Of course, I knew my body might not allow it, might not be ready–that my injury may very well resurface a half mile in and that I would have to continue my hiatus. But unlike the false start I had back in January, I felt different. This time, I wasn’t running just because it was time to get back to it. This time, it felt necessary. Like I couldn’t go one more day without it. And as melodramatic as that sounds, I’ve turned it over in my mind a million times, and I can’t think of any other way to describe it.
Last week was a particularly rough one that, for whatever reason, I couldn’t seem to get ahead of. Do you know what I mean? One of those stretches where the hits just keep on coming, and it’s all you can do to dodge the blows and try to minimize the impact? That’s how I felt. Beaten down.
I think it’s normal when you have one of those weeks to turn to familiar things for comfort–among mine, snuggles with the pup, massive amounts of peanut butter filled pretzels, irresponsible online shopping, and . . . running. It’s the most comforting thing I know, the one thing that always makes me feel better when I’m struggling.
Saturday was startlingly gorgeous–the first day it really felt like spring here in D.C.–and people were out in droves brunching and walking and soaking up the day. So I put on my very loud shoes and joined the masses. I figured I’d just do a couple of miles and see how I felt.
You know those runs where your legs just want to go? Where your limbs are loose and your feet are fast and your breathing is even and you feel like you’re flying? When Audioslave (<–such a good running song) is blaring in your ears, and all the crosswalks are green for you, and the air is completely devoid of humidity? It was that kind of run. The kind of run that couldn’t stop after only 2 miles because it felt too good. I finally enjoyed running again–more than I have in a very long time. And it felt like coming home. Like the big hug I needed to change my perspective. Not that it solved everything, but it did make me feel whole again.
And my pace? Well, it was probably a little ambitious, and no, it wasn’t easy, and yes, my lungs were burning, but in the best possible way, you know? (This morning’s 3 was much more conservative. 🙂 )
Now, it’s time to be very careful. To stretch before and foam roll after. To keep my pace and distance in check. To take multiple rest days a week. And to listen to my body. The tightness in my left hamstring is telling me loud and clear that my demon back injury is still lingering in the periphery and that I’d better watch it.
I hear you, Left Hamstring. Noted.