Today marks my first real run since December 18, 2013. There were three or four kinda-runs in there around the first week of January, but they barely qualify based on the criteria by which I normally classify runs. Then again, I don't think today's run counts either. Technically, the drought continues!
But I did put on both a sports bra and running shoes this morning with the intention of moving my legs in a running-esque motion so...
This return to running isn't actually the first time I've done this, nor is it the return from my longest time off. It isn't even my second in either of those categories. It's more like my fourth and third, respectively. Yeah, I had a few years where I would break something (shin), take 2 months off, run for 6 months and break something new but related (hip of the same leg), take 4 months off, and on and on.
I went through a couple of months where I had to walk with a cane, but was cleared to ride a bike, so I commuted to work on my bike, with my cane strapped to my backpack. What the cars behind me must have thought. A friend actually made stickers of flames so I could be like Dr. House.
Usually, my return is as ill-advised as my preceding crash-and-burn. After I ran Boston 2007 on an amazingly resilient stress fracture, I took 2 months off and my first run back was the first 4 miles of a friend's tempo long run. When I missed New York 2007 with a broken hip, I returned in March of the following year by, I think, running a 5k time trial with my triathlon club. I ran New York 2008 and shortly thereafter elected to start working with a triathlon coach, except that by the time our coaching relationship began in January 2009, I had broken a shin again. I can't remember if it was the same one or the other one.
To keep with history, today I rabbited the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games. Kidding!
But I did only run about a mile.
The only time I laughed at my ortho when he said to take so much time off was when he suggested how my return to running should look. We were decidedly on different pages. Maybe even reading different books. I thought an easy 20 minute run should do it. He wanted me to walk/run. And even worse than that, walk for a minute and run for 30 seconds, for a total of 10 minutes.
I...Is that...there has to be a rule against putting on running clothes for such an insignificant event.
Of course before I even went out I adjusted it to 1 min running/1 min walking because a run can't be more than half walking. And then once I went out, I adjusted it to 90 sec running/1 min walking, for a total of 20 minutes.
The worst part of returning to running is always the stress of expecting the pain to return, proving the time off wasn't the correct or whole answer. Shoulders are up to ears for the entire first (and first several) run because pain was the last sensation you remember from running and pain could be just around the corner again.
Anyway, it was mostly fine. It seems a decade's worth of medical training might be worth listening to, every once in a while.
I'm sorry to all the Austinites who saw a very out of shape women running the trail in her pajamas this morning. I promise to dress properly once my runs get long enough to warrant it. Although, by that point I'll probably just be injured again.