Post Surgery Progress Timeline

This past weekend I was talking to someone who had recently had a hysterectomy.  She was determined to start exercising immediately and excited to get her body back.  She is 6 weeks post-op and started full force with Shaun T and T25. It was a bit much for her even with the modifications.

I realized that it seems to some people that I went straight from post-op to running long distances.  Nothing could be farther than the truth.  So I decided to share my timeline back to fitness after my total abdominal hysterectomy.

Weeks 1-2: RECOVERY – I couldn’t do much more than get out of be, especially in the first 2 weeks.  I listened to the the doctor as far as how to slowly resume normal activities.  NO exercise whatsoever.

Week 3-5: WALKING – I walked short distances to get moving.  Around the block. To the Lake. I didn’t do more than a mile or so at a time the first time.  I also started upper body strength training during my 4th week using exercises designed for women who had just had hysterectomies or pelvic floor surgeries.  You can read about my progress at that point here.

Week 6: RUNNING – I had my first run exactly 6 weeks post-op. It wasn’t my best run but it felt great to be out there.  I still was following doctor’s orders.  I could only do 1-2 miles at a time for a while but I stuck with it.

What I’m trying to say is that you should listen to your body as you get back into the swing of things.  It has been more than a year since my surgery and I still have issues with my lower abs and core.  I work on it and remind myself that I am making progress each day.  You will too.

How long was it before you started exercising post-surgery?  Did you have any setbacks that caused you to have to build back up your fitness levels?

David Berliner Invites You to Try a Thought Experiment

Social Determinants matter for Education as much as Health. Health Disparities and Educational Inequalities have the same root – systematically and irrevocably.

Diane Ravitch's blog

David Berliner has designed a provocative thought experiment.

He offers you State A and State B.

He describes salient differences between them.

Can you predict which state has high-performing schools and which state has low-performing schools?

The Roots of Academic Achievement
David C. Berliner
Regents’ Professor Emeritus
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Arizona State University

Let’s do a thought experiment. I will slowly parcel out data about two different states. Eventually, when you are nearly 100% certain of your choice, I want you to choose between them by identifying the state in which an average child is likely to be achieving better in school. But you have to be nearly 100% certain that you can make that choice.

To check the accuracy of your choice I will use the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as the measure of school achievement. It is considered by experts to be the best…

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I Just Don’t Want to Die an Adjunct

So many of us in the same boat in so many disciplines. I commend the author for speaking of the adjunct struggle.

Nathaniel C. Oliver

He texted me for a ride the week before last. After seven years as an adjunct history instructor, he had an interview scheduled for a full-time position, and no way to get there. In much the same way that being an adjunct is sort of like having a job and sort of like not having one, he sort of had a car and sort of did not. Unable to make the payments on his Yaris, he had long since surrendered the title to his father, who had pressed the vehicle into service as the family car. As it happened, his younger sister had a job interview on the same day that he did, so he reached out to me, his friend for over a decade, ever since we were undergrads.

After he agreed to cover gas and meals, I made the trip, a four-hour drive that seemed far shorter on…

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Blood, Sweat and Pain

For those of you who follow me on social media, you may have seen me post about the fact that I’ve been dealing with what I thought were anterior shin splints during my marathon training.  Over the past few weeks, I have seen my orthopedist for X-rays and an MRI.  The good news is I don’t have shin splints! Nor do I have any form of strain, sprain, or stress fracture. Woohoo! I can keep training.

So at this point, you are probably wondering what the heck is wrong with me then.  It appears that the bone marrow in my left leg has increased its production of red blood cells to increase my O2 max. The doctor says that this is normal as my body is trying to keep up with the oxygen being expended by the increase in my training.  Normally when this occurs, people feel pain in their arm and it’s not as severe.  However since I’m also using my leg to run (duh), I’m really feeling the pain. I don't know smile

My orthopedist compared me to athletes who blood dope illegally.  They withdraw oxygen rich blood and then inject it back into themselves before an intense athletic effort.  My body is naturally increasing the amount of oxygen rich blood that I have available when I train.  Pretty cool to know how adaptive my body is. Before my hysterectomy I was always anemic so it’s kind of cool to see my body producing red blood cells en masse instead of bleeding them out.

bone structure and function

Here’s a bit more information about the importance of bone marrow from Science Daily.

