You Have to Walk Before You Can Run
|May 24, 2012||Posted by Lauren under Running|
Originally I had planned a nice little rant for today. In my grumpy, injured state, all I wanted to do was complain about the dumb fitness-related cliches/sayings that people use all the time as motivation – but in reality just make me want to bang my head against the wall.
But then, as luck would have it, something pretty awesome happened yesterday. And I’m sort of still riding the high it created. I also figured that this rarely updated blog of mine was overdue for a positive post. Since the majority of things I’ve posted in the past couple of months have been fairy negative, I think my parents are starting to worry that I’m depressed.
Plus, with my wedding only 16 (!!) days away, I’m starting to feel just a little bit sappy.
So today, let’s talk about something wonderful.
Yesterday evening, for the first time since March, I had a completely 100% pain-free run. The significance of this event is huge. And after almost 3 long months of struggling with pain, I’m trying very hard to resist the urge to jump right back into full-out training.
Because even though I technically ran for 27 minutes yesterday, it wasn’t all consecutive. I have reluctantly become a run/walker.
Now before I go any further, I feel the need to express how much I hate (hate hate hate) run/walking. I know some runners use this technique regularly to complete long runs and races. Some people even swear that it helps them go faster. If it works for you, that’s great. But unless I’m in the middle of a tough speed workout and am dying for rest between intervals, I do NOT like to walk during a run. For me, the first part of a run is always tough. I’m stiff, my legs are heavy, and it takes me awhile to get in the groove. Stopping to walk mid-run kills all the momentum I worked so hard to gain. Regardless of how tired I feel when I’m running, I always find it much harder to get going again after I take a walk break.
But I’ve finally come to realize that run/walking is the key to success when coming back from an injury. I was way too stubborn to admit it for a long time, and my attempts to run a couple consecutive miles only led to pain and more frustration.
Yesterday EC and I set out with the plan to run for 3 minutes and walk for 2, and see how I felt. I chose a relatively flat dirt road and got running. The first 3 minutes were pure bliss. Even though my legs were heavy and my heart was beating way harder than it should’ve been for the pace we were keeping, it felt so good to be running. That 3 minutes went by way too quickly. As soon as it was up, I reluctantly started to walk. We repeated this cycle a few more times until I figured it would be smart to turn around and head back.
My literal road to recovery
The way back was slightly less blissful. I was running on high-alert, ready for the pain to appear at any minute. No matter what I had done in the past, the pain always got bad a couple of miles into my run. I was fearful that the same thing would happen despite how careful I was trying to be.
Fortunately the pain never came. I finished the workout feeling on top of the world. I don’t think 27 minutes of non-consecutive running has ever made me so happy.
I’m not sure if it was the ratio of running to walking I used, or the fact that I stretched, rolled, and iced like a madwoman before my run OR if it’s the awesome new Saucony Mirage 2s I’m currently sporting….or maybe it’s a combination of everything. Whatever the case, I plan to keep it up. Even though I want nothing more than to head out and run a few miles without stopping, I know that I need to be patient. For now, I’m trying really hard to focus on what I CAN do, instead of what I can’t. And that means that I am going to be thankful for every single minute of running I can get.
[I will write more about my decision to switch to a more minimal shoe in the near future. But for now - I will say that I'm hoping my decision to switch to the Mirages (a slightly more supportive version of the popular Saucony Kinvara) will help improve my form and prevent future injury.]
Plans for PRs and long races are currently on hold. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have any short-term goals. Or, to be more specific, one very important goal. This new goal is much simpler, and hopefully more obtainable.
I want to be able to run a 5K on my wedding day.
I know running the morning of my wedding may seem silly to many, but I can’t imagine starting the biggest day of my life (so far!) any other way. On the morning of June 9th, I want to wake up with the sun, lace up my Sauconys and go for my last run as a single girl.
16 days to work up to 3.1 miles. Here’s hoping I can do it.