PROGRESS, PROGRESS, AND MORE PROGRESS
A very fitting title considering it’s officially been 1 month since I’ve been in rehab/reduced mileage mode.
On this day, 1 month ago, I completed a very slow and painful 7 mile run. Then, the next day, I finally decided it was time to go to the chiropractor and get myself fixed. After that appointment, I was devastated, upset, and determined to get better. Stronger. Get back to loving every minute of every run, and, to run pain free. That’s it. At the end of the day, I just wanted to enjoy running again. Regardless of pace or mileage, I just wanted to get back out there. I never quite saw things going as well as they have these past 4 weeks.
I thought I wouldn’t be able to get back up to the 7-8 mile distance until November, but I’ll be tackling my first 7 miler this Sunday (September 30th). I thought I would lose all the progress I’ve made on back squatting, but during my last heavy leg day I was able to squat 170 lbs. Heck, I thought I would loose what little running ability and endurance I had. I was so scared that I would never be able to run like I used to. Here we are though, kicking ass and taking names one run at a time.
I know it’s only Wednesday and I’m only 1 month into this thing…but the Progress has been mind blowing.
I went from struggling to run 9:50-10:00 minute miles for pretty much any distance, to busting out 9:00-9:25 miles on a regular basis, no matter the distance. Sure, those first 4, 5, and 6 milers were slow, but they’ve gotten better. Easier to wrap my brand around if that makes sense. I know how to pace myself (kind of) to make sure I can go the entire distance without stopping or getting tied early on. I’ve found my individual routes that work best for each distance, and made it a goal to try to run each route a little bit faster each time.
I still have to ice my legs and pelvis daily. Stretching immediately after every workout/run is a must. And, I have to avoid the hills like it’s my job. Oh, and not run like a fool on the downhills, which isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Yeah, I’m not running 9 miles on a weekly basis, or busting out 35-40 mile weeks (yet), but I’m a hell of a lot farther along than I thought I would be. I haven’t given up or caved or strayed from my new routes…even though they get a little boring at time. I’ve committed myself to running smart, despite the countless reasons I have for wanting to do all the stupid things when it comes to running.
That brings us to today’s run, an all around bad ass 5 mile trek.
It was cold out, like I probably shouldn’t have ran it a t-shirt cold. And, like basically every other run, I took off like at lightening speed for that first lap. I knew it was going to be a magically good, one of a kind run when my iPod decided to play 2 Justin Beiber songs back to back like halfway through lap 1. I also knew I was going to have to slow things down a bit if I wanted to go for a faster 5 mile time…and not just settle for getting the miles in.
So, that’s exactly what I did. That second lap seemed to drag, probably because I was re-running the same old path I had just covered a short time ago. But, it was fun. I was barely sweating and it was way easier to breath now that there wasn’t a ton of humidity in the air. As I came to the end of lap 2, “Goin’ Round’ by Jordan Davis blaring through my earbuds, I almost hated to see such a good run end. Hated to have to stop the fun at the 5 mile mark, when I knew I had more miles in me. Obviously, my the time I had dragged ass up the mini hill and done my Main Street loop, I was back to counting down the songs til I was done. But, for that one fleeting moment, I felt like I could run forever.
That’s the first time that has happened in what feels like an eternity, especially during a longish run. I should have been tired (which I was cause 4:15 wake up call). I should have been over running in circle. But, for whatever reason, the last thing I wanted was to stop. Or, go back to my old super hilly, less circlely route. And, that’s the feeling I have been chasing all month long. It too soon, and I really don’t wanna jinx things, but I'm just gonna say it: I’m back. Maybe only at like 80 or 90%…but I’m back. Oh, and i ran 5 miles today at 9:28 pace..which is a super big deal (aka I should for sure be getting my Hogwarts letter any day now).