Returning to Running

Running is starting to be a regular part of my schedule again and I am super overjoyed about that. I took about two months off, almost entirely. My last “real” run was 10/21 – nine miles that I almost certainly should not have run at all. The stupid plantar fasciitis hurt every step and instead of, say, not running, I told myself, enjoy every step of this, because you are going to have to shut this down now. Urg. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I did enjoy that run, but I also kind of wish I hadn’t gone. Anyway, done is done.

Sad Garmin Connect data from November and December

After that, we tried a few little tiny attempts at sprinkling running into my workouts, but it always hurt. I ran the Manchester Road Race on 11/24 and the Ugly Sweater run on 12/3 because the Celt and the Maestro didn’t think they would cause a lot more damage than was already done and because I really wanted to do those races.

I got creative about cross training. But not that creative.

No roller blading, but lots of swimming and biking and rowing and my usual strength training. Elliptical seemed to bother my foot and I hate that damn machine so only a little bit of that. One good thing about December was that the Celt was able to give me a workout schedule that mimicked what I would have done running. I had a couple of more difficult workouts a week to try to do non-running speed work and a big variety of other stuff. Having a regular schedule was very helpful in maintaining sanity. Then I got a cortisone shot on 12/8 and shut running off completely.

Despite the wine and chocolate, there was some serious heartbreak in there, not just about missing Philadelphia, but also doubting the whole running project, a lot of doubting my body, doubting my coach, doubting that this injury would ever end. One absolutely soul-crushing moment when the Maestro pushed back the return-to-running date yet again and I could hardly look at him. One thing I was all done doubting was my desire to run and to run faster. That was back in full force, but I am not sure if it made December harder or easier.

Then finally I did little test run on 12/28 at the Maestro’s clinic. I did a few more little tiny test runs. In early January, finally, a return to running, all intervals on the treadmill at first, but without pain. We gradually built to more continuous running and also running outside, only in good weather conditions, per Maestro’s instructions. I probably over-did it a bit and I had to abort one run in late January and then get a little dry needling re-set. Then another round of intervals, more exercises, some experiments with cupping (more on that later). Finally in the last week or so, I’ve had a few genuinely pain-free runs and one glorious Sunday morning outing with my running girlfriends.

January and February calendars on Garmin Connect already look a lot different!

Teacher Runner, Rooster, Early Bird and (finally!) me

The Sunday run with these ladies was best of all. “Only” 45 minutes and only 22.5 of them with my gang, but I am so incredibly grateful to be back out there again at last. Knock wood that things continue to go well!

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