Saturday, 13 April 2013

A pattern emerges

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.

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