Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength. -Unknown
The first attempt at running again was mostly successful. I say mostly because nothing is ever how you want it to be. I was cleared to run two weeks ago and thought it would be a good idea to run a half marathon. Of course despite you thinking an ACTUAL half marathon, I was just going to hop on the course with a friend of mine while she ran. Myself, I could only do around 2 miles, per doctors orders. So I drove up to Cleveland to support Kim at the River Run Half. My plan was to jump in around mile 10 or 11 and see how it goes. Well, this was not a very "spectator friendly" course and the majority of it was run through the metro parks. Great scenery for the runners, but tough for those cheering on to support everyone. I parked at the area high school and took the shuttle that they provided to take people to the finish line. The course started in Berea and was a straight shot north, so my only option was to walk the course backwards (I was walking forwards, since I wanted to see where I was going....come on I know someone chuckled) They told people to stay off the road and stay on the trail, which of course was fine, other than the fact the trail didn't always follow the road. I walked for about 45 minutes and came to a point where other spectators were. I figured this was the best spot and thought I was around the 10-11 mile mark. After chatting it up with a few people and cheering the racers on, I decided to walk down the course. I wasn't sure how close Kim was and I wasn't sure if I was "technically" allowed to just jump in and start running. I waited for a while, checked my watch and kept an eye out for Kim as I gave some support to the runners. Some seemed to be relieved, but I may have let a "keep it up, you're almost done" slip out of my mouth. By the look I got, I knew exactly what it meant, since they still had about 2-3 miles so they were not "almost done"...lol
Finally, I hear a voice yell "Hey Whinnem let's go" Sure enough it was Kim, sooner than I expected. I joined her on the course. Now, a side note, this is also just when one of the "pace cars" passed, so here's me, worried I'm going to get in trouble as we run behind the people in charge of the race. (Guess I need to get used to hopping on courses though at least for the next month) :-) She told me that she has not stopped once and was feeling good. Once I heard that, I felt the need to make sure she didn't stop and I could tell she was checking to make sure I was feeling ok and not dying...LOL I felt really good and ended up running a faster pace than I anticipated. I got to experience Kim's quirky noises that she lets out out of the blue as she runs. The first "whoooooo" caught me off guard and made me laugh. I made it until just before the 13 mile mark and hopped off the course and walked the trail back to the finish. Kim ended up crushing her best time and for the first time ever completed the half without stopping, so I was pretty proud of her.
We waited near the finish line to cheer on her friend Michele who was running the half as part of her marathon training. Speaking of marathon training, as we stood there, Jodi met us after her 20 mile training run. Her, Mellisa and Deb headed out on the trails bright and early for their training runs, but Jodi was the only lucky one to have 20 miles that day....heehee
The after effects....My legs felt pretty good. I obviously can't complain being that I was with people that just ran a half marathon. The days following it were a bit off. I started feeling pain in the area of my leg that I had the stress fracture and all I could think of is "damn, I overdid it". I came to the conclusion that it was mainly due to me running on the "uneven" road of the metro park, which makes sense. Even so, I decided to just back off and just hit the elliptical later in the week. My feet were a bit sore as well, but nothing painful, just needed to do alot of stretching. This past weekend I tested my legs again, not with a run, but 18 holes of golf. Ya, used some muscles that have quiet for awhile, due to my not-so-proper form.
Yesterday marked my LAST DAY for physical therapy as I was discharged. She told me that I'm at a point where I can do everything on my own. She was a bit concerned over the soreness in the bottom of my feet, but thought it would be ok. I actually didn't even realize she was discharging me. Her assistant was giving me ultra sound and mentioned it and I had a blank look on my face. I have to say I have mixed feelings about it. Sure, it's great, but there is also uncertainty. What if the pain comes back, what if it's not healed. Guess the only way to find out is to get back on the horse, so to speak.
This morning was my final follow up with the sports doctor. He was happy to hear about the end of PT and pleased with my updates. He agreed with my assessment of the soreness being due to the uneven road and told me I should be fine. We chatted about his upcoming marathon and he said he is in his taper mode. This weekend will be the first long run under 20 miles in about a month or 2. He's running the Chicago marathon and hoping to break 3 hrs for the first time. I told him I'd join him for a few miles but something tells me I wouldn't keep up. My "plans" as far as what I'd be doing for runs are pretty straight forward. Nothing too long, just enough to build a base up. I figure if I can consistently get up to 3-4 miles in the next few weeks and get my cardio back, that would work for me. Especially considering the races that I will be "joining in"....lol A new pair of shoes are in the future though and possibly orthodics.
So for me it's just getting back out there and being smart, something I'm not known for....so we'll see. :-)
Until next time.....