Friday marked three weeks since my surgery, and today I moved into week four of recovery. Yesterday felt like a watershed moment, not only because of all the rain but as my incision sites felt much less uncomfortable. They itch and hurt less, and wearing pants feels much more tolerable. Not good, and I still wouldn’t want to wear regular jeans or other tight-waisted pants for an entire day yet (let’s be honest, who wants to wear tight-waisted pants?), but I’m not in pain from the moment I put them on until the moment I take them off.

I’ve really noticed this improvement in my walks, too. I’m able to take almost a normal stride without incisions pulling me up short. The smaller cut seems to have almost completely healed, and although its scar looks a lot uglier and rougher, I hardly notice it when I’m walking. The larger cut still has some scabbing at either end, but is healing cleanly. Incredibly enough, it may hardly even leave a scar. That cut still pulls me up short a bit, tugging as I try to use my stomach muscles or take longer steps.

Yesterday I took a brisker walk, four and a half miles to Benji’s school, and then 0.75 miles home from school at Benji’s pace.

Today I met up with our new neighbor in the rental house next door and showed her some of the secret woodland paths that wind through the Kingsgate neighborhoods.

We ended up doing my longest, most brisk walk to date, 6.6 miles with an average of a 15 minute mile. That’s a very decent pace for walking, and a good distance. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I actually did some real exercise since November 22, and it felt good. We’ll see if I still feel that way tomorrow!

For now, I’m hoping to keep up the longer Saturday walks, with one or two shorter walks per day midweek, until I switch to jogging. This week I walked 27 miles and almost 7 hours. It’s nothing compared with my regular biking routine, but it feels good to get moving in the right direction again.

I’m not sure what I’ll do when I can start jogging. The surgeon said to run on a treadmill, but didn’t explain why. Of course, I don’t already have a treadmill at home and I don’t intend to get one for one month. I could try to use Ian’s membership at the Woodinville Koko Fit Club to access their treadmills; Dad has offered to let me access the treadmills at his work; and I could potentially also come in as a guest on Benji’s Y membership. Or I could get a $15 one-month membership to the gym in the Columbia Center when I return to work in January.

But beyond the inconvenience, treadmills take boring to another level. I don’t mind running outside, but inside, staring at a wall, with your feet going thud thud thud and nary a variation in terrain — not my idea of a good time. Many a time I’ve commuted home by bike and felt sorry for the poor saps I could see through gym windows, jogging along going nowhere, while I got to spend my time outside actually getting somewhere.

I may…ahem…stretch the limits just a bit. Start by jogging on a treadmill until the New Year, then do the last 17 days until my surgery jogging outside. Call it a compromise. Just don’t tell the surgeon, OK?

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