Well, I didn't quite reach my goal of running 40 minutes by the end of January but I am still running relatively pain free so I can't really complain.
I did complain a little bit though because I have been feeling a little stagnated. I had been progressing nicely in my recovery program until I reached 30 minutes of running. I did that three times in a week and suddenly my shin pain was back. Not my stress fracture pain but my ol'faithful shin pain.
Geoff's instructions were very very clear. Repeat the week - do NOT add any time to ANY of your runs.
Yessir! (I almost saluted and clicked my heals as I said it).
I repeated the week. There was still pain but it was less.
Repeat it again he said.
I repeated a third time. Still pain but less again.
Then I got sick and was sidelined for a week.
So for the last month, I have been running thirty minutes runs, three times a week, like a gerbil on its little wheel. Round and round my neighbourhood.
I went to see Geoff last night and he explained that I should, you guessed it, repeat the thirty minute runs again for one more week. He was happy with my progress but he's being super cautious with me. I get it. I want to recover and be stronger than before. I don't want to be sidelined because I pushed too far too fast. He explained about tolerance zones. He doesn't want me to take on more time or distance until I build up my tolerance for the 30 minute zone. Once I can run 30 minutes without pain, that means my body has adjusted to that distance. Then I can move on to the next level. It makes sense.
I get it, I really really do. And, while I may ask a lot of questions, I'm a really obedient patient and will do as instructed.
This time though, I pushed a bit. "Geoff give me something man. I've been running 30 minutes for so long I'm going to lose it soon. Tell me to run 31 minutes. Heck, 30 minutes and 45 seconds. Anything but 30."
So he told me to try 35 minutes. If the pain increases at all, back off. But I'm allowed to try it.
I went home last night and ran, unbelievably, 30 minutes. I know - I'm a wuss. I just wanted to make sure I could handle that after a week off before I pushed beyond. Sunday though - watch out. This wild and crazy chick is going to be running for 2,100 whole seconds. That's 300 seconds more than last week.
Oh, and I told him my secret wish to be able to run the Women's half marathon in June. He said we'd have to see but it's a definite possibility.
Cue the happy dance music!