Friday, November 16, 2007

Slowly, but surely: Repeat that to yourself

After my first five days back in the game, I’ve covered nine—count ’em!—NINE miles: two on Monday, three Wednesday, four today. Nine. Over five days. How far the not-so-mighty have fallen. But this is recovery time. And one of these days I’ll recover my confidence as well.

I ran at the rec. center today and Monday, but took these running legs outside for what appears to be the last nice day of the year on Wednesday. It was just a jaunt around my neighborhood (I knew I wasn’t going far) around a 9:30/mile pace. Not only was it comfortable, but mildly reassuring. I kept up a decent pace while climbing some hills, fighting off my remaining leg paranoia and not feeling any pain. Just like Monday, it was difficult to stop at the end of mile three, but I designed my run to complete mile three at my front door, so the temptation wouldn’t be there to Run! G! Run!

Today I headed to the rec. center around 8 a.m. I’ve wimped out for track running because a) I’m a wimp; b) I’m a wimp about the cold; and c) I thought I’d give my healing leg some tracky cushion for now. It’s sad to think back to last winter when I ran in snowstorms and -20 wind chills. Am I saner now or just a weakling?

Whatever I’ve become, I think I’m learning to be more honest with myself—and all it took was a sidelining leg fracture to get me there! After stretching (I had been doing yoga in the morning before running, but I was hoping for a faster start today) a bit, I hit the track at a slow pace and felt a little creakedy in my bones. I hit the first half-mile at 10:30 pace, started feeling warmed and brought in mile one at 9:56. So, I picked it up a notch and hit mile two at 19:01 (around 9:05/mile).

I thought I would turn it up again—because I am like Pavlov’s dog and I need a distinct sign to tell me when to drool or sharp pain when I need to slow—and ran the first half of mile three in 4:20 (8:40 pace). Right at the halfway point of my fourth lap, my leg started feeling a little achey. Nothing bad, nothing sharp, nothing breaky. It actually felt like a twinge in my injured tendon.

But I didn’t slow down. I stopped. I stretched the thing out for a minute and started to walk. I felt no pain at all while walking (it actually felt a little better than standing still), so I took a mile to walk and then hit a stationary bike. After 20 minutes cycling, I hit the track for the last 1.5 miles around a 9:30 pace. I was surprised to find transitioning was still pretty easy—even if it was only a 20-minute “ride.” Now, if only I could actually cycle well, I’d have this tri thing rolling!

With my leg doing all right, I still came home to some 800-mg ibuprofen monsters and a little icing. I don’t think it actually needed icing, but I wanted to be safe. No swelling wanted here.

And finally: Skippy headed off to the doggy spa in the sky on Tuesday. He will be missed and continue to be the high watermark against which all dogs and loving family members are measured.


Papa Louie said...

And besides it's the off-season so enjoy the easy pace. You'll be back at it soon enough.

miss petite america said...

i totally second papa louie! don't be so hard on yourself chica. you've got bionic legs, i know it :)