I’m pretty far behind on posting. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and I guess I didn’t feel great enough about running to write. Things have been a little weird.
On Sunday, I completed the Walnut Creek International Half Marathon. It was also really cold and I just didn’t feel quite right. I was feeling very anxious about the upcoming week and couldn’t bounce out of my funk enough to really enjoy the race.
The holiday season is always a little crazy but add to it a half marathon and an elective surgery and things get really crazy.
My 39th birthday was on Tuesday, was it definitely the high point of this crazy time…it was absolutely lovely. I celebrated with a family dinner after the race on Saturday, with bubbly happy hour with the hubs at the Press Club in SF and then again with my mom and a close girlfriend at Alta CA, also in SF. All the events were lovely and my heart was full of gratitude and joy. Now I’m 39 and that really doesn’t feel bad at all.
The next morning, my husband’s alarm went off at 5am. A little stunned from getting home at midnight, I stumbled out of bed, pulled on my sweatpants and brushed my teeth. I stored my wedding ring in the jewelry box, threw on my coat and then waited patiently while he got a chai latte at Starbucks. We got to the hospital for check-in promptly at 6am and I was taken into prep for surgery very quickly.
You see, the biggest impediment (besides running slowly) to my BQ has been my post-babies bladder. To put it plainly, I “leak” a lot. It’s been humiliating to wear incontinence pads during my runs, hoping no one notices the huge thing and further hoping it doesn’t fail me. For a while, I used a crazy device called a pessary, which is a small silicone cup designed to hold all of the girly parts in the right spots, alleviating the pressure on the bladder.
Running is the worst culprit of leakage for me, but don’t get me laughing too hard and heaven help me if I have to sneeze! After a pessary-assisted run ending with pee streaming down both my legs, I determined that the pessary wasn’t working for me. I came home to my son and nephew (5 and 8, respectively) who said, “WHOA! You PEE when you RUN? I gotta tell my Dad!!” That was a low point.
I tried doing daily kegel exercises prescribed by my “pelvic health Physical Therapist”. I did 6 months of Pilates. Between running and Pilates, my body has transformed and I’ve been so excited to wear smaller sizes. But my bladder? No noticeable change…particularly when running.
So I spent the first day of my 40th year under general anesthesia having a “mid-urethral sling” surgery. I now have a piece of mesh tape holding my urethra into the proper position to enable my pelvic floor muscles to do their jobs. Apparently it’s pretty common that the urethra swells during the surgical procedure which makes it impossible to pee. In that event, you have to wear a catheter until the swelling goes down. Guess what? I’m in the unfortunate position of having to wear a catheter. Banner day…let me tell you. Here’s hoping I’m able to pee on Monday during my “Voiding Trial” appointment at the doctor’s office. If not? I’ll be sipping my Christmas eggnog with a rubber tube attached a leg bag. Upside? I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.
So keep your fingers crossed! If all goes to plan, 6 weeks from now I’ll go back to running and start kicking ass toward qualifying for Boston.