Monday, November 27, 2006

Today I ran

I’ve been holding back blogging about the walk/run program. In fact, I’ve been holding back even talking about it, unless someone asks about it directly. After re-injuring twice, and being told by the physiotherapist (whom I later fired) that I would likely not run again, I was scared.

Terrified, actually.

So, for the most part I just tried to keep my terror to myself, occasionally sharing bits with the chiropractor, the trainer or a select few people who would ask me how things were progressing.

It's time for an update. A big one!

Today I ran. 30 minutes, without stopping. I warmed up for 15-minutes by walking and cooled down with another 5 minute walk.

But the important part is the middle bit.

I ran.

It’s been a year and 17 days since I first noted in my training log that my knee hurt. Not that I’m counting. Well, I was, actually… to the extent that A. rolled her eyes at me and said, “Now, Sarah, you wouldn’t want to obsess about keeping track of things, would you?”

What? Who? Me? Never!

That conversation happened a few weeks back when she was asking how things were going. “Good,” I said. “With any luck, three weeks from Monday, I’ll do a full 30-minute run.”

I could see the wheels turning in her head and then she looked at me and said, “That’s your birthday!”

“Yup,” I said.

“Did you plan it that way?” She said with that half-chiding, half-twinkly look in her eye that only a good friend can give you.

“No,” I replied, honestly. “I set up the training program, decreasing the walking by 30 seconds and replacing it with 30 seconds of running every week. Had it checked by the chiropractor and the trainer, both of whom said it looked OK. It just happened that the first full 30-minute run would fall on my birthday. So no… I did not plan it that way… But I did take it as a sign,” I said, returning the twinkly look.

It’s hideously cold here today… about -25 Celcius (which is about -11 F, I think?), so I was inside. I warmed up on the indoor track and then did the run and cool down on the treadmill, so I don’t really know how far I went, to be honest. (I’ve figured out that the machines at the gym are not always reliable for the info they give, so I try not to pay much attention.) I’ll post real stats once it warms up again and I get outside with my Garmin.

What I can say for certain was that it was a full 30-minute run. And I felt fantastic!

It was not a perfect run. The plantar fasciitis threatens to come back. I spend a good deal of time every day stretching and icing my right heel. The knee is not 100%, but I have accepted that it may always be a Slightly Grumpy Knee. I’ve learned to work with it, and the pain, if it comes, is only minimal… and it seems to come and go. I’ve noticed that if I focus on my posture and alignment, it seems to lessen, so I spend most of my time trying to listen to my body, make adjustments along the way and gently nudge it forward.

I am trying not to get too excited about this. I know that there are no guarantees… Injury could happen again at any time. And the validity of an experiment is in its repeatability. So, I have two other 30 minute runs scheduled this week. Let’s see if we can get the same (or better!) results more than once. If I can do it, I'm a going to have a lot of people to thank for helping me get there and sticking by me, but that's a post for another day.

On this day when I turn 36 years old and am officially now closer to 40 than 30 (sigh), I take heart in the fact that while I may not have a young, buff body, I'm in better shape and healthier than I've ever been. And today, I am a runner.


Downhillnut said...

Happy Birthday, and Happy Run Day! What a great present to give yourself.

backofpack said...

Yippee! That is great! And Happy Birthday! It's not a big deal to be close to 40 - I'm a month and a year from 50, you know. The way I look at it, turning a year older is better than the alternative.

I'm so glad you are running. I'll be watching for the results of your experiment. Keep us posted!

Anvilcloud said...

That's great. COngratulations to you.

Misty said...

First, Happy Birthday! Glad you were able to enjoy an activity that is important to you and for which you have worked very hard to continue.

I was actually thinking about you today in this -25 Celcius weather as I ran to my children's school twice today (late buses) and saw the impressions of bike tires in the snow.

I was thinking about how amazing some individuals (runners and bicyclers) are to keep to their regime of exercise (or leisure, depending on how each sees it)despite the increasingly cold weather. I was thinking of you as one of those individuals who finds passion for such activities and whose dedication is commendable. I was also wondering if the weather impacts your choice to run inside or outside, I guess it does.

Thanks for sharing your achievement with us.

Anonymous said...

Yay for your run! Excellent... I am in need of your inspiration.. keep posting it please!

craig said...

Doesn't matter how far you went. You ran and I know how good that feels after time away. Hope the body cooperates this time and the running continues.

William said...

Wow, way to stay motivated. Awesome progress.

Still working through my knee pain too and I will be thinking of you when motivation dips.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

sissoula said...

That's great news. Chronia polla!

D said...

Happy Birthday. What is the best way to celebrate your bday? RUN! 30 minutes! Yes!!! You've definitely earned the opportunity to run - you've been so patient. Be cautious. You are smart to warm up by walking and cool down by walking. Baby steps!

olga said...

Wow, Miss Sarah is back! On her birthday - don't you feel re-born? Congratulation on both, and forget getting numbers - in this case we all should go crazy every year, but personally, I still love my b-day and always answer my age with no regrets.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

holy shittake mushrooms! that's awesome!!!

and happy birthday :)

robtherunner said...

Happy Birthday Sarah! That is exciting news about the running. I have no doubt that you will overcome all the difficulties and setbacks you have had. I look forward to more good news in the future. Happy Running!

LZ Blogger said...

Good for you. I used to run a lot of 10K's but after about 5 miles, my knees would kill me. Now I have a treadmill! ~ jb///

Anonymous said...

you are so mentally tough, it's amazing - to go through all of those mental battles with injury and continue on - it says a lot about what kind of a person you are. Happy birthday!

Badoozie said...

a runner huh....well, when I run? people pull their cars over and request that i do not do that anymore....heehee...i run weird. besides that, it shakes up my new double D's which i have installed to combat old age

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Sarah. I've been following your travails and triumphs for a while now. And Happy BDay.

I'll run vicariously through you since I think my run days may be finished--I get terrible shin splints when I run now, but I cycle, so I still can get the heart rate up. And, if I can't cycle to get the heart rate up, I just read the news. Reading the front page should be an official aerobic exercise.

Robb said...

That 30 minute run was worth the wait wasn't it?!! That is great news. You know, the older you get the longer and faster you run. Those young buffs have nothing on you and real proof that you're still a MARITIMER! I love your grit girl. You shine!

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

Congraulations, and happy birthday.

And just between you and me and me being a 40 something, it's not so bad being this age.