Spartan Shape-Up, Day 348:
Sitting here in a dry pair of my bionic pants (Yeah, CW-X!), my hair frizzed out and drying and some ice on my knee, I have some GREAT NEWS, BlogLand!
I ran a whole 2 miles tonight! WEEE!!!!! It's been 3 weeks since I've been able to run more than 10 steps. I've been grounded, stalled, ouchy, limping, whiny and SO. UNHAPPY. The physical therapist told me that I should try a run today, since he adjusted me on Thursday and I spent the weekend icing, stretching and healing.... but I was to go easy.
It was weird, though... I was scared to go attempt the run. What if I tried to go for the run and I was stopped after a quarter of a mile, or the pain came back? It would mean that I'd have more time off track (no pun intended) while I healed. I was not sure I was going to be able to handle anymore time "off". As much as I wanted to go run, facing the potential reality that I was not yet better, was a little bit nervewracking.
However, I've got a Spartan Race in two weeks that I am determined I'm going to be at, so I might as well get myself a progress report with this knee now.
I laced up my faithful Inov8's (... and noted that they have seen better days. I'm not sure they're going to make it through race season... I am SO SAD. I need to become independently wealthy to be able to afford this habit. ), donned my spandex and headed out the door.
Both my GT and the PT told me I should be very mindful of warming up and cooling down, so I took a 10 minute walk to get my muscles moving... and then lifted into a light, easy run. One block, two blocks..... no pain. My knee felt okay! I have to admit, I struggled keeping the pace easy at that point, because it felt okay... I just wanted to RUN. It's been really pent up in me for 3 weeks, because I've been so limited in my crossfit time even, in addition to my running.... and there was a LOT of run in me. I kept having to check back my pace, to make sure I wasn't going too hard on this initial time out (... no. 9 min miles are not "easy"...). That said, I decided I should try a little incline, as they had been a big instigator of pain in my knee.... I grit my teeth, rounded the corner to the hill and continued up..... no pain. YES!
Just as I had that joyous revelation, the sky opened up. Literally, it downpoured. Torrential epic rains from the sky.... So... stuffed my phone in my sports bra and kept running. I absolutely love running in the rain. It was like the Cosmos were giving me a little reward for hanging out, getting through this training obstacle and getting back to it. I was running without pain, through the rain, soaked to the skin and smiling. All was getting back to well in Aja-land.
I won't lie, BlogLand, the people in the cars must've pretty much thought I was nuts. I was running through my (well-lit) downtown, and there was a ton of traffic. Unless you're a crazy runner (I know most of you are!), you just don't appreciate what's happening when you see someone running at 8:30pm, running in the rain.... and yes, I was splashing through the big puddles! Spartans aren't afraid of a little water.... ;-)
As I trotted back to my house, after just that short 2 miles (it was a struggle to turn for home!), I reminded myself that I really needed to focus and not forget that I was still healing. I needed to cool down. So, another mile of walking to round out the evening. When I got home, I even donned my bionic (cw-x!) compression pants, stretched and stuck some ice on my knee to make sure I was doing everything right. There is no room for it to get more inflamed or keep hurting. I do not have the time nor the desire to continue to deal with this... so I'm trying to follow the directions of my experts.
This morning, I'm really happy to say that it feels like it's pulling, just a little bit.... so I need to keep up on my stretching and keeping the movement light... but it's definitely progress. It is definitely not hurting though, and no where near as stiff and uncomfortable as it has been previously. Deep Breaths, BlogLand, we're all going to be okay.
Having said that, this time has really forced me to have some weird revelations. (Are you ready for this?) I actually LIKE running.
Okay. Wait. That's a lie.
I don't actually like the process of running, necessarily (we're mostly at a happy neutral), but I do like the feeling I get when I finish and the sense of accomplishment from adding another mile, or shaving some more time off my mile times. I had MISSED it, even though I don't entirely love it. Who thought I'd ever say that? (My GT insists he knew that would happen.)
I have really, truly missed Crossfit though, and I'm thinking that maybe this weekend I'll be able to get a chance to go to a class and test out my knee. WEE.
The lesson here is simply, It's Going to Be Okay, BlogLand. And to paraphrase one of my favorite quotes, "... if it's not okay, it's not over yet." Just keep going forward.
Last night I was smiling and running. Tonight I'm going for a kayak. Tomorrow, I'm tackling my first attempt at rock climbing. It's been a pretty epic attitude/life changing year.
In three short days I'm going to turn 30..... and, I'm happy to say, It looks like it's going to be a good year. :-)