SUMMER SNIPPET #7: EIGHT (MILES) IS ENOUGH…
Last post I mentioned my chest cold was finally letting up and it was time to get back to pounding pavement (after two full weeks of inactivity).
So, I went for an short run last Tuesday to test the waters.
And it did not go well. Not well at all.
I started labored breathing around mile two and after three miles I threw in the towel. Either I was still a bit ill or my body had utterly forgotten how to run. (I hoped it was the former).
Let’s just say I desperately needed a “mulligan.”
I ended up resting another two days (to make sure the hacking and coughing were indeed done) and then doing a little elliptical work at the gym on Friday. It certainly wasn’t what I would considered an “A-level” workout (“remedial” is more like it), but at least I got through without “harfing” up a lung.
My layoff from earlier this summer, coupled with this seemingly never-ending cold, made me feel like I was a back to square one. Well, maybe not at square one, but certainly “square one adjacent.”
And the calendar on my computer reminded me that my next half marathon (REVEL Big Cottonwood) is in about 5 weeks. Yikes!
Given my normal training regimen to prep for a half marathon, at this point I should be doing breezing through 9-10 mile long runs. I had just flopped after three miles. Yikes again!
So Saturday morning was kind of a moment of truth run.
I laced up my shoes and headed off to Griffith Park.
My hope was to run 8 miles, which would at least get me back on track for Big Cottonwood. Anything less and I’d have to consider possibly deferring Big Cottonwood.
Oh, and I should add that I was also breaking in my new orthotics hoping they wouldn’t blister the hell out of my feet.
I ended up choosing a very familiar and friendly route… a flat out and back course that I’ve run countless times. Perhaps the running route equivalent of “comfort food.”
I made a pact with myself not to worry about my pace at all. The goal was simply to finish.
So I turned on my headphones and Garmin.
And I ran.
Around mile two, I started to breathe heavier than I was hoping. Not a good sign.
But I took all of that doubt and shoved it down deep, while cranking up my headphones.
And I ran.
At mile 3, my right orthotic was bugging me a bit as it was rubbing the back of my heel more than I wanted. I chalked it up to just needing a little breaking in. So I toughed it out.
And I ran.
At mile 4 (my turnaround) I suddenly felt much better and stronger. I don’t know the reason… sometimes it’s best not to question the running gods… but it made me crack a big ole grin.
And I ran.
The second half of the run seemed to whiz by a lot faster than the first half. Now I did start showing some signs of fatigue around mile 7, but I didn’t slow my pace and powered through to the finish. I stopped my Garmin and clicked off my headphones.
Not a fast run, and certainly not a pretty run.
But I had run. And more importantly, I had finished.
Now, I’ve got a lot of work to do in the next month to get ready for Big Cottonwood (and my fall race schedule).
But after several weeks of backpedalling, I finally seem to be taking some steps in the right direction.
Put one foot in front of the other… and Run on!