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.
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.