Six Weeks Later

In my last post, I wrote about my fall; my jaw was fractured in 4 places and I spent the next 4 weeks resting and reflecting.   Every day, I wondered whether or not I wanted to keep running and, if so, how much longer could I stay competitive.   My brother compared me to his 11 year old son who has had enough of playing rep. hockey.  “If he is ready to retire, Cyn,” he said, “maybe you should be thinking about that too.”

Truth be told, I spent the first few weeks not wanting to run at all.  In fact, I didn’t want to do anything: spinning, yoga, or swimming. I was more concerned about trying to get strong enough to get back to work and not losing any more weight (I dropped close to 10 pounds thanks to my liquid diet).  Working out was not high on my to-do list.

Besides, it was a good month not to run.  February was one of the worst winters that Ontario has had in years.  I did not miss heading out into the cold and I most certainly did not miss all of the laundry that came with it.  But as I started to feel better, I was keen to start working out again and I hoped for a longer leash each time I went to see the oral surgeon.   After week 4, he cleared me for some stationary cycling but “Absolutely no downward dog,” he cautioned.  “You can’t clench your jaw.”  I never really thought about yoga being a jaw-clencher but I heeded his advice.  By Week 6, I could get back to Power Yoga and swimming.  “You’ll know when you’re ready to run,” he said.  “It all just depends on how much pain you can handle.”

My ready-test was simple.   Over the past month, whenever I thought I might be able to run, I did the test: step down from the curb onto the road.  As long as that continued to hurt, I knew I wasn’t ready.  As time passed, I longed to hit the roads (with my feet, not my jaw).   Mentally, I was ready; physically, I needed more time.

All along, my recovery plan was simple: build cardio; keep up with the cross-training until March Break.  Then, take the time to ease back into running.  But last Monday, I felt ready.  Temperatures jumped from the deep freeze to the just below zero mark, and the time change meant that we would have more light to run later in the day.  All morning at school, I kept looking at the blue skies and longed to get outside.  By lunch, my mind was made up; I was going to run that night – even if it was just 2 or 3 kilometres.  My co-workers cautioned, “It’s going to be icy,” to which I confidently replied, “I’m going right after school when the sun is out and it’s still warm.  I’ll be careful.”

And I was.  I finished a glorious three kilometres.  Since then, I have run 2-5k distances and  I will continue to build distance and speed, with a few races in mind.  Slowly, I am on the road to recovery and back to chasing my dreams.

Six weeks of healing and I’m back on the roads.

 

 

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