Marathoner’s Hysterectomy Journey- pre-surgery week thoughts & actions


Wow. So my plan to get super fit and race an 8k right before the operation kind of fell apart. I was definitely in denial about how burnt out I was from marathon training and Eugene, quickly followed by the Victoria 70.3 and a couple other fun events in there. I see now that I was trying to force myself to keep pushing up until this surgery because I do have fears about losing all the fitness. Irrational, yes. Human nature? Also, yes.

I got SO sick about three weeks ago and haven’t really felt like doing much since. Aside from a few trail runs and short bike rides, all I’ve really been doing in the last month is swimming. Now it’s T minus five days until the procedure and I’m just trying to be nice to myself about still not wanting to run! It’s all good – I really do believe that the recovery period and not having the option to run is going to slingshot me back into full-blown running stoke, when it’s appropriate. But, I also feel so scared about what it’s going to be like trying to build back up. And I’m sad that I crashed and burned energy-wise right before this forced time off.

My good friends keep reassuring me and reminding me about lifetime fitness, or the total accumulated fitness gains over the last, say, ten years. It has been really helping to reflect on that, and if you are reading this and preparing for something similar, I think it can only be helpful for you to do it too. What have we been doing over the last decade? Make a quick list. Mine looks like this

  • 3-4 years of a pretty dedicated yoga practice
  • years in total working with various personal trainers, both group and 1 on 1
  • many triathlons, including two Ironman 70.3
  • +25 half marathons
  • 13 marathons
  • trail running with friends and a few trail races, including a 28k
  • hiking
  • HIIT and other full-body stuff with November Project
  • swimming with a coach 2-3x/week since 2019, open water swimming
  • lots of spin classes
  • working as a RMT since December 2020, which is hard work!

I could go back even further and think about the amount of soccer, volleyball and tap dance I’ve done in my life. Skiing. Sprinting bases in and in the outfield at slopitch. CRAZY dance parties. LOL. The point is, reviewing how much activity the body has done over the long-term is pretty comforting, and just like riding a bike, everything will come back quick!…I just have to keep reminding myself every five minutes so I don’t freak out. LOL.

So, step one of the hysterectomy journey was just some simple pre-surgical blood work two days ago. Having blood drawn doesn’t usually go well for me, LOL. Slumped over the highchair-style seat, moaning, is how I end up, but it’s done. Fasting was not required, thank the gods, and now I just have an annoying green bracelet on my wrist until I go to the hospital on Tuesday. All vitamins and non-prescribed supplements have been stopped, but routine prescriptions continue, including on the morning of surgery. Ten-foot long phone charger has been purchased, thanks to the advice of my friend Lisa, who had a LAVH last fall. She also sent me a beautiful seatbelt pillow!

Tomorrow I call the day surgery department to get info like hospital arrival time and the time to stop drinking clear fluids. No solid food, milk/dairy, candy or gum after midnight on Monday. I don’t actually live in the city where I am having the operation so I am a bit anxious to get the info tomorrow.

I’ve never had any surgery in my life, aside from wisdom tooth extraction while awake, so this is all brand new to me. This means it is likely brand new to others as well! As runners, we are planners. We are detail oriented. Type A control freaks, even. So, I am going to update this blog series as often as I can, and any time I learn something new or experience something worth telling about!


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