I'm learning that the treadmill is my friend. We haven't always been close, but we are growing our relationship. Last Tuesday, I attempted to run outdoors, and it was not a successful attempt. I got nervous about trying to run again so I put if off all week. Saturday, out of boredom, I decided to give it another go, this time indoors at my house on my own treadmill.
With the Southern Miss basketball game tuned in on the radio, and notes for my comps ready to go, I was set to workout. I decided, nothing fancy, keep it simple and take it easy. I walked 4 minutes, then alternated 2 minutes running and 2 minutes walking until I got to three miles. Then I continued to walk until I got an hour of time in. There was some pain in my injured area, but nothing as significant as previous attempts. In fact it never got worse, and it only felt more intense when I would start back running after walking. It was a great workout, but I still wasn't overly excited. Perhaps I'm being hard on myself or something, I don't know. But running was hard! When I ran, I was 3-4 minutes slower per mile - 3-4 minutes! And I was winded! So, no I was not that excited. But, I wasn't deterred from trying again. And I knew I would need to make friends with the treadmill to make this happen. Someone mentioned that the treadmill is a great way to monitor my progress, while keeping myself from overdoing it as I come back from this injury. It also will keep me from getting stuck a mile or two from my house and not able to get back! So...I had a plan.
Sunday, just a walk, no need to get in too much of a hurry. Monday, just spin. Again, no hurry. Since Tuesday is a normal run day when I'm healthy, that was the day to try again. I wussed out on getting out of bed to do it before work because during this month off, I've learned how to sleep late again! Plus, I'm typically a little stiff in the injured area a little in the morning. So, at the last minute before I left for work this morning, I grabbed some running stuff just in case I decided to go to the gym instead of using my treadmill at home. Something about my home treadmill just isn't as appealing.
I ended up at the Payne Center on campus for my run because I figured I needed the distractions of the people, the TV's and some new scenery. I hopped on, started walking for 2 minutes and figured I'd do the alternating run 2/walk 2 deal again. I did that sequence once, and I decided to push it a little. I was feeling good so I decided to maybe go 4 minutes. For the first half mile or so, I toyed with different scenarios for the workout, and then decided to go for a half mile. There was hardly anything going on in my injured area, so I wasgoing to get while the getting was good. The pain did increase, but ONLY slightly so I kept running half miles and walking a tenth of a mile. I was listening to my body the whole time though, and although some things ached, I felt pretty good! I was able to run a bit faster, but still about 2 minutes off my usual comfortable pace. I wasn't breathing as hard as Saturday. My legs didn't feel like they were screaming like last Tuesday. And my injury wasn't barking back at me (just wimpering). I went in aiming for 3 miles, but went on to 4. For the first time in a month, I felt like myself. The one who runs!
I might regret this tomorrow, but for now, I'm going to enjoy it. I'm happy. I am making my return.