A good reminder that I am not Superwoman and to take it easy! Maybe the surgeon was right about the whole six weeks thing...Will take it day by day.

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