I have so many potential blog entries swimming around in my head. I'm going to attempt two of them tonight, and I'm going to split them up into separate entries so that it doesn't fall into the category of ridiculous length.
So, I have a confession to make. I made it 6 weeks and three days without running. And then I gave in.
The backstory: Sometimes I believe I'm really getting better. Like on Easter, when I was having too much fun chasing my grandma's hyperactive Maltese, and I realized that in the process, I was doing things that I'm not supposed to do. Like quasi-running, jumping, plyometric things. And they didn't hurt, and I wasn't even thinking about them. Then the next day, when I was modeling my new triathlon shorts for my husband (one of my potential blog entries is devoted to tri gear, btw), and I started running in place for a proper butt-jiggle assessment. He said, "Whoa, careful!" and I realized that, yet again, I'm doing something that I'm not supposed to do, without thinking, because it doesn't hurt.
Then sometimes I really don't believe I'm getting better. I start believing I will never run again and if I try to run, my leg will pretty much fall off and I'll be a cripple for life.
Some crazy combination of the two, coupled with the indefinite putting-off of my doctor's appointment (did I mention that? My doc was out last week and rescheduling isn't a super smooth process), has been making me really itchy to just freaking do a test run. I know this. I've been going to the gym to swim and not even taking my running shoes so that I won't be tempted.
So Tuesday morning, I was on my way to the gym, and I saw the "High Water - Detour" sign pointing toward the route I needed to take, which means my 15 minute drive would turn into a half hour at least, granting me minimal time in the pool. Plus, unlike some days, I didn't have to go that way as part of my work day. So I went back home to my options: bike or elliptical. With the threat of rain, I didn't want to be stuck in a storm on my bike. So the clubhouse elliptical it was.
Actually, I've worked out a pretty cool circuit workout - 5 minutes elliptical, 5 minutes of strength-training exercises (whatever pops into my head for a minute at a time; the circuit training class has provided me with a decent arsenal), repeat until you die.
Elliptical was pain-free. And I kept eyeballing the treadmill. And eyeballing it. And I decided it wouldn't do any harm if I got on it and stopped the second that a single cell in my body protested.
I started out at a whopping 4 miles an hour. Yes, I can really run that slowly, and yes, it really is a run. That is what happens when your legs are short. It. Felt. Fantastic. It felt right. My leg felt a bit strange, but not bad strange. Just new sensation strange. I had been warned that trying to run again would be awkward and not fun, but this was not true. I bumped the speed up again and again. I got it up to my previous long run pace, and at a half mile (6:38), I stopped. I hurt a little, but mentally, I felt great. ALIVE. Like I was finally doing what I was supposed to be doing. Like releasing a captive animal back into the wild. Like I was reunited with a friend I never thought I'd see again. All that in a measly half mile.
I promise I will confess to my PT and doctor, and hopefully they can use this as a bit of a gauge of when I can start implementing more running. I will admit that I was hurting a little today, but no more than I have been recently anyway, which isn't nearly as owie as I was. I will not do it again without professional guidance, and I don't recommend doing ANYTHING without professional guidance, but I think I really needed that. I felt more calm, relaxed, and genuinely happy than I have since this ordeal started. I finally felt like maybe I will really be ok.
(Oh yeah, are you wondering what triathlon shorts are? I would be, before I started researching tri gear. They're bicycle shorts but without nearly as much padding, and the padding dries quickly. They're designed for swimming, biking, AND running, to eliminate the need for too much clothes-changing and/or running in a swimsuit - which is what a friend tried to tell me I'd be doing, and I had a near panic attack at the thought of my pasty white jiggly thighs undulating with every step. Yay tri shorts!!)