Major Milestone, Tears of Joy

crying-pumpkin-headOk, so I cried, but that’s not the milestone. Today I successfully ran for the first time since the surgery. A few months ago I tried to run, but after just a few steps realized I wasn’t ready. I didn’t fall over, but came close, then had to sit down and rest till the dizzy’s abated. ┬áBut I’ve been walking outdoors whenever possible and indoors when the weather is bad. I started out walking about a mile, then got up to two miles, then three. Last week I was doing five miles at least a couple times a week, and 2-3 miles the other days. But still just walking, my balance is still a little wonky and I didn’t want to chance running, falling down and hurting myself. Nor did I want to look like a drunk (any more than I already do!).

AstroThis morning as I was walking Astro, my neighbor Vanessa was waiting at the corner school bus stop with her daughter. She casually mentioned that she was going for a run. Soon after with Astro back in the house, I went out for my usual morning walk, intending to walk 3-4 miles today to make up for my sloth yesterday. As I was walking my first mile, I was thinking about Vanessa’s comment, and that perhaps I might give it a fresh try. So as soon as I finished my first mile, I reset my Apple Watch to Outdoor Run, and started jogging. This was the first time, so my Watch told me that it needed me to run for 20 minutes to get a good calibration. I said, no, I wasn’t going to cooperate.

dizzy-runner-iconI figured I’d do a few minutes and then go back to walking, but something kept me from stopping. I was weaving around just a little bit, but wasn’t feeling dizzy or anything like before, so I kept going. I repeatedly told myself, “just that next turn” or “just over that next rise” and I’ll stop. I was also thinking about Nicole telling me not to overdo it, and what she’d say if I came home banged up, or worse, called her from the W&OD trail unable to get home. But I kept going. About seven minutes in, I think I settled down to a good pace and good breath control, so I decided to try to complete a mile. Next time I checked, it was 15 minutes in and I was at a mile and a half, so I changed my goal to shoot for that 20 minute calibration. But then I started getting back to my starting point, about a mile from my house, so I kept running till I got there. It clocked at just over 30 minutes.

first-outdoor-run-iphone-screenshotI think for my first run I did ok, nothing any real runner would write home about, but for a recovering BS patient, pretty darn good! So good in fact, that I started getting choked up as I reflected on how far I’d come in the last 2 years, and that this was a good indication that I was getting back to normal – for real.

So I reset my Watch back to Outdoor Walk, and made my way home, at a fast walk. All told, got my 10k steps in before 10am, yay! I should tell you I was motivated to do better than yesterday. That was Sunday, and we spent the day at Becca’s Bat Mitzvah. I didn’t do well there, it was too loud for my poor ears (which are still messed up), so I spent most of my time sitting outside in the foyer while everybody else was having a good time inside the party room. I ducked back in for the events, a bite to eat, the Challah blessing, candles and the obligatory video slideshow. It was great to see all the cousins too! After that, we drove CJ back to UMBC, and took Eric back to his home where I took a little snooze while Nicole and Eric had a visit. So by 6pm I’d only done 2k steps and almost no exercise, bleah! I had to at least complete my rings!

apple-watch-activity-ringsFor those who are wondering, my Apple Watch has a handy motivator for activity. There are three rings that I complete each day: Red Activity ring for using up x number of active calories in a day. Green Exercise ring for completing at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise in a day. And Blue Stand ring for moving around at least 1 minute an hour for 12 hours in a day. I’ve made sure to complete those rings every day pretty much since I got the Watch (thanks again Nicole and CJ!), and I do believe they’ve helped me get more active. I think that’s significantly contributed to improving my recovery this last 3 months, so the birthday present keeps giving!

So all in all, a real milestone achievement! Now to repeat the run tomorrow – that’ll be the lock. Then who knows, maybe I’ll ride a bike!