For the past 4 months, all I have heard is “be careful” or “Take it easy. You are still healing, and you don’t want to do anything to screw that up.”
My doctors told me that. Dreamboat told me that. Friends told me that. And while I usually ignore that kind of advice, throw caution to the wind, and just take off and run anyway… I didn’t this time. For four months, I’ve been running inconsistently: a few miles here, a few miles there… stop and walk when things felt funny. I saw the clock start to drag out as I tried to run. Gone are the days when I could run 5 miles in 58 minutes or less. Now, I’m lucky to get 4 miles in an hour.
But this week, Thanksgiving week, was a game changer. And the more I think about it, the more emotional I get.
I am just so. damn. happy.
I registered for the Thanksgiving Day Half after the surgery. I registered for the SPace Coast Half before the surgery. I knew that these half marathons were going to be my test for running. (I’ll be posting race re-caps later today and tomorrow.) I didn’t expect to be breaking any records with them, just wanted to finish without a migraine.
That’s a lie. I wanted to finish in under 3 hours for each of them. My first half time was 2:58 and I knew I wanted under that.
BUT – reality is time doesn’t matter when you cross the finish line of the first race post surgery, clutching your sister’s hand and crying before you even cross because YOUR HEAD DOESN’T HURT. It was the best feeling in the world. Hugs all around, Jamie crying like an idiot, and friends realizing just how happy I am and how important this was to me makes it all worth it.
I finished with the important running people around me (minus Dreamboat, but that’ll be in the recap) and they all understood my tears. Tears of joy, not tears of pain.
I did it again at the Space Coast Half. Finished with a smile on my face, tears in my eyes, and no head pain. It was the most amazing feeling in the world.
And that – my friends and family and whoever else is reading this – is why I did what I did. Because now the things I love are going to be done easier, and with less pain. I had people tell me time and again that life was going to be different now. I didn’t realize until Thanksgiving Day when I finished my first half post surgery with no migraines, teary and sweaty and smiling like an idiot, how true that was going to be for me.
If you have classic migraines, and you don’t think that medication is the answer… if you think yours are neurological in nature, and may have something to do with a pinched nerve that needs to be fixed…if you feel like no one is listening and you are desperate for relief… don’t hesitate to ask if you are a candidate for the nerve decompression surgery. Take it from me, a walking talking testimonial on how it worked and how things are so different and better now.
The minor healing pain I still feel from time to time – nerve pain, muscle ache, ect – is nothing compared to the black out migraines I used to have. And in a few more months, those healing pains will be gone and I will be free.
Thank you. Thank you to everyone who has followed me on this journey, who has emailed me kind words, posted on the Idiot Runner Girl Facebook page, or followed me on Twitter to find out how I am doing. This adventure has been decades long, and I can finally say that it has a happy ending. I’ve never been so happy or so thankful.
You guys helped make this entire thing…. well, more. And I love each of you for that.