Back in Running Shoes

I did it! I ran for the first time in TEN weeks.

I’ll be honest- I was petrified to to do it. I have been going for walks for the last few weeks and put in quite a bit of distance, but no actual running.

It was yesterday. I set up a gel to run in the lab and then boogied for the locker room to change into the gym clothes that I’d been lugging around with me in hopes that eventually I would have both the time and the impetus to put them on. I had just enough time to change, get in a mile or so, change back, and get back to the lab.

PHD Comics provides these options for what to do while waiting for experiments to finish. “Go out and be atheltic” is not one of them. I may have lost my geek cred. (Strip from PHD Comics.com)

I figured that this would be a good way to make sure that I didn’t over do it by deciding Hey, 1 mile felt great, I’ll go for another 2! which would have been a bad thing.

I slapped on my good, supportive running socks instead of fun knee socks. I wore compression calf sleeves. I opted to stick with my Inov8 Bare-X Lites for running because the toe-box is so much better in them than in the fancy-pants Brooks Ravenna’s that constrict my poor little tootsies.

I set the Map My Run app on my phone to start recording and iHeartRadio to start playing. I began walking as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones serenaded me with “The Impression That I Get,” and told myself that when the song changed, I would start running. Then when that song changed, I’d walk again, but when Dicky wrapped up the final chorus, I froze. I can’t run. It’s going to hurt again. It’s going to hurt again and then I’m going to be told to rest for another 4 weeks and then I’ll cry. My inner fit had to hurry up and straighten itself out because I could hear the beginning of a Red Hot Chili Peppers song and I HAD to run. Go! Go! Go!

And I did. And it was good. I tried to be very conscious of my form, keeping my legs from criss-crossing, leaning forward slightly, and trying my darnedest not to land so hard on my heels. The latter seemed to be a lot easier to do in my Inov8s than in the clunkier Brooks.

Once “Higher Ground” was over,  I started walking again. I was being careful to keep my average pace at about 15min/M as the doctor requested I do. I walked to the Gin Blossoms’ “Follow You Down” and then started running again- this time without music because my ever-so-reliable 4G decided it no longer wanted to provide me with the signal that I pay good money for. I ran until I completed the loop around the campus and then walked the rest of the way back to my building.

I completed 1.25 miles at a pace of 14:48min/M. Far from record-breaking, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the zero miles at no pace that I had been doing. I did not feel the same pain that I felt when I had to stop running in the first place – just a slight twinge that felt more like regular old muscle pain- and I’m feeling no pain today. I’ll be putting in another mile or so tomorrow, time (and leg) permitting.

It feels so great to be back.