As you read in my previous post, Health Quest – The Beginning, I had a really hard year, about 2 years ago when I faced 2 major surgeries back to back. After both surgeries were complete we were in the dead of winter and nearing the holidays and I just had no energy at all. Rylyn, my youngest, had his second birthday and I barely had the energy to have a family party for him (this coming from the mom who LOVES to throw fun home parties). By the time Christmas rolled around I had been living on my couch for months resting my foot, and my neck, eating any type of food that my friends and family were happy to bring over, and being pumped full of all sorts of over-the-counter pain medications. Thankful for God’s provision, I had a non-stop revolving door of friends and family helping me with my kids and driving me all over to run errands. I even had to use those “special” motorized carts whenever I would go grocery shopping…that was actually fun, but so frustrating and slow! I wasn’t able to do any sort of strenuous activity for close to 6 months and I felt like my body lost itself, and got a lot bigger in the process. Talk about frustration.
I actually enjoy exercise and love to run more than anything. I have vivid dreams fairly often about being an amazing runner, it’s to the point of being silly – I’ve also had dreams lately of being a Duggar…yes, I’m totally serious – I dreamed I was one of their 19 kids. I really do love to cook and try new recipes – but I also love to eat. Lots of eating and no exercise don’t mix well, I’m sure you can guess where that left me. I know being fit is hard and I don’t mind hard work, but I despise hard work when I don’t feel good, or when I’m tired. I was all of those things, tired of being tired, feeling lazy – but not wanting to be lazy, feeling overall just crummy and on top of it all – fat, and there was not a lot I could do about it. I was beyond frustrated.
At the 6 month mark I was allowed to start exercising again, but told to take it easy. I slowly worked in running again, but my foot took more than a year to work back into any sort of shape that I could run on it. I had no idea just how totally changed my foot was from surgery, and the race my husband and I chose to train for was doing more damage than good. As one month ran into the next, I was still tired, still fat, and still easily stressed out. I kept telling myself that I’m just recovering, that my body still needs time to heal and get better post surgeries. I think my docs liked that excuse too, because they all kept saying the same thing – you’ll feel better, just give yourself time.
In August of last year (put me at 1 year post foot surgery) my husband and I decided we needed to run our 2nd half marathon. I think I did it because I so badly wanted to feel normal again, and to prove to myself that I just needed to will myself to be better and just get over it. We trained all summer and we never missed a workout – we get really into it – we do a very intensive 12 week training schedule and I love every minute of it. It’s hard, but so worth it. During training a new symptom showed up – numbness in my toes on my surgery foot. This started about half way through training and was terribly painful – I would hit mile 5 and my toes would be completely numb. I visited my foot doc and his only solution was to do cortisone shots in the nerves or I could once again have surgery to remove the dead nerve. I cried – mostly out of pure frustration. I was mad at God – I mean a bunion of all things – the least I could have done was have a much more glamorous injury like breaking my foot while trying to save a puppy or something?!!! To see how far reaching that bunion was in my body…my goodness!
I got cortisone shots and continued on with my training and tried to “champ” my way through it. The day of our race dawned and I was excited, but nervous. I felt good, knew I had trained long and hard, and was ready. Oh my gosh, it was TERRIBLE! Our first race was AMAZING! We had so much fun, I felt great, and I ran my full 13.1 miles without stopping even once. We crossed the finish line hand and in hand and celebrated like we were royals! This second race, I got altitude sickness at mile 4 (which I have never had before) and thought I was going to throw up. By mile 6 my feet were starting to hurt so bad. By mile 7 I was begging my husband to run ahead of me and I would walk (like a good man, he stayed with me and pushed me along). By mile 9 I was in tears, and the rest of the race was a complete blur of wailing, screaming, anger, tears, and so much pain and numbness in my feet that I thought nothing could be worse than what I was going through! I’m not a quitter, but oh did I want to quit this race so bad, it was complete torture!
I’m happy now to say I didn’t quit, I did finish that race, kicking and screaming, but I finished. Besides knowing that I really disappointed my husband, I also knew that unless something changed, there was no way I’d be running any more races. I knew I needed to figure out what was going on and finally get healthy, or so I thought…..
Stay tuned…I’ll unfold more later this week. Next Monday, April 6th, is the beginning of our change!Share this post: