Monthly Archives: December 2014

On Roading

Today I ran outside for the first time in about 8 months. Unless we are counting when I have been late for the train or late for anything, really. This was an anticipated, running-for-the-purpose-of-running kind of run.

It felt so good to pull down my winter running clothes that sat neglected in my closet, far from reach, where I angrily abandoned them after the knee implosion of 2014. I put on my watch which was still flashing 24:23. I cleared it without hesitation because with or without the watch, my last 5km run time has been flashing in my brain since that day.

Today’s run was another advancement in intervals for me: walk for 5 minutes, run for 5 minutes, and repeat three times. Two more pain-free runs this week doing 5 and 5s means I’m moving to 6 and 4s. Judging by today’s effort, I think I am right on track. I am pretty sure I ran the whole time with a huge smile on my face and enough bounce in my step that would render my gait inefficient and energy-wasting. I ran through the streets of my neighbourhood, especially enjoying all the hills and dips, and the corners and curves that a treadmill just can’t offer. Swerving around busy sidewalks and unevenly bouncing around on woodchip trails were even an appreciated change of pace.

If I haven’t made my point, it feels great to leave treadmill, which was slowly becoming my new normal, and hit the roads again.

The first time I returned to running, I planned to take it easy and increase time and distance slowly but adrenaline beat down my common sense pretty fast. Second time around, it is easier to remind myself that self control will save me time, effort, money, pain, and pride. And I like all those things. I also like to learn my lessons only after multiple missed opportunities.

I just got home from a three week vacation where I left six pounds behind, so I am eager to eat that back, fill out my skin again, and bring my butt back to where it started (a little further from the ground). I really wish that my body adapted to my training faster than my vacationing.

Next stop is the Christmas bulk and the Boxing Day meat sweats. And more runs.

run

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The Next Four Minutes

At what point does a comeback just evolve back into life?

I was running on the treadmill yesterday- doing my four minute run interval absolutely overwhelmed with excitement at the idea of my four minute run interval- wondering to myself at what point my comeback morphs into the daily grind of a gym goer.

Every day of work that I put in feels like another brick and mortar of recovery and it motivates me to keep pushing further from the day I caught my leg in my pants, fell down, and couldn’t get up. Maybe I am back to regular workout status once people stop interrupting my workouts to ask me, “How is your (enter any mixture of injured body parts here)?”

Now that I am running again (on a treadmill, for four minutes at a time) I am in a permanent state of runner’s high. My body was in withdrawal for almost two years, and now that I have had a reminder of how it feels, I’m in a constant state of awaiting my next four minutes.

Maybe we would all benefit from the comeback mindset. The mental setting that we have much progress ahead of us, and each step forward is a milestone worth telling the world about. Every time we finish a workout there is a crowded arena screaming our name. Every time we lift heavier, our name is in the paper for setting new records. And every single rep we complete, we can remind ourselves, “I couldn’t do this before”.

With the mental, physical, real, and imagined highs of the comeback journey, there must be the moments that bring our feet and faces back down to the ground; the universe giving us a friendly reminder that we aren’t as invincible as we briefly consider ourselves to be. Considering yourself to be in a “safe” place usually means that your face is about to hit the ground, so maybe embracing the comeback status is protective.

As long as progress continues, combined with the awareness there is much ground to cover, I suppose it doesn’t need any label other than that.

 

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