After 9 days of regular stretching combined with the anti-inflamatory my doctor prescribed me, I attempted a run yesterday. I'm not sure if it is the drugs or the superpowers of my magic bracelet, but I ran for 35 minutes without stopping. And more importantly, without PAIN.
When the alarm went off at 6 AM, the LAST thing I wanted to do was get out of bed. Our gorgeous spring has given way to rain, drizzle, fog, overcast skies, and cool temps -- basically, May traded identities with April this year -- not exactly the stuff of energetic mornings! But I was determined to run. I put on warmer clothes than usual, fired up my favorite iPod mix, and just as I was leaving my bedroom, I spied my blue rubber bracelet on my dresser.
"I Am A Runner."
If you don't frequent The Runners Lounge, I encourage you to do so - it is a great internet "living room" for those of us who want to sit around and gab about running. They have recently resurrected their fabulous blog, and it is fitting that I'm writing this today, because I hope they'll ALSO resurrect their weekly tradition of "Take it and Run Thursdays," a time when the running / blogging community all writes on the same topic and shares links. It's a community that I found when I was training for the marathon. The founders of the blog graciously sent us all these rubber bracelets as promotional pieces... and for me, that silly bracelet is the pièce de résistance to my running ensemble. Just like superheroes have their bullet-deflecting wrist-cuffs, I have my magic bracelet -- when I wear it, I feel strong and invincible.
It is with that mindset that I walked out my back door and hit the pavement yesterday. I started out walking briskly, to get the HR up, and to make absolutely sure that my foot wasn't in pain -- 55 minutes later, I was walking back through that same door, breathless, sweaty, and wanting to cry from happiness. Finally -- I was BACK.
The most frustrating part of this past year has been the Catch22 that comes with this sort of lifestyle change / injury: I gained some weight back due to the lack of exercise. Part of the lack of exercise was due to the new role of "cubicle monkey," but part of it was due to the pain in my foot. I'm not sure which caused which (did I gain weight because of the foot pain, or did I have foot pain because of the weight gain?) but I got stuck in this circular battle between the two negatively-symbiotic issues, where the very things I needed to do in order to LOSE the weight, I couldn't do, as a result of having gained it in the first place.
Whew. Does that make sense?
Anyway - the point is: I'm back in business.
This morning, I awoke to the familiar soreness of running: tight abs and tight hips... I decided the best way to loosen up would be a leisurely morning swim. Just under a mile in 46 minutes.
Not bad at all.
My feet don't hurt, my head is one straight, and I Am A Runner.
Off and running,