Friday night, at my sister's wedding, I danced for pretty much three hours straight wearing high heels. I don't think I've worn heels for three hours straight in years - never mind wearing them for nine hours and dancing in them for 3.
I figured that, best case, I'd be limping around on Saturday. Worst case, I'd be on the couch with ice packs and ibuprofen.
Surprise! Everything felt fine.
On Sunday, things still felt fine so I decided that Sunday was the day.
Day One of the Stress Fracture Return To Running Program.
Day One - walk 30 minutes. If everything feels fine during and after, move on to Day Two. If not, redo Day One the next day.
Everything felt fabulous. My legs were so glad to be moving on pavement again and my lungs were grateful for the fresh air. Swimming is great but the pool air leaves a little something to be desired.
Monday was Day 2 of the training. I had to walk 9 minutes and then run one. Repeat three times for a total of 30 minutes. I was busy, really busy, at work all day so I didn't think too much about it. Selena and I chatted a bit about the fact that I would be running (albeit only one minute) for the first time in almost 10 weeks but I didn't feel much other than mild excitement. We also talked about what to wear. Running clothes would be too cold since I'd only be running for three minutes out of 30. Winter walking attire would be too warm for the running parts.
I settled on winter walking snuggliness and figured I'd take the heat rather than be too cold. It's going to be trickier when I'm walking for only half the time but we're taking this day by day so day two = a big coat, my bright red Olympic mittens and my Ironman hat that Michelle and John gave me last year. I figure it would be good motivation!
I started walking and things felt fine. Checked my watch and saw that three minutes had passed. Then five. Then six. My stomach started churning and I was hit with a mild case of nerves. Three more minutes until I try running. What if it hurts? What if I can't run? What if what if what if....
Before full blown panic set in - my watch said 9:00 so I just started running. The first step felt fine. So did the second. I trotted along waiting for some dramatic pain to suddenly materialize. Sixty seconds later, I stopped running, resumed walking and felt 100% fine.
The first hurdle has been overcome.
It doesn't mean that things won't feel bad when I start running five minutes, or ten minutes but the odds feel a little more in my favour when I can run, even for a minute without pain.