released

Guess what?!  I’ve been cleared to run 1 mile!!! I am ecstatic but something inside me is saying, “Don’t get too excited yet…you have tried this before.”  And I have, but it didn’t last.  I thought I was ready but I wasn’t…at least, I wasn’t ready to run 5 miles, like the overzealous idiot I was.  Soooo, I’m running 1.  That’s what my physical therapist told me to do and that’s what I’ll do.  I’m following the rules.  Trusting the process.  I want to get better.

stronger

I know I have gone on and on about this whole process, and trust me, I’m as ready as you are for it to be over.  I just want to run.  Yes, I love my new workouts, and I will never again have running as my only activity.  I firmly believe that strength training, as well as yoga and Pilates, all have a place in my workout regimen, however, I want to run.

There’s just something about being outside under the big blue sky that gives me such a relief.  Ah!  Putting one foot in front of the other.  Seeing how far my legs will dare to take me.  Pushing it just one more minute, one more mile.  Not wanting, but at the same time, desperately wanting, for it to be over.

Running doesn’t feel good when you’re doing it.  Any of y’all who think it’s supposed to feel good, I’m sorry, you’ve been mislead.  Your legs and lungs ache, begging you to stop…but you don’t.  That‘s what feels so good.  The accomplishment when it is over.  The view from the top of the hill.  The complete exhaustion.  The cool breeze on your sweaty skin.  The view of the sunset.  The reflection.  Oh, yes, the reflection.  Reflecting on what you just did.  And, it’s not always a proud reflection.  I have no romanticisms about that.  I remember the bad runs just as well as the good ones.  Yet, still, you remember and you press on.

What is your favorite part of running?

How do you stay strong when you have to take a break?

 

time to heal

Today, I finally started physical therapy for the nagging knee injury that started way back in January.  No, not this January, last January, as in 2013.  Yep.  I’m a procrastinator.  The honest to goodness truth is I thought I could just rest it out.  Take a break from running and it would be no more, but it just so happened I was in the middle of marathon training.  I did rest it from running.  I did the whole aqua jogging thing.  I rode the bike for hours at the gym.  You know what I didn’t do?  Strength train.  That’s the one thing I held back from my body while tearing it down to run 26.2.

healing

Back to physical therapy, from my MRI scan last month I learned that I had a medial hamstring strain and a posterior capsular sprain.  So, basically, I’ve had a pulled hamstring for over a year.  It has never healed because I haven’t properly taken care of it or had it treated.

I was so happy leaving that place because the doctor was so nice and she understood what I told her when I explained, “the back of my knee feels like a rubber band pulled taunt that gets plucked when I run.”  I have no other way to explain the feeling but that’s what it was.  She asked me a few questions about it and I was confident that she just knew.

I can’t express the relief that I am feeling right now.  I am not getting my hopes up yet.  It was only my first session and I’m not running yet, but it’s coming!  I cannot wait.  Spring is here.  I’m ready to run.

And, there’s this…maybe I need more time at the ocean 😉

salt water heals

Determined

Today I completed 5 miles for the first time in several months.

 5miles

It wasn’t my fastest but also wasn’t my slowest either.  I started out running 4 years ago at a 12:00 min/mile pace.  I ran my first half marathon in 2:40 in 2010.  I was ecstatic with those results at that time but I have also taken nearly 50 minutes off of that time since then.  We all have to start somewhere that’s what I tell everyone who is “amazed” at my running or feels like they could never run as fast or as far as me.  (Disclaimer:  I am not fast in my eyes but do have the determination to run far as far as I feel like anyway.)

I ran at ye olde alma mater today.

track I live really close to my old high school so it’s convenient.  This is also where I trained for that first half, oh so many years ago.  I was naïve and inexperienced but I was determined.  I ran up to 12 miles on this track and around this parking lot.  I didn’t realize that there were other places to run and that there was such a large running community right here.

parkinglot

Five miles on a track sounds reee-donkulous to anyone who isn’t a track star, much less 12.  I am not anywhere near a track star, nor was I ever.  I never ran track in high school or college.  In fact, I didn’t start running until 4 years ago, at the age of 26, after the end of a 4-year tumultuous relationship.  I wouldn’t say that I started running to get through that.  It just kinda happened.

The freedom that I gained through running made me realize that I was so much more than I had been being.  (Not sure if that’s grammatically correct, but whatever.)  I had let myself become trapped and now I was free.  That’s a great feeling.  A feeling that I have been missing since my tendinitis flare up and struggle to get back to running.  I didn’t realize how much I needed that feeling of me, running, pushing my body and my mind.

Today, I finished 5 miles.  Ask anyone who knows me.  Five miles is my favorite training distance.  Not too far but far enough to get to that satisfying pace and rhythm.  I wasn’t sure if I would make it.  That’s why I ran at the track.  I didn’t want to get 2.5 miles away from my car and not have a way back.  I was safe at the track.  I could stop whenever I wanted needed to.  I won’t say that there weren’t hiccups, because there were a few times I thought I had hit that point of not pushing it any further.

But I finished.  When my watch hit 5.00 I threw my hands up in the air like I had just finished a marathon.  You know the move.  I am glad no one else was out there because they may have wondered what race I was running on my own.  Ha!  I walked to where I had left my stuff and stretched that hamstring like no other so that I could make it to run another day.  Then I may or may not have had a solo dance party to some Christina.

stretching

I am determined.  I am determined to run. I am determined to finish.  I will get back to where I was but it’s going to take some work on my part and I’m ready.

And that’s not all that made my day great!  I got home to this wonderful package!  I can’t wait to run the relay next weekend wearing these shirts.  If you’re interested in a shirt, let me know!  I can hook you up with Beth at runningintheword.com.  (She’s awesome, btw)

ritw shirts

What are you struggling with right now?

What do you love about running?

How have you gotten over injuries?

P.S. Isn’t Fall beautiful?