Friday, July 17, 2015

Status Post 12 Weeks and runDisney Wine and Dine Training

Surgery was 12 weeks ago today, and honestly, it's really hard for me to believe. I figured it was time for an update on how things have been going since I posted about the Brighton 5K a few weeks ago (and maybe even further back).

So, I never mentioned this in any of my previous posts, but I've been back to work for 4 weeks now. I'm not going to lie, when I walked into work that Monday I broke down into tears to my supervisor because I wasn't sure how things were going to go. The previous week I had been battling awful sternal pain that would keep me awake at night. It was to the point where I felt as though I had just come out of my surgery, and I was honestly worried I had re-cracked my sternum or done something else. My first few days back were slow and gradual. I came home at night exhausted and pretty much kept my personal schedule to a minimum so I could go home and crash on the couch. At status post 8 weeks when I returned to work, I still wasn't feeling my best, and I ached constantly, especially when I woke up in the morning. I was stiff and sore, so I'd be popping Tylenol even before I crawled out of bed.

Over the past four weeks I've noticed a dramatic improvement from my first day back to work, and I rarely have any pain now. The NP's and PA's I work with even said to me that one day it would feel like a switch went off and I'd magically feel better, and they were right. I can't tell you exactly when I felt better, but I'm sure glad I do. My co-workers have been amazing too. If I need help moving a patient or lifting something, they're right there for me.

Now that I've been feeling better I've slowly starting getting back into my routine of running after work with my co-workers. Linda and I have been able to run 3 times now I think, and hopefully soon we'll be increasing our weekly runs. Everyone is so busy now that it's summer, finding one day a week to run after work with my co-workers can prove to be challenging. This past week when Linda and I went out for our run, we ran our usual 3 mile route and we ran it in just over 35 minutes. I was pleased with that time because it was probably the 8th time I've run since surgery, and it proves that I didn't lost a lot of my cardiovascular endurance. Not only that, but I've noticed over the past few runs how much better I'm starting to feel. My legs don't ache like they used to. I still do interval running, but during my walk intervals, I feel myself recovering much faster than I used to.

I've also started back at our weekly RWB runs. I've only been to 2 or 3 since my surgery, but our Wear the Eagle Wednesdays is one of my favorite nights of the week. Last week a lot of my teammates did a 4 mile run as part of a Team RWB virtual run. I was running late, so I met up with them. I ran at my own pace, and only ran 3 miles (I was not registered for the virtual run), then met up with everyone at the end so we could venture back to the park together. Nita had snacks ready for all of us at the end (orange slices, bananas, watermelon and brownies)! As per usual, we always take a group picture as proof that we ran.

(Such a great turnout that Wednesday!)

Then, of course, Nita and I had to get silly...

(Pretty Fly Eagles - with orange slices)

Aside from getting back into the swing of running with my friends and coworkers, runDisney's Wine and Dine half marathon training started last week, so it is definitely time to kick it up a notch. Currently the training schedule is light. 30 minutes twice a week with a distance run on the weekend. The weekend runs right now are between 2 and 3 miles, then after a few weeks it will start to pick up.

This past Saturday, I met Linda early in the morning to go for a bike ride. Unfortunately, our bike ride did not start out as planned. I was putting my bike together, and when I attached my front wheel, it acted as though the disc brake was active. It would not allow the tire to move backwards at all, and would move forwards with some resistance. So Linda and I loaded my bike back into my car and drove to the nearest (open) bike shop. The employees at the bike shop were wonderful and more than happy to make the adjustment my bike needed so I could get back on the road. We were in and out within minutes, and then back on schedule. Linda and I rode just over 9.5 miles, and then treated ourselves to a delicious breakfast at the Village Bakery (this has become somewhat of a tradition when biking together).

(Sun, biking and food = life is good.)

Aside from work, running and biking, life has slowly been getting back to normal for me. Team RWB has also be doing a New To Yoga class at a local yoga studio (which I will get to in another post after the class ends). The current leaders of our Team RWB chapter also asked me this past Tuesday if I would like to be the chapter's Running Director! I am so excited for this opportunity, and am looking forward to working with the rest of the chapter leaders on upcoming events. This weekend I have some stuff to do to finalize my position (lots of reading).

QOTD: What have you been doing to keep active this summer? Do you have any post run or bike rituals?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Brighton Chamber of Commerce 5K Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! I had a great and very eventful weekend. I had a long weekend because my employer observed the 4th of July holiday on Friday, July 3rd. Saturday, July 4th I ran in the Brighton Chamber of Commerce 5K. This is the second time I have run this race, and I still enjoyed it as much as last year. Going into this race, I honestly did not have a goal in mind considering all that I've been through over the past three months. However, Friday, July 3rd marked 10 weeks from my heart surgery! I haven't been training, and I've been very lackadaisical with my running lately. More so because I'm still sore, and not feeling up to it. All of that is about to change though because Wine and Dine 1/2 training starts this week!

The Brighton 5K started at 8 am this past Saturday, and my running group wanted to meet for a group picture at 7:30. I met a few of my friends in the parking lot of the school around 7:15, and we walked down to the spot where we were supposed to meet up. As we waited for other members of our group to show up, we chatted about what our plans were for the day and the rest of the weekend. A few minutes after 7:30 and everyone who had responded to the race event was there and we were able to get our picture.

(Team RWB)

After we grabbed our photo we walked back to the school where the race was set to start. As we waited more and more of our friends began to show up.

(Mel, Nita and me)

Our friend Krista arrived with her baby, so we had to get another group shot with the newest Team RWB member!

Then we all made our way to the start and headed out. Like I said I had no real goal in mind, I just figured I would do what I could do, I just wanted to finish the race in 40 minutes. I started out just running and not even starting my timer, then eventually I started my timer and did 1:1 run/walk intervals. The race started off on S. Winton and had runners turn right onto Westfall road. I did my first mile in just over 11 minutes. From Westfall we turned onto Avalon Drive and weaved through the neighborhood until we made our way up to Elmwood Avenue.

Around mile 2, I started to get tired, so I changed my intervals to 1:2 run/walk, but looking at my time I was doing relatively well, and thought that maybe I could finish the race in 35:00. The race had us run about one block on Elmwood Avenue before turning right back into the neighborhood onto Bonnie Brae Avenue. Runners stayed on Bonnie Brae Avenue until we turned left onto Danbury Circle North. Danbury took runners back to S. Winton where we turned left and headed straight for the finish.

When I turned onto S. Winton and headed towards the finish, I looked at my watch to see I was awfully close to 35:00, but I knew I wasn't going to make it. I continued to trudge along, soon I came up to the loop in front of the school, and I saw 3 of my teammates there cheering for me. Nita yelled out to me that she had a glass of water waiting for me (thank god). I finished, stopped my watch, and looked at my time, 36:03. Dangit, Hey, at least I tried. All in all, I'm really happy with that time considering I've really only run 5 times since my surgery in April. I walked back to where my teammates were cheering and watching the other runners come into the finish. Once all of our teammates had finished, a few of us decided to head down to the Starbucks on the corner to grab a well deserved iced coffee and breakfast sandwich.

QOTD: Did you run in a 4th of July event? What's your favorite 4th of July tradition?