A Great Present

My Christmas was filled with lots of food

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(My uncle Michael made a ton of colorful, delicious food that reminded me how much I love cooking as an art form.)

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family

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and alcohol and dogs.

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I got some nice gifts, including these gems from my stocking.

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And fancy running socks.

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But the present I wanted most of all wasn’t under the tree, it was just beyond it.

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Sun! Outdoor activity in warm weather was calling my name.

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December 25th marked six weeks from my last run, and per my original diagnosis, that’s the first day I could resume high impact activity.

The last week or so I’ve been testing my leg a little; walking faster and doing small bursts of jogging, like to run back to the car for something. That’s been going well; a little soreness but it doesn’t last. Based on my last appointment, a little soreness the day after increased activity is to be expected.

So after we opened our presents, I decided to make an attempt at running.

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I love that photo because it looks like I’m not wearing shorts. I am, see:

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When I’ve briefly jogged recently I felt all awkward, sore in weird places in my back like I’ve never run before. So I decided to walk briskly for five minutes first. If that went well, I’d run for a bit, then walk a bit after. Running training wheels. No need to get crazy.

My five minute warmup was pain free so I began running, intentionally not looking at my pace so I could tune in to how I was feeling and let my body be the guide. My leg felt great and I was so happy to be moving.

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I will say my breathing was heavy. This is the opposite problem I was having at the end of training for my last half marathon. Back then my lungs felt awesome and my legs seemed to be quitting; yesterday my legs felt really good and breathing felt so difficult. I’m confident that I can train myself to breathe and run comfortably again, but yesterday the pace my body dictated felt like my 5k effort. When I stopped running and looked at my app, it turns out my pace was my 5k effort!

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I had no idea I was going that fast. I was assuming 9:30 miles; something a bit slower than where I left off in my training. I doubt I can hold that pace much longer than ten minutes at this time, but it makes me really hopeful that I’m not going to revert into a much slower runner than I had been pre-injury.

After the run I walked five minutes, did some stretches, then took it easy. I felt some soreness but not pain, certainly not stress fracture pain, more like “you haven’t used me in a month and a half” pressure. So I was thrilled about the run but cautiously optimistic, wanting to see how my body would feel today.

Today I am feeling pretty good. My quads are sore, which I love (that type of soreness reminds me I did something difficult that will make me stronger). More importantly, I’m walking around and don’t feel pain in my leg. I even did the hop test and don’t feel pain when I hop on the right leg. Those things make me feel great, but I’m still going to treat my leg like it’s made of porcelain, and be very gentle with it today. No running for sure (I won’t run on consecutive days) and I’ll try to minimize time spent on my feet in general. If I’m still feeling pain free tomorrow I may go on another short run, or even just a brisk walk, to take advantage of our last full day in Florida.

Until then, more relaxing!

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2 responses to “A Great Present

  1. Awesome!! Looks like a great holiday and run! I hope the Fl temps cool down for my Dopey Challenge in a couple weeks!!!

    • Thanks! I hope it cools down for your races too! There’s been a nice breeze but it is humid a lot. And I love the sun but I’m not sure it’s your friend for all those miles.

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