Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Glimmers of Hope

Signs of hope aren’t just showing up in the economy these days. They’re all over my legs.

Neil and I visited our nation’s capital last week (All I wanted was to see the president while we were in DC; 30 minutes into our trip, Obama rode by, waving, in his motorcade!), which provided ample distraction from my non-running.

Even if every 1/3 people on the DC streets was jogging. All the time.

Ben'sIt wasn’t all rest, however: we walked 10-15 miles each day, which averages more mileage than I run in average marathon training week! Neil (you can imagine) was thrilled! I’m one helluva vacation partner. At least we totally deserved those dogs at Ben's Chili Bowl.

We did the occasional street-crossing sprint. And by “occasional” I mean every 3-5 streets. It was rough at first—my achilles and calves were suffering big time—but stopped feeling dangerous after the first day and a half.

I was (this) close to taking a run, but I resisted.

Until today.

I’ve been resting since last, last Thursday. It made me a little anxious to not run for a week and a half. Sure, I’ve been cycling, stretching, yogaing and doing other aerobics. But would it be the same?

Well, it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t too bad either. I loaded my ipod with laid-back songs and struck out for a slow, short run. The pain wasn’t all gone and the stiffness stuck around at the start. But it was just feint pain and stiffness—as if I couldn’t quite forget what it was like to run in pain. I wasn’t optimistic.

Then around mile two, it started to rain and my legs warmed up. I picked up pace slightly (from 10’s to 9’s) and fought the urge to figure out what I could do.

After the first five miles, I felt great—in my achilles, calves, legs, lungs—so I took an extra mile lap around the neighborhood to run an even 6 miles. It was a good run back. Phew!

What’s next? I’ll start slowly building up to my workouts and see what I can get out of this last month. Sure, I’ll modify my time goals. In a few weeks.