Bone marrow is the tissue that makes up the center of large bones and is the place where new blood cells are produced.  There are two types of bone marrow: red marrow (also known as myeloid tissue) and yellow marrow.  Red blood cells, platelets and most white blood cells come from red marrow; some white blood cells develop in yellow marrow.

Red marrow is found mainly in the flat bones such as hip bone, breast bone, skull, ribs, vertebrae and shoulder blades, and in the "spongy" material at the ends of the long bones femur and humerus.

In cases of severe blood loss, the body can convert yellow marrow back to red marrow in order to increase blood cell production.

So basically, the yellow marrow in my tibia is being converted by my body back to red marrow.  As my body adapts to the increases in my training and O2 needs, the need for the increased blood cell production will subside and so will the pain.  In the meanwhile, I am taking a slow release long acting NSAID on an as needed basis to deal with the pain.  I am also able to KEEP TRAINING!!!

Have you ever had an injury during training? How do you stay focused as you heal or adapt to your body’s changes during training? How is your running going?

T minus 2 months until MY FIRST MARATHON!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to dedicate consistent time to this blog.  This summer has been rewarding and busy.  My family even had the chance of a lifetime to visit Rome and embark on a Mediterranean Cruise.  We came back just in time to prepare to go back to school this week.  However, despite the busy-ness, I have been maintaining my training plan for the Marine Corps Marathon. 

Today marks exactly TWO MONTHS until I #RunWithTheMarines! I am so excited and scared at the same time. Over the past few months, I’ve been dealing with a weird pain in my shin area.  It turns out that I have an anterior shin splint.  I’ve been evaluated by an Orthopedist and so far I can still run.  We are working on a plan to keep me running without serious injury.  One good thing is that I already use the Galloway Run/Walk method and was using his training plan as well.  In the plan, after a high mileage long run (18+ miles) the following two long runs are shorter distances (6-8 miles max).  So your body gets time to recover before you increase the mileage again.  I’m already up to 20 miles which is where some training plans max out.  I won’t be attempting 22 for a few weeks.

Here I am after I completed 20 miles on the NCR trail. I turned around at the 10 mile mark for an out and back.

Here I am after I completed 20 miles on the NCR trail. I turned around at the 10 mile mark for an out and back.

I am looking forward to being able to call myself a Marathon Mama in 2 months!  Crosstraining and listening to my body will allow me to do that.

How has your training gone this summer? Have you been able to maintain your fitness? Did you get some vacation time?

Psalm 26.2

Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk (run) continually in your truth. – Psalm 26.2-3

psalm 26_2_3

Marathon training is more than a test of physical endurance.  There is definitely a mental, emotional, and spiritual test as well.  Each run is a chance to be alone with one’s thoughts and to take time to consider God’s love.

How will you walk (run) in God’s truth on your next run?

Marathon Training–Week 1

mcmheader

I have been maintaining 15-20 miles per week since the Marine Corps 17.75K in April.  However, this past week marked the beginning of official Marathon training.  I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon on October 26th with my fellow Hysterrunner, Joy.  We are doing the Galloway method which builds in long runs and recovery weeks and peaks at 26 miles before the taper.  The belief is that by tackling 26 miles before race day it is less likely that you will hit the wall at mile 20-21.

This week’s long slow run distance was 13 miles. The weather was perfect – 62 degrees at the start.  We’re running along a tree-lined trail early on Saturday mornings to beat the heat.  As we both have several half marathons under our belt, this should have been a piece of cake.  However, we realized that without the crowd support it isn’t.  We did it though! As one of my Facebook friends posted afterwards – “Like a BOSS!” LOL!

Next week is a recovery long run – 5 miles – but I’m nervous about the 15 miler scheduled for the week after.  That will be the furthest I have ever run.  I’m sure that we will get through this training cycle one week at a time.

