Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Slow and Steady Wins the Race - Post-Op 10K (walking!)

The evening after surgery on 6/17, my friend Nichole came to visit and a plan was hatched that in exactly one week, I would walk the 10K route I had dragged her on only a few short months before when her weight loss journey began. 
This time, one week post-op, I would need her to drag me.

While everything was said with an air of jest, the challenge was out there and would need to be met. So I began walking that evening, IV pole in hand, around the hospital ward. The scenery was repetitive, the going slow but round and round I went.

The rest of the week went as follows:
Wednesday June 19th: released from the hospital; 1.25 miles around the neighborhood (slowly)
Thursday June 20th: 1.74 miles around the neighborhood + .75 miles around the neighborhood.
Friday June 21st: drain out! 5K day - 3.4 miles to local Starbucks and back
Saturday June 22nd: removed myself from pain med day. Bad Bad Bad. No walking.
Sunday June 23rd: walked around Survivors Day event for hours; 1.5 miles around neighborhood

Monday morning arrived and the text came through:
  • Nichole: Can I pick you up at 1 for our walk? Don't leave without me!!
  • Me: I think that works (what I thought was, "oh shit, I'll be exhausted by 1pm")
  • Nichole: Would u prefer to break it up and do 3.1 and 3.1. We could do the first three this morn? Then rest.
  • Me: Hmm... Is that cheating or just a good idea??
  • Nichole: I say good idea. It's still in a day, just a break in between.
  • Me: Then let's do it. (what I thought was, "thank goodness")

Nichole arrived just before 9am. The day was overcast and surprisingly rainy.
I donned my glow-in-the-dark-esque yellow/green hoodie and we set off on the route I used to start my day by running. 
For me there was trepidation mixed with resolve.
I also knew that I wasn't going to turn around at 1.55 to make a 3.1 mile morning. Once I set out, I'd be touching that pole or calling my husband from a prone position on the sidewalk. 

Walking in those early days was an odd sensation. I'm used to matching my walking stride to the pace of my speech, which is fast. I felt less animated with a slower gait yet still had plenty to say.

One mile in, I was in a 'discomfort zone' but nothing unbearable. The most difficult part is trying to figure out what to do with my left arm. It wants to be up but needs to be trained back to a regular swing. I mixed it up with some raising and lowering that probably looked to observers like a tai chi tic.

We stopped at Starbucks 1.7 miles away (ironically NOT the same one that is 1.74 miles away in the opposite direction from my house!) for ice water and a shot of caffeine. Okay, and a bit of a sitdown. Then we continued on to the 3.1 mile mark, touched the pole, turned around and stopped at another Starbucks with only 2.8 miles left to go.

More water, more coffee, a shorter sit and then home.
Add another one to the list:
Monday June 24th: 10K day - 6.47 miles (two stops for ice water and coffee)

All in all, we were gone for nearly 3 hours which is ridiculous for a grand total of just over 10K but a huge achievement for me.