Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rebound

Craig's comment on my last post made me laugh, and made me think. I have been increasing mileage deliberately, and increasing speed inadverdently. I've been going strong since surgery - why is that?

I think it's because I'm on the rebound. I felt so lousy for so long that I am finding it an incredible joy to run and I want to go far and go fast. Maybe I always had a little more speed in me, but my health was holding me back. I don't know, because I didn't start logging my runs and times until I got the HR monitor, which was back before the big problems, when the docs thought it was exercise-induced asthma. I had periods where I'd feel good and run well, but inevitably, I'd over do it and hit a wall that would last weeks. It was a cycle and I was stuck in it. I was so frustrated! I had the desire to run longer and faster, but I just plain couldn't. So, yep, I'm running on the rebound and I'm enjoying it to the max!

Really, I'm not a very patient person. I can't imagine how people can take six months or longer to plan a wedding. We got engaged in July and held the wedding in September. The thought of spending six months, or a year, preparing for a half and then a full, drives me nuts. Of course, I have to balance that impatience with caution - I don't want to be injured. I had a base mileage of 22-25 miles a week for at least five years before I started the current increase - I think that is helping me, plus, some of the increase is coming via two-a-days instead of long runs. I believe that is allowing me to add miles without injury.

How is it possible that taking my gall bladder out could change everything? First, I think the docs were distracted by a known heart defect. They looked at lungs, heart and allergies and that was it. I've read that gall bladder pain is often mistaken for heart problems, especially when it moves up the back as mine did. Second, in retrospect I probably have had an on again/off again gall bladder since Riley was born 17 years ago. I can remember a few times when I was curled up in agony on the bed, but after a few hours the pain would pass and I would move on. Once it finally gave up, it just made me sick - and during the last three years it got to the point where it was impacting my general health, and my daily life.

No matter how you cut it, it comes down to this. Based on doctors opinions, and my body's reactions, I thought I'd never run much longer than an hour, and I thought I'd never be faster than 11:30 to 12:00 minute miles. I was pretty sure that I was looking at running that way for the rest of my life. I hoped against all reason and all cautions that things would change when my gall bladder came out. At least for now, it seems I was right. I am taking full and complete advantage of my newfound health. The truth is, I'm still not totally convinced that I'm okay. I have to keep going longer and harder to be sure. I've got to have my first pain-free half (chest and back pain, that is). I think that once I've done that then I might really believe it. In the meantime, I'm going to run and run hard. If I over do it or get injured, I'll still look back on this period with a smile on my lips and joy in my heart because I am running free! Free to breath, free of pain, free of fatigue. I'm having way too much fun!

Tuesday night: 4.2 miles, 47:43.
Wednesday am: 8 miles, 1:37:57 (the weekly hill run plus a little more)

12 comments:

matt said...

this is such a beautiful and moving post, michelle. the joy you are feeling is so well-deserved. it is a great inspiration and your speedier performances are just fantastic...great job, michelle, and thanks for sharing your joy with us :)

Donald said...

Wow, if it's making you that happy, I might look at getting my own GB removed!

Glad things are looking up.

Anne said...

Rebound? More like rebirth. You're a true inspiration, Michelle. Next time my running goes south, I'm going to consider the culprit my gallbladder!

robtherunner said...

Glad you got the 8 miles in this morning. It was nice running with you and Sonya.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Yay!!!!!!

Now we'll see what happens when mine is removed......

susie said...

what a wonderful story, michelle! I can feel the joy coming through the post. Enjoy every minute. You seem to be making the most of it:)

Thomas said...

That sounds fantastic! I'm glad you're feeling so much better, healthier and happier now. No wonder you talked about the joy of running in on of your comments recently.

TryAthlete said...

I'm glad running is more fun for you these days!

Robb said...

Joy Joy Joy. You're full of life and so much fun. I love your attitude! Oh - and about RunningWife and her photo - she had a reaction to tofu jerky.

craig said...

So if we all schedule to have our GB out on the same day do you think we could get a group rate? Congratulations Michelle. Couldn't happen to a nicer person.

psbowe said...

Your post made me happy, I'm excited for you. That's wonderful that your body is responding very well. Nice set of miles too.

Dori said...

That was a great post! It's a good reminder to appreciate our health. Keep it up and you're going to have to change your blog name to "Middle of the Pack" :-)