Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The healing process

Recently I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed. Two of the four were impacted, with one that was severely impacted into the nerve endings to my lip. It has been a full four days now since the procedure, and the healing process has been awfully slow. With the usual swelling and bruising that come along with any surgery, I've also had limited movement in my mouth and quite a bit of nausea. This has made it very difficult to eat, and has left me feeling weak and tired.

For the average person, the recovery process would include much rest and relaxation. While I would love nothing more then lying in bed for 7 days and eating ice cream, this is also one of my greatest fears. I am an active person, and that would be putting it lightly. My usual training schedule has me spending at least an hour a day on the lake front trail running, hitting the gym three times a week for weight training, and trying to fit in an hour long yoga class two to three times a week. That puts me anywhere between one to three hours a day working out, six days a week.

Rest is the best way to let our bodies go through the necessary heeling process after any type of injury, but it can also be the most frightening part of any type of recovery. It has been difficult for me to admit to myself that I need to take my time allowing myself to get back to the training that I want to be doing. With only taking two full days off, I went for my first run post surgery yesterday which was only three full days after going under the knife. While it was nice to get out of the house, it was quite possibly the worst run that I have ever been on. I decided to take a slow seven mile run at a 9:00 mile pace, which is about a full minute slower then my usual pace.

I'm proud to say that I did make it through the pain, but it was a very difficult challenge. For me the reasoning of why I took to the road so soon after is that I've trained myself mentally to think that for every extra day that I give myself off, that is one day behind my competitors that I put myself. In the larger picture I'm confident in saying that this is a successful way of making a commitment to something that you want to achieve, but while our bodies are recovering from injury or surgery this can be a crippling notion.

While todays 8 miler at an 8:00 pace was easier then yesterday, I know that my body is still not at 100%. So my lesson learned today is that sometimes its necessary to admit to ourselves that it is okay to take it easy and allow ourselves to rest. Baby steps are necessary while in recovery, even if we do not want to admit to ourselves that we are human and can have moments of weakness.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Starting Line

Running has been a large part of my life for some years now. It has been a way for me to challenge myself, stay in shape, and relieve some of the stressors in my life. I begun my running adventures as a teenager, and joined the Track & Field team as a youngster that really wanted to be part of a team but lacked the physical ability and coordination to make any teams that required previous skills.

In my earlier days, running provided the social outlet that I needed. It gave me an instant circle of friends to hang out with after school and on the weekends who understood the physical and mental challenges that being a runner entailed. The instant bond that I was able to form with my teammates encouraged me to become a confident young woman who knew that I would always have an unbreakable bond and never ending support system of friends through my teammates.

It wasn't until I graduated from high school and went of to college, and out on my own for the first time, that I really begun to appreciate the foundation that running helped me establish in my life. It taught me to become a problem solver, how to best utilize my time, to be a fighter for my desires, and to always be looking ahead to the new challenges that lay ahead. Being at a college where I felt alone for the first time, where my entire education was centered around the culinary world, I made the decision that wellness and balance would be the foundation of life.

As I have grown, I've been slowly learning to make the best lifestyle choices for myself. Being an adult in the most overweight nation in the world can often times be difficult and lonely, and finding comfort in food is common. We are all faced with the option to take our lives down the path less traveled and create the most balanced life for ourselves, or allow ourselves to fall into the rut and temptations that are constantly following us.

For myself I've chosen the road that leads me to wellness and balance in my life. The best way for me to do this is to continue to challenge myself on a daily basis physically, mentally, and emotionally.

With this said, I invite you to travel along with me as I make my best efforts to achieve the goals that I have laid out for myself this year. This is the year of changes and challenges as I run though the streets of Chicago to become stronger, faster, and more confident in my life then I have ever been before.