New Running Friend, One Fast Minute, and the Circuitous Path to Recovery

Sometimes one run contains a lot of drama.

Last Monday I finally ran with Rashi for the first time. Rashi is a new friend from work. I think we found each other through the university’s Title IX committee so at least one good thing has come out of that bit of craziness. Last fall we had lunch, we had coffee, we emailed, we talked running and writing and politics. It was clear we had really hit it off but we couldn’t get our running schedules to line up and then, boo hoo, no more running for me for awhile. Now, though, I am finally back at it and our schedules matched up on Presidents’ Day so off we went.

She even brought me some quinoa salad! Can’t wait to run with her again!

Running with Rashi turned out to be even more delightful than expected. We seem to have a never-ending supply of conversation topics. We are aiming for the same pace, with her keeping me in check a bit. She seems happy with the 30-40 minute outings I am doing right now. I think I could happily run a whole lot of miles with this woman and I hope the next few months bring exactly that.

At the end of this run, I was supposed to do 5 strides of 15 seconds each. At last a little tiny bit of speedier running. Yeah! Running from the university’s athletic center means the last bit of the run is on a straight flat path, great for this sort of thing, so I figured I’d do the strides there. If the discovery of a new and awesome running partner is the high part of this run, this is the low part. The strides themselves were completely fine. Immediately upon slowing after the very first one, my foot was Pissed Off. A lot Pissed Off. Shit. I tried a few more in case it loosened up, but no go. Jogged a bit and finally walked back to the car. Ugh. I literally ran faster for a grand total of one minute. Sixty seconds I am still paying for.

My foot hurt the rest of the day. I dragged my set of cups to work to see if I could fix it up, but it didn’t really help. I iced in between meetings, but it still hurt. By the end of the day I didn’t even feel like walking across campus and just drove myself over to the work dinner I had to attend. I ran a little bit Tuesday on the treadmill and it still hurt, though it got better rather than worse, over the duration of the run. Same story on Wednesday so Wednesday evening I asked the Maestro to take a crack at fixing it with his magic needles.

Normally this is kind of like magic. Or maybe voodoo.

Rose had to come along to this appointment, but she waited patiently. At least after the Maestro lent her his laptop, she waited patiently.

Thursday the foot really hurt a lot so instead of a beautiful post-work run with Rashi, I went for an angry swim with no swim-peace to be found. Friday morning it felt a little better so I tried another run, but it started hurting again later in the day. Back to the podiatrist and back to regular physical therapy. Running on hold, again. Sigh.

What am I learning from all this? I actually think those strides were a good idea. It’s about the minimum I could have imagined doing and it turned out to be too soon so kudos to the Celt for just a little itty bit of speed before trying something more serious. I feel like we are playing with the edge of what’s possible here in terms of recovery and I am ok with that approach.

On the other hand, mentally and emotionally, this is pretty brutal. Two weekends ago, I ran with my friends for the first part of their long run. Last weekend, I had a gorgeous run on a favorite route. This weekend, I am grounded again. I’m trying to maintain a Zen-mindset, but finding that pretty challenging to do. It’s especially hard later in the day when I’m tired or when my foot hurts. I’m trying not to bitch, but I’m not always managing that either. I am leaning very hard on my support crew these days, so thank you. You know who you are. I seem to be the kind of person who would rather fight for every millimeter of recovery I can get, when I can get it, even though my mood sometimes takes a nosedive when I push it a bit too much.


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