Just like that, it’s been almost another month since I have gotten out to run…or really, walk/run. The first phase of my running recovery plan involves not so much running and more just walking, but I was eager to continue the road to recovery. My first walk/run didn’t go so well – walking 3 minutes and running for 1 over the course of 30 minutes. My bum tendon was sore, swollen, and generally unhappy.
My physical therapist set a lower bar. 5 minutes of walking, 1 minute of running. Repeated three times. So basically running for three minutes. What a snoozefest…but I’ll take what I can get. I was ready to get back out in a few days and try again.
Then, I had an allergic reaction to the tape I was using on my ankle. My entire leg was covered in hives and was severely itchy. couldn’t start using different tape until that rash went away. And I couldn’t start running without tape to support my tendon. Sigh.
Fast forward two weeks,the rash is finally gone, but it’s snowing cats and dogs (that’s a thing, right?). This morning, it was only eight degrees, but the sidewalks had melted in yesterday’s sun so I couldn’t resist the temptation. I walk/ran my heart out, and by that I mean I slowly jogged and power walked most of the way.
My original goal for 2015 was the Boulder Bolder 10k, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that my only goal now is to simply get healthy. I’ve learned to accept little victories, like a successful walk/run even when I only cumulatively jog – slowly – for three minutes. Tomorrow, a big win for me will be a tendon that is not sore or swollen.
I’ve also learned this doesn’t make me a failure. I’m still a runner. Even if I’m not training for anything and I’m averaging a 20 minute mile. I’m still out there doing it, and the biggest victory is having the self-restraint to strictly adhere to my recovery plan and truly come back at 100%.
I got to feel that rush you can only get from running, a feeling that was once completely foreign to me. I’m trying to remember to celebrate the fact that I actually look forward to and enjoy running, because there were days not too long ago that I sputtered and cursed my way through a lap around the block. I try not to focus on the fitness I lose, while also combating that with strength training at home. Slowly, but surely, I’ll be back at it. For now, it’s just me and a bag of frozen peas, relaxing after an exhilarating three minutes of running.