The Slippery Slope

It’s been a while.

That’s because I promised myself I wouldn’t go down the slippery slope of self-pity; I wouldn’t blog until I have something positive to announce.

And I do! The pity party just might be over. I’ve been able to run short spurts without feeling terrible pain the next day. It’s been about three weeks and I’m slowly building up to something that feels like running again, even if it’s a 14 minute mile pace.

Since last spring, I’ve optimistically had this Return to Running program my physical therapist recommended taped to my fridge. I’ve tried to make a come back several times, but each time it would end in enough pain (usually the day after, not while running) that I had to pull back.

PT guy’s magic formula

This time, no pain the next day. I do stretch, take Advil and put my whole foot up to the calf in a bucket of ice water afterwards. I will have to get someone to take a picture of the face I make when I do that. I think I am about Phase 4, although I am too right brain to set a timer when I run. I do use Runkeeper and every time a happy woman tells me my pace at 5 minute intervals, I run 4 blocks. These are big blocks in my neighborhood.

Yet, I am not quite celebrating. I’m still scared out of my mind that one day I’ll push too hard or the old gimpy foot will just not cooperate. It never seems to feel quite like the left foot; it definitely lacks the same flexibility so every night I get my elastic bands out and whenever I find a moment I stretch it on stairs or against a wall.

This past weekend I watched my good friend Tony go through the agonies of an Ironman, the ultimate triathlon: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and then a full marathon run. He did great and I was glued to the online tracker in suspense. Part of me felt a little responsible because SUPPOSEDLY I was the one who came up with the “great idea” by asking him last year if he had ever thought about doing an Ironman. That set the gears moving, and in spite of having a newborn baby he planned his life out so he could do it. His supportive and loving wife Rachael helped him get there, but also he just had the “get-up and go” to train hours and never lose sight of his goals. I spent some hours in the pool with him and on the bike, but didn’t come near the distances he was putting in because of my injury, among other things!

If you’d asked me when I met Tony if I thought it was a good idea that he do an Ironman I would have told you he was nuts and people push themselves too far. Now I appreciate the desire to go out there and see where your limits are and to keep believing against all odds that you will get there.

I know my pathway is not finished. I am going to set some new goals and will get there with a lot of dedication and faith that it can all come together. Am I where I want to be? No. My morning wardrobe-shredding routine would tell you that I’m fed up with not fitting in the clothes I bought last year (fortunately second-hand!). Am I getting closer? Yes. I’m back at more of a routine with regular outdoor walk/runs, weights at the gym and a plan to get in the pool and back on my bike (maybe just a short 15 miler) this weekend.

Today I’m dying to go out and run, so I’m hoping this blog will make me sit back and appreciate my “off-day” on the Return to Running phases. I do have a date with my dog to hit the pavement as a little walking might get me closer to getting back into my jeans.

Get out and enjoy your week! Pick some apples, bake some pie and go for a beautiful Indian Summer run or bike ride.


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