I know you’re all waiting with baited breath waiting to hear how my first run back after being sidelined went. Because NOTHING is more important than my running (I am so kidding by the way. There are a lot of things including cancer, Haiti, Afghanistan, the budget deficit, homeless people and starving children that are more important) I am going to let you know.
My run was completely uneventful. Given the circumstances I can’t ask for anything more or better than that. I woke up (popped out of bed is more like it– I was excited to go run!), did my normal thing and headed out the door. I forgot how fun it is to run in the dark while my neighborhood is still sleeping and how peaceful it is! Putting on my shoes and socks and traipsing around felt like coming home. Of course I wouldn’t be me and it wouldn’t be my kind of run if I didn’t get a little competitive out there and pass a few runners. I really wanted to fist-pump Jersey Shore style but that’s unsportsmanlike and unladylike so I refrained.
I actually had to stop a couple of times and stretch out the it band/piriformis and I’m still banned from hills so I walked down the one tiny incline we have but I didn’t care. I was so happy to be outside and running! 5 miles– check! And to be clear, I’m not 100% pain free or ready to run hard yet– I kept today easy– in the 9:00 range (I think, I’m not ready to strap on the Garmin yet) and stretched if I started to feel the it bite. And I won’t run tomorrow but I have hope that everything will work itself out. It didn’t seem like I’ve lost a ton of fitness although when I do speed work that will be the real test, but I’m moving forward and that makes me happy.
Honestly though, I was just grateful to be out there. Not to be trite, but given yesterday’s devastating quake in Haiti and a couple of really sad events that have happened around here this week I am just happy to be healthy and alive and able to do something I love. Because the ability to run is a privilege– I’m not running because I don’t have a car, have heart disease or diabetes, need to catch food or because someone is chasing me. I’m running because it’s fun and I love it.
Although I wouldn’t have asked for this injury, and I’m still not completely healed, I’m a little bit glad that it happened. I think a setback every now and then is good for our character. Without them we won’t appreciate the good times– the PRs, the mornings where everything is clicking and running feels like flying and the easy runs with friends. Having running taken away for a short time has reminded me to take nothing for granted. And it’s also reminded me that I really do love this sport. It is also a good opportunity to see what we’re made of. Like I said before, it is easy to be disciplined and train hard when everything is going well. It’s a whole different ball game to be proactive and disciplined when it is unpleasant. And now I know that I can and will be for awhile if necessary.
That said, I can’t wait to get out there and race hard.