This training cycle has not gone as planned.
I’ve tried to keep this running engine on its proverbial tracks. I really, really have. Two weekends ago, I went for a 10-mile run, just like I was supposed to. The morning was Goldilocks perfect: not too hot and not too cold. Just windy enough, with a few gusts to keep it interesting. I was at just the point in my audiobook that I wanted to keep running so that I can hear what happens next. This long run that more than made up for the demoralizing one from the previous week.
Heck, I’d even been hitting my tempo run goals — and discovered that I actually like tempo runs, which can only mean that I ought to pick up the pace. I finally felt like I was finally out of my mid-13.FUN rut.
And then I had surgery last Thursday, September 11.
Remember Jerkface, my fibroid? The one who has made the last year-plus of my life extra unpredictable? And, at times, extra messy? Last week, I had an endometrial ablation (NovaSure, for those scoring at home) in order to stop the madness.
Well, maybe stop the madness. I won’t know for certain until a few months have passed. I am cautiously optimistic.
I got all of my runs in at the beginning of last week even with various pre-op appointments with my GYN and the hospital. I had blood drawn. I pee’d in various cups, which has gotten harder with each passing year. I asked all kinds of questions about what was going to happen, as I do. The most pressing one for this column was: when can I run again? To which my doctor said, “Maybe do some walking for a few days when you feel up to it and see how it goes.” Which I interpreted as “by Monday you’ll feel great.”
My doctor, by the way, also seems convinced that I’m running a marathon in October, even though I keep reminding her that it’s only 13 miles. She’s not a runner, clearly, but is in all other respects a lovely person. We even go to the same local gym. It’s a small town.
Anyhoo, my GYN always does the ablation procedure in conjunction with a D&C, which might be more detail than you really want. But I know we’re all about the TMI at AMR so there it is. She also prefers to have her patients completely knocked-out for all of it, which, frankly, is my preference, too, even for simple stuff like having my teeth cleaned or scrubbing toilets.
I haven’t had general anesthesia for decades and had clearly forgotten how it sucks the life right out of you, especially on top of all of the other things that happened to my body while my mind was away. I knew I’d spend the bulk of the 24 hours after surgery in some quasi-conscious state while my system worked to figure out what in the heck had happened. What I didn’t count on were the waves of complete exhaustion that have colored the last week.
Other than the day of the procedure itself, I haven’t been in any real pain — and even the day-of pain was more like really intense menstrual cramps, which were easily tamed by ibuprofen. But I have been beyond tired, which I’ve only made worse by not giving up and lying down, thereby exhausting myself further, bursting into tears because I’m so miserable, and still not lying down because I’m an idiot. Lather, rinse, repeat.
On Monday, it was all I could do to teach two classes and get myself home, much less run. But by Tuesday, I was feeling zippy enough to give the stationary bike a spin and made it through the rest of the day feeling pretty good. Wednesday I did the first strength routine from 13.FUN. And on Thursday, I decided to see how the old running legs felt and to see if my uterus would finally fall out. The short answers: pretty good and nope.
I have zero idea how I’ll pick up the training from here. I don’t have the luxury of just starting from where I left off because the date of the race is too close and I haven’t a week to spare. I’ve resigned myself to giving up my more ambitious time goal, which was under 2:30, simply because I don’t think I can get all of the speedy miles and extra long runs in before race day comes - and I’m also pretty sure it’s not even a good idea to try given what I just put my body through.
I do, however, think I’ll be able to finish my half marathon, provided nothing too debilitating happens during the next few weeks. But given the way the rest of my training has gone, all bets are off.
So, mother runners, what would you do? Pick up the week that got skipped and cut the taper short? Or pick up from where the calendar says I should be and hope for the best? Or some third option that I’m not thinking of?