There will be days when I don’t know if I can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime knowing that I have – Unknown

Glimmer in the Eye

Poetry In Motion

“The eyes are the channel of the spirit.” – jbMount Blanc

“After traveling three thousand miles from home and climbing to almost seven thousand feet elevation, I finally figured it out. Every time I encountered someone with that distinctive “glimmer” in their eye, it was more than just a look. It was an energy, an aura with a captivating transference. It had nothing to do with age, sex, nationality, politics or interest—it had everything to do with passion. I’d found the key to detecting passion, and it held up every time.” – Twenty-four Years to Boston

If you want to see the spirit of a runner, step into the pack at the starting line of a marathon and look into the eyes of those around. Those eyes are a direct channel to the spirit; they are pure energy. I see it all the time at races, in the eyes of kids who…

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Dreaded Druid Hills Redux

Last Saturday, I ran the Dreaded Druid Hills 10K for the second year in a row.  For a recap of last year, click here.  This year, I wanted to run it again, especially since I was beginning to miss racing.

The hills were still dreaded.  Over the course of the race, there is a 123 feet climb. Seriously, absolutely crazy climbs.  Last year, I was too busy focused on getting up the hills to realize how twisty the hills are – there are some ridiculous spirals.

My focus was on finishing not on a PR.  I was glad for that as my time was 1:36 which was slower than last year.  One thing I didn’t do this year was wear my ProCompression socks.  A decision that I did regret later that day when my calves were on fire! From now on, I will #KeepItTight!

2014-06-28 11.59.06

Do you train on hills? How do you recover after a hot, sweaty run?

Self-Discipline

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1: 7

Running gives me POWER! But, it is important to realize that that power comes from the Holy Spirit.  In fact, it is when I run outdoors that I feel closest to God. Looking around at nature and listening to the natural sounds in my environment puts me in awe every time.

I also see running as a way of showing myself LOVE and appreciation for what my body can accomplish.

Las but not least, runners are definitely SELF-DISCIPLINEd.  It definitely takes discipline to commit to running on a regular basis.

holy spirit_cloud

This is the view of the reservoir along one of my favorite long run routes.  While I run, I really do feel like the Holy Spirit is running along with me like a happy little cloud.  I try to tune in to what spirit is trying to guide me towards while I run.

Do you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit when you run? How do you feel POWER, LOVE, or SELF-DISCIPLINE during a run? Do you link faith and fitness in your life?

National Women’s Health Week

Hello everyone! I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve neglected you all, my beloved blog readers. If you follow me on Instagram (@drnayaka) or Twitter (@doctornayaka), then you have seen how much I’ve been doing as both a hysterrunner and a scientist over the past month.  I’m aiming to make up for that this week and am going back to a regular blog schedule. Let’s see if that works! Winking smile

This week is National Women’s Health Week! Our health as women is important, especially if you are a hysterrunner.  This week we are asked to pledge as women to take steps to keep us healthy.  They are:

  • Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
  • Get active.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

These 5 steps are definitely a regular part of my routine.  Being a hysterrunner means being active and eating healthy to me.  It also means paying attention to our mental health and avoiding unhealthy behaviors.  I saw my doctor last Friday to get cleared before starting marathon training.  Yes, MARATHON training.  While I’ve been away from the blog, I ran in the Marine Corps 17.75K in Quantico and qualified to run in the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  I am ready to move on to my next personal challenge – my first marathon!!! Open-mouthed smile So excited!!!

2014-04-12 18.51.42

It is my goal over the next few months to share with you my journey to the marathon! The challenge coin we received states – EARN, COMMIT, TRAIN, INSPIRE, ACCOMPLISH. In April, I EARNed a place in the marathon.  This month is all about COMMIT.  To me, that includes getting cleared by the doctor, maintaining my basic level of fitness/running (15-25 miles/week), and building up my core strength.  In June and July, I will focus on my TRAINing.  In August and September, let’s see how we can INSPIRE each other. Then in October, I will ACCOMPLISH my goal to run a marathon!

What is your running challenge for this year? How are you doing with your running related goals?  Have you pledged to be a healthier you?

Don’t forget to go to the NWHW website and make the pledge to be a well woman. I’m taking steps for a HEALTHIER me!

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Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

Race # 10September 15th, 2013
Aiming for a PR!