Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I had every intention of spinning today when I went to bed last night.  I would get up, clean my basement, get the kids off to school and head to the 9:15 spinning class.  I would get beaten for 45 minutes and leave in an exhausted and sweaty state.  That was my intention.

Instead, today, I went for a run.

I am definitely much better, but still not ready to go full throttle.  I think I will need another 2 weeks or so.. just like Dr. Burger said "roughly 6 weeks".  Today I am at 4 1/2.  I am, however, happy.  No, I am actually downright euphoric over my running experience today.

I decided to go to the park and hit the trails.  I was instructed to start on softer surfaces when I started running again.  I parked by the outer loop of the 7.6 mile trail and slowly jogged up to the wooded trail.  I felt the impact immediately.  Not pain.  So I kept going.  I promised myself if I reached a 4-5 on a pain scale of 1-10, I would stop (1 being "barely noticeable" and 10 being "arm ripped off by a bear painful"... I imagine that is pretty painful).  I was at a "2" I would guess.  I turned left and headed into the woods, still jogging rather slowly.  I could smell the wet leaves.  A smell I would describe as "awesome".  This is my favorite time of year to run.  This and winter, when the streets are clean, but the grass and trees are snow covered.  I had yet to experience this smell this year, and thanks to the rain yesterday, it was quite strong.  The trail was covered in beautiful red, yellow and orange leaves.  I had a great song playing on my shuffle and I simply couldn't help myself.  I began to pick up the pace.  With the pace picked up again, my scale climbed to a "3".  I was very aware of what I was feeling, but still felt I was not being too careless.  I checked my breathing.  I felt wonderful, strong and happy.  Now I came to the part of the trail where there is a nice sized hill.  It's a rather steep climb and really gets the heart pumping.  "Here's where it's going to hit me that I haven't run in a few weeks."  I took a deep breath and began climbing.  I felt ok, so I ran harder... still doing well, so I gave it everything.  I wanted to see just how behind I'd gotten.  The leg was holding steady at a "3".  The hill seemed to easy the "feeling" a bit.  Strong and relaxed, but breathing very heavily, I reached the top.  With no one around to see it, a big smile spread across my face.  I haven't missed a beat.  Whatever combo of strength and cross training I'm doing, well it is keeping me in the game.  I am still a runner, I still love it and I can still kick ass!

I ran about 3 1/2 miles today.  I reached my tolerated level of 4-5 before I got back to pavement, so I walked the rest of the way to my car.  At times, my leg whispered "Girl, you are playing with fire."  But my mind said "Run, girl, RUN!  So I listened to both.  I ran like a fool, but I stopped when I reached the point I had promised myself I would.  I am not ready to hit the road.  I will continue my cross-training and strength routine for the next couple of weeks.  

Today I eased that panicked runner in my head that is fretting about losing running fitness.  I am going to be ok when the time is right to begin again... and just knowing this, will carry me through the next couple of weeks relaxed and confident.

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