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.