Last Friday marked three months since my ankle surgery. The recovery has, in my opinion, been slow. I keep being told that my recovery is within the normal limits of such a surgery but I think everyone wants to bounce back fast. I feel like I’ve been dealing with this for a lifetime, it has been more than six months since all this started.
As part of my recovery I’ve started walking a few days a week at Longwood Gardens. Each walk I take I try to go further, faster. Some walks are better than others of course but for the most part it feels good to be out getting my heart pumping again. I still have a tiny bit of a limp but I’m becoming more conscience about trying to control it.
Last Thursday I had a horrible walk, my foot and ankle felt really tight and I finished my walk frustrated and discouraged. Something happened later that day though, much of the tightness went away and I could feel a noticeable difference in my range of motion. It kind of caught me of guard when all of a sudden it hit me that over the course of a few hours I was feeling better than I had in MONTHS. It was as though someone had flipped a switch.
Is three months the magic time?
It was probably the first time in a while I felt excited about this whole recovery process. On Friday I got brave, I took a few running strides down the hallway at work. It felt good! By Saturday the wheels started turning in my head and I started to think that maybe I’m ready to hit the road again.
Every person I mentioned running to told me not to, but really I have to start sometime and I’d been given the clearance to run a month ago as long as I felt I could and as long as I was listening to what my body had to say about it. As tempting as it was to try and go out as soon as the doctor told me I could, I waited. I knew I wasn’t ready yet and I listen to what my body was telling me. I assured my friends and family that I’d be careful and on Sunday I took the plunge. One hundred and eighty one day since my last (failed) attempt at running.
It was glorious!
Eleven days ahead of my goal day to start running I took those first steps and it was freaking awesome! I ran 1.68 slow, easy miles. Sure, that’s nothing compared to what I was running before but it’s an amazing start. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it a block when I set out. I think I was as nervous Sunday morning as I was standing at the starting line of my first half marathon but once I got going all those nerves just dropped away and I was in the moment gliding over the pavement.
Now I have a plan. I’ll take two runs a week for the next few weeks just to make sure everything is all good. By November 1st I’ll be running two miles and on January 5th my half marathon training will kick in. So between November and January I need to get up to a consistent five miles which is TOTALLY doable. My goal is to take it slow and steady so I can stay injury free and it’d be nice to PR at the Philly Love Run next year. That race is my birthday gift to myself, the gift of a comeback when I could have just given up.
This has been such a long, dark road, I can’t even express how good it feels to FINALLY see some light at the end of the tunnel.