I started my return to running program three days before my 8 weeks were up.
Don't tell anyone!
I just couldn't help myself and, I rationalized, I have an appointment with a sports injury doctor this morning and I wanted to be able to report how things were feeling. So I figured I had better get two days of the return to running program under my belt before I saw him...
So I walked for thirty minutes on Wednesday after work. I walked around and around our neighbourhood. Never going too far from home in case my foot started to hurt.
Despite a brisk pace and more pounding that it has had in months, there wasn't a twitch of pain or discomfort.
Last night I came home from work, changed into my shorts and running shirt and headed out with my Garmin on my wrist. The routine felt nauseatingly familiar. It is one I did 1 1/2 years ago when I was recovering from my first stress fracture that sidelined my marathon plans. I remember that first run well. I had to walk for nine minutes and then run for one. I remember those nine minutes going by much too quickly and being so desperately afraid of running for one minute. I was terrified of feeling pain and being sidelined for another few weeks.
A year and a half ago, I did not feel any pain when I ran that first minute. I did, however, feel desperately out of breath and was shocked at how hard it was to run for one minute. Depressing considering I had been running for three hours before I was injured.
Anyway, I have learned and grown since that time. This time, during my 7 1/2 weeks off running, I cycled and swam hard for to keep my fitness level where it should be. I knew what to expect. I knew what to do.
Still though, as I turned the corner last night and saw 8:45 on my Garmin, I couldn't quite believe I was walking down the same road, preparing to run down that same road, hoping that that same road would not cause me any pain.
At exactly 9:00 I ran. I ran for a minute. I ran at a 7:00min/k easy pace.
I didn't pant. I didn't struggle. I felt no pain. At all.
I repeated this routine twice more, walking for nine minutes and then running for one, for a total of 30 minutes. Nothing to report other than it feels pretty damn good to run again.
Today is a day off and then, on Saturday, I walk 8 minutes and run for 2 (three times) and on Sunday I walk for 7 minutes and run for 3 (three times).
These are early days yet but I am cautiously optimistic and enormously relieved that I have not felt any pain.
I'll let you know next week how the recovery is going. I'm trying not to think to far and not get ahead of myself but, if everything goes perfectly well, I'll be back up to the distance I need right on time for the Gravenhurst Olympic triathlon in July. If there is even a week setback, I won't be running the distance I need to compete.
So I'm thinking about it but trying not to thing about it.
Know what I mean?