Runner’s Hysterectomy Journey – 8 weeks later, and summary of activity during the 6 week recovery period!

Hmm, so somehow it’s 8 weeks later and I’m in Prince George again for a follow-up appointment with my surgeon tomorrow! Life goes by so fast, it’s crazy. I have been running since August 19th, which was day 39 of healing. I felt good and went for it, taking it easy on my favourite 5k trail. Since then I’ve done a 75 minute and two 90 minute long run efforts (on top of usual easy running during the week), and I have a 1:45 coming up this Sunday! Things are feeling totally fine, just slightly more challenging than pre-op, which is to be expected, all things considered. I’ve gone back to work a little bit over the last couple weeks, and will be returning full-time next week. Yay, money.

So many exciting things have happened since I had the operation, which is cool because as I’ve said before, I didn’t exactly anticipate this summer to be an “exciting” time! I was selected as one of the first Canadian ambassadors for ATHLETIC BREWING!! Athletic Brewing, in my opinion, is truly the world’s best non-alcoholic beer!! If you want to check it out, my link is HERE and my 20% off code for your first order is JAMIEK20 – I like the Freewave hazy IPA the best, but everything is good, including the All-Out Stout, which I wasn’t sure I would enjoy!

I also got an inflatable SUP from my husband for an anniversary gift, which I LOVE and will be a great core-building tool! We added a (new to us) Peloton bike to the basement sweat cave, which will be priceless during the northern BC fall/winter season, and will help me stay on top of cross-training and the general cycling situation in preparation for IRONMAN CANADA next August! I can’t believe it. I am registered for a 140.6! Next week Boston 2023 registration opens up, and this alone is the most exciting thing I will ever be eligible to do. HOLY SHIT. Fingers and toes are crossed.

Yesterday I did my first official workout back with my coach, which was 20 minute warm-up, 4x3min @ goal marathon pace with 90 second easy rests, 15 minutes warm-down. It was harder than I’d have liked it to feel, but completely manageable. As I told my coach yesterday, I feel patient with my body but also very determined and optimistic! Twelve and a half weeks til CIM!

It’s been a serious confidence booster looking back at all of the activity I did during the first 6 weeks post-op. This is similar to the confidence journal I was using during marathon training! I’ve mentioned that as a runner, to me a week begins on Monday. So, even though I had the surgery on a Tuesday (12th), these weeks still run Monday through Sunday. Here’s the whole summary, and for reference, the yoga sessions included some single-leg strength and stability work.

Week 1: July 11th – July 17th

  • Swimming (day before operation) – 550m open water
  • the last run (morning of operation) – 7km
  • Walking – 20km – longest walk 4.85km
  • Yoga – 30 minutes – longest session 20 minutes

Week 2: July 18th – July 24th

  • Walking – 50km (927m gain). A few kilometres were hiking. Longest sesh 10km

(most of that was in Mexico and the heat really increased the intensity! Highly recommend)

  • Yoga – 1 hour – longest session was 25 minutes

Week 3: July 25th – July 31st

  • Walking – 58km (1205m gain), 1.6km was a very steep hike – longest walk 12km
  • Yoga – 68 minutes – longest session 30 minutes

Week 4: August 1st – August 7th – the week the hiking really began!

  • Walking – 24km (400m gain)
  • Hiking – 38km (8.5 hours, 2400m gain)
  • Yoga – 53 min – longest session 20 minutes

Week 5: August 8th – 14th

  • Walking – 30km (300m gain)
  • Hiking – 24km (5 hours, 1680m gain)
  • strength session with light weights: 15 min

Week 6: August 15th – 21st

  • Walking – 12km
  • Hiking – 8k (1.5 hours, 240m gain)
  • Jog-walking & jogging – 35km (4 hours)
  • SUP – 1 hour

Whoa. That makes me happy!

I’ve been using the Peloton to add more time in the aerobic zone without adding too much running too soon, and I’m pumped that Masters’ swim club starts up again next week! My plan is to swim twice a week, continue with the 5-6 running days/week with my coach, and throw in a spin class and/or strength training on the days that I run workouts or long runs, keeping the hard days hard and easy days EASY.

OH. I forgot one more exciting thing. I got my VDot Distance Run Coaching certification while recovering! I plan to make a separate post all about it, but I am very excited to start offering coaching in the 5k to marathon distances in the later fall, in preparation for spring race season!

If you are reading this and have a hysterectomy coming up in your future, please stay optimistic. The time off has proven to be an incredible period of mental rejuvenation, variety in activity, a chance to get some shit done that might not happen otherwise due to busy schedules, and generally an excellent time for learning and self-reflection.

Reach out if you need to!

Jamie

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