Well, I took Michelle the Physio's advice and went for a run yesterday. I had spent the evening sending relaxing and supportive thoughts to my leg and went to bed in a good frame of mind. I was still feeling positive as I walked out the door to start the run and was feeling positive as I walked up the hill to the road. I felt positive as I did my warm-up stretches and as I started the Garmin. And then I started to run.
I tried to stay positive. I really did. I told myself that it was only tightness, I tried to focus on listening to The Moonstone, and I tried to focus on my form and on relaxing my legs but it was no use. I really really REALLY HURT. I only managed to do a limping shuffle for 10 seconds or so before I had to walk. I kept this up for a mile, telling myself all the time that I'd loosen up eventually. I didn't.
I stopped to do a thorough stretch and to have a bit of a sniffle to myself after a mile. If I had had my phone with me, I would have called Bassman to come and get me in the car. I decided - again - that doing the marathon was a ridiculous idea if running hurt this much. But I didn't have my phone so I either had to retrace my steps - which would mean going up a steep hill - or carry on. It was a lovely day - sunny, warm, and no wind - so I resolved to have a nice walk in the sun and to enjoy the fact that at least I didn't hurt when I was walking.
After another half-mile of speedy walking, it hit me - I really didn't hurt. I tried a tentative shuffle and felt...manageable discomfort. I shuffled a bit further. Same thing. In the spirit of experimentation, I put the rest of Michelle the Physio's advice into effect. I turned off my Garmin and switched from listening to The Moonstone to listening to my half-marathon playlist. I was going to try Running for Fun.
And it worked. I sang along to My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, Eminem, Nickelback, and Queen. I didn't worry about my speed but just ran what felt comfortable, noticing that the more I relaxed, the better my leg felt. I generally stuck with a 4 minute run/1 minute walk except for the times when I forgot to check the time because I was feeling so good. I ended up running for 6 miles and could have gone further. I wasn't discomfort free, but it was okay.
This morning, I don't feel too bad. My leg is tight and aching, but not horrrendously so. And it really does feel like tightness today. I don't think that I could manage to run today but then, I don't have to so that isn't really a problem. My plan is to try a double-digit run tomorrow. I don't have a specific number of miles in mind but I'd like to try to be out for at least two hours. I'm looking forward to it.
What I'm learning: 1) the first couple of miles are going to hurt but nothing bad happens as a result 2) I might have to walk A LOT during those miles 3) if I can get past the first couple of miles, I will feel better and 4) distraction works. Oh, and never give up.