Wow. It’s been a long time since running hurt. Like, literally hurt to the point of making me nauseated after three and a half miles. But after some minor surgery last week, it would seem that while my lungs and heart are healthy and ready to roll, my left flank isn’t quite as gung-ho.
The day after surgery (it was minor, I promise!) I did light housework, also known as laundry, and even took a walk for a cup of coffee. Indeed, I did spend a few hours recouping from said walk by napping and lolling about, so I figured running was a litte ways off. My darling friend Erin had this advice:
Do remember that you can be a bit of a Superwoman. Now is not the time to be Superwoman. Now is the time to be Regularwoman. Yeah NO RUNNING. Regularwoman does not run. Regularwoman might take a short walk to get coffee, but only if she is feeling very VERY up for it. Regularwoman does a lot of resting and reclining and Regularwoman totally gets bored but she knows she needs to rest and heal so she just sucks it up.
While making me giggle a lot, Erin’s message didn’t go amiss. I promise. I just…I do better when I run. Boredom and laziness don’t suit me. They make me depressed and feel like the world is crushing in on itself, like the world is happening without me. Yes, basically I’m a four year old in terms of mental health when I’m ill, and can’t decide if the physical pain is worse or knowing I’m missing out is.
The day after my walk, I did indeed do nothing. I mean, I tried to get on an airplane and failed due to massive bouts of anxiety and sobbing in a terminal, but in terms of exercise, nope. I went right back home and got right back into bed and slept all day and night which I’m sure had nothing to do with the fact that I wanted to hide like an ostrich.
So the next day, I woke up early and felt not too bad. It had been 36 hours since I’d had any painkillers, and I was ready to try. On went my sweatpants, and sports bra. On went my running shoes and iPod. And out the door I went.
The first few steps jostled my innards, and I considered turning around. But my podcast, 99% Invisible, clicked on and the winter air was warm enough that I wished I’d worn shorts, and how was I to not continue moving forward? I jogged at a pace that most people walk at, and it took almost double the amount of time it normally does for me to go around the lake. But I made it.
And I once again have way more respect for anyone who starts running and is in pain for any reason. Running is hard, and being in pain while you are doing it makes it even harder. Seriously though, as long as you’re not hurting yourself, keep going. It’s better than doing nothing. Promise.