So, that happened. After the operation I was brought home to my folks place in East Yorkshire. For about the first ten days after the operation I suffered from anaesthetic fatigue. I was so exhausted I literally had zero energy except to sleep, eat and lay motionless on the couch. I had entire conversations with people during this time of which I can barely recall. Though it may seem strange to you, I am actually grateful for the fatigue as it meant I was happy to chill and veg out. I was not craving exercise as I barely had the energy to move. I was a happy little bunny just chilling on the couch and drinking cups of tea. This is what I felt like for that time…
I am at my parents for an entire month as my sling has to be on for 24 hours a day for a month so I kind of need help doing a few things. I have now mastered most things one handed except for tying my shoelaces and getting in and out of certain items of clothing. Since I am a creative cookie I am obviously a leftie so I am able to write, draw and paint. I have been watching many episodes of Girls, much YouTube and reading a lot of blogs. I have been taking walks now that my energy has returned with a vengeance. I have also been catching up with old pals which is the nicest thing in the universe. When you haven’t seen a friend in so long because of life, geography, whatever and you know you’re both still cool with each other. You can just slip straight back into a conversation like no time has passed at all since you last saw each other. That is the sign of a great friend.
What I haven’t been doing is complaining. I have accepted the fact that my sling will be a part of me for a month and I have dealt with it in my head so I don’t believe I have complained about it once. Yes it takes me a long time to do everything with one arm but it’s not like I am in a rush to be going anywhere or doing anything!
So, I think I deserve a very small moan about how I’m not allowed to run but I REALLY want to. So, before my operation I had a groin strain so I hadn’t run for over two weeks before my op (this is totally better now yey!). As of Monday this week I have started to feel restless. I am truly getting a case of cabin fever. The past three nights on the trot I have dreamt of running. Last night I even ran a marathon in Liverpool in 3:30. Dream Olivia is a much better runner than real life Olivia! Last night I got the crazies so bad that at 8:30pm I went outside to do squats, lunges and step. This morning it hurt so good. Mum has agreed to take me out for a walk somewhere nice tomorrow afternoon and I cannot wait. I don’t know how I will sleep tonight however as I still have so much unspent energy.
Running for me is therapy. It is my sanctuary, my me time. My time to get out of my head and into somewhere beautiful. My time to meditate in motion and find my bliss. Running for me is not just about numbers, it is about the change it makes to my mental state and to my head. I am the happiest during a run and I feel my most beautiful immediately after a run. Life feels less beautiful to me when I am not running. I need to spend a lot of my time these next two weeks hiking to stave off the overwhelming urge to throw off my sling, strap on my vibrams and head out the door. This time in captivity has allowed me to think an awful lot however and I am thankful for the fact that I am going crazy without running.
I have thought a lot about what my eighteen year old self would think of me now. If I had seen my present self run past my slightly overweight and very unhealthy eighteen year old self she would have thought, ‘Wow I wish I had the confidence to run in public.’ I literally used to be envious of runners as I lacked confidence in myself and I had always fantasised about running I just never had the balls or the impetus to do anything about it. I never thought I would become a runner so now I am so proud to call myself a runner. My eighteen year old self is pretty proud that I found the courage to run in public, in the daylight! To go running alone for hours sometimes. Sometimes I even get lost but I always find my way home. My past self would have been way too scared to even imagine doing that. If I could travel back in time I would have told myself that, ‘Hey, it’s pretty fun to do the things that scare you! Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself.’
I am finding ways to enjoy running without actually running. My friend sent me a very excitable text about his epic run that morning and I was so overjoyed to receive it. I have been watching videos of Rory Bosio, Anna Frost, Anton Krupicka for inspiration. Anna Frost took almost a whole year off from running and she has just made an epic comeback and smashed the course record for her first ever 100 mile race. I am finding new routes for my return to Bristol. I am excited to run through Leigh Woods, Blaise Estate, Ashton Court and along the River Avon Gorge. I also plan on taking the train to a few places such as the Forest of Dean and the Brecon Beacons to spend some days out exploring new and beautiful places. I am so excited for when I am able to run again. Walking shall have to suffice for now. I do truly love walking it’s just a completely different experience to running. Autumn and winter are actually my favourite times to run.
One of my most memorable runs from my time in Manchester was in December 2012. It was our staff Christmas party on the Friday evening. I had drunk more than my fair share of vino and gloated that I was going to do a 15 mile run on the Sunday. I spent the Saturday nursing a hangover so when I awoke at 5:30am on the Sunday I was raring to go. I chugged a coffee and probably ate something equally as unhealthy before I flung the door open to find a fresh blanket of snow awaiting me. I gingerly took a few steps, skidded a bit and then worked out how to run in snow. It was glorious, there was not another soul to be seen for miles, just me and my trusty headlamp. I saw a man doing the dreaded walk of shame after a few miles and he yelled at me, ‘You’re totally
fucking mental.’ I grinned at him and carried on my way. I reached my favourite place, Heaton Park which looked magical under a layer of snow. I saw the sunrise, ran around a little more and headed home, where I wondered if that had all actually happened or if it was just a perfect figment of my imagination.
Running, it can change your outlook on life 🙂
In order to remain in a good mental state I have been trying to fill my body with as many fruits and veggies as I can fit in! I think mum is pretty amazed at the amount of bananas I consume.I have been starting each morning with either a green smoothie or a big bowl of cinnamon porridge on the days when we run out of bananas due to mum vastly under estimating my banana consuming habits :p Here is the deliciousness that I had this morning.
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2 fresh bananas
- As much spinach as you can fit in
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
I adore smoothies with frozen bananas in them, the consistency resembles the thick icy milkshakes you would get as a kid it is divine, mmm.
Well, this post was a lot longer and probably a lot less coherent than I had originally anticipated. The rest of this month I plan on spending my time just being. Being in the present, enjoying relaxing and being still. It is a rarity that I get any alone time when I am back in Bristol! I shall relish in it and make the most of it. Though I feel like a trapped animal, I shall not run until I have been given the all clear by the doctor. It is for the greater good. Once my shoulder has healed I will be able to do yoga, climbing and pull ups – things that I never dreamt I would be able to do because of my dodgy shoulder. I am excited for my walk with mum tomorrow, she just this minute promised me woods and streams. My wildish nature feels at home and very safe in the woods.
How do you cope with no running?
Have you ever had any injuries or operations? How did you deal with the recovery time?