Why am I posting such an unflattering shot of me on the internet? Cause I took if after running for the first time since my injury this past Saturday!! I mean, if that the face of a happy runner after a (pretty) good 10 miler or what?!
Finally. Although I only haven’t been running for 3 weeks, it seriously seems like an eternity. I seriously can’t imagine being injured for much longer-I have been feeling so ancy and determined to lace up my running shoes. The elliptical just doesn’t cut it. AT ALL. It’s funny that some people can go forever on the elliptical and get bored after 5 while running, when I am completely the opposite. Anyway, after suffering through three miserable weeks of ellipticalling and pain, I got back out.
I have to say, though, I was so incredibly nervous to run again. I was so scared of re-injuring myself or getting back into running too soon causing more problems. Would my knee basically give out after 5 minutes leaving me even more defeated? Ugh-I couldn’t stop thinking about it. But I just wanted to get out there! And so I did.
How was it? I wish I could say it was the best run I’ve ever had. That I basically hit nirvana when I started running because it felt to great to get back into it. Yeah-no. I mean, it wasn’t a bad run, but I could definitely tell I hadn’t run in three weeks. Ellipticalling and biking does not make up for the workout running gives me-it was hard. I had a really hard time getting into a good rhythm and couldn’t get a good pace. I tend to be really good keeping at my pace when I run my long runs (9 min/mile) but I think I lost my touch this past Saturday (well, hopefully just temporarily) but I started out waaaay too fast and ended up at the end of mile 4 only 30 minutes in. That’s 7 1/2 minute miles! Whoa-too fast. When I run long runs, I need to keep a slow pace in order to maintain enough energy to finish. Duh! So, I messed up this time. I mean, I slowed down significantly but was still exhausted by about 3/4 of the way through because of my initial speediness. And my legs just felt a little awkward. Not really sure what happened there-just out of practice for a bit. I’m sure I’ll feel right at home soon.
Any my knee? It hurt a little-more of a subtle pain, like a nagging injury (which this is), NOTHING like it was before. Not even close to how it was when it started hurting a few weeks back. But, I put so much of my energy towards thinking about and focusing on my knee, determined to stop the second it hurt a little too much, that it exhausted it me a weird way. I couldn’t enjoy myself as much because I was thinking about it too much-I barely paid attention to my surroundings, my music or my enjoyment. However, I think it was necessary: better to have a less than stellar run than end a worse injury because I wasn’t paying attention. It didn’t get worse than how it started while running but I did feel a bit stiff in the end. Nothing to be concerned about and not even close to how it was before. Not even comparable.
I’m focusing too much on the negative here-I’m not a negative person in the slightest and don’t view running like that at all. It still was a good run! I was so excited and happy to be running again that I couldn’t not end my run in a good and uber-excited mood. I did a pretty solid 10 miles on a beautiful day and that’s all I could ask for. It doesn’t matter to me that the run wasn’t great, I’m back on my feet and out the door again. As I’ve mentioned probably millions of times before, running is probably my favorite thing and brings me so much pleasure and accomplishment to my life that no matter how bad a run is, it’s a always a good thing.
And next? I think for the next three or so weeks I’m going to continue running only once a week to prevent injury and promote healing and after that….oh, I’ve got big running plans. Really big running plans. Stay tuned…