The visit to the physical therapist went surprisingly well on Wednesday.
In fact, I got permission to do a short run on Thursday – a 5 km run @ 60% heart rate with a pain level of 4 or under.
And if the short run went well, he said, then I could run an hour on Saturday at 60% HR to see how that would go.
Yay! I was back in business. Kind of.
I was excited! And scared! Okay, more scared than excited.
As I was getting ready for the run in the morning, I kept wondering if I would feel that sharp pain in the Achilles again. Would I even be able to complete the short 5 km? Or would I limp home instead of run home?
pushing the limits isn’t what it’s cracked up to be
I started the run at a fast walk for a couple of minutes and then I started jogging. Slowly. At first, all I could think about was the pain I felt in my Achilles tendon and calf. Was it a pain level of 4? Should I keep going? Should I stop? Would I hurt myself all over again?
Self-doubt aside. I kept going.
After about 10 to 15 minutes, the pain and the nagging thoughts subsided.
And then I could focus on the fact that I was actually out running again. It felt good. It felt freeing.
Like the world opened up again.
I had a hard time keeping my heart rate at 60%. I really wanted to run a little bit faster. I wanted to see what my body could do, but every time I increased the pace a little bit, the pain in my Achilles tendon would start again and I had to slow down.
It was during this run that I realized that I was pushing the limits for no reason at all other than the fact that I wanted to “do better”. I wanted to prove that I could do better than 60%. I wanted to prove that the two and half weeks off didn’t compromise my body at all. I wanted to…
Do better than what? I should have been thanking my lucky stars that I could even be running 5 km so soon.
It was at that moment that I realized that I was rushing and pushing the limits for no reason whatsoever. I had nothing to prove. Nothing to prove to anyone.
Slow and steady wins the race
I stopped pushing at that moment and let any earlier expectations go.
I focused on the moment.
It was good to feel my heart pumping like that again. It was good to feel my legs aching as I ran up a hill. It was good to run for the sake of running and nothing else.
I noticed how green the fields were. I saw how long the grass had grown and the flowery shrubs had thickened. I heard the gurgle of the stream and felt the coolness of the morning.
The Saturday hour run was no different. I hurt a little bit more than Thursday. My legs were still a bit sore, but, it was good to get out and run again. This time with no pushing of the limits.
Then I started wondering how many times a week I rush through life and not enjoy the moment for the sake of enjoying the moment? Many.
I’m one of those people who’s always busy getting onto the next thing. I sometimes feel like my life is one big to-do list. And every time I check off a “to-do” there are 5 more that fill its place.
The list is never-ending. I just need to try hard to remember to slow down. As with the run this week, slowing down doesn’t hurt anything. You still get to where you want to go, just not as fast. But, who ever said that speed was the ticket?
Hmm…I guess the only person that said that was me… to myself.
The greatest enemy is thine own self
When I first signed up for the race, I had expectations that I would have to push myself really hard to finish at a time that was just as good or better than my sister. My sister finished the Woodlands Half-Marathon in 2:20.
Now, I’m just happy if I can run in the race and finish.
For some crazy reason, it’s feels freeing to not put so heavy expectations on myself. I’m still not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
The overachiever in me says that it’s a bad thing. I’ll never get better if I don’t push hard. If I don’t work hard.
The other part of me says that I should be grateful. There’s a chance that I still may not be able to race.
And if I do get to race, I should be grateful for every step, for every run, for every day.
It’s a hard battle that constantly goes on inside of me. I’m never sure which path is the best.
A new playlist
Music always makes me feel better and in celebration of being able to run again, I’ve made a new playlist.
It’s my almost end of summer playlist which includes some oldies, but goodies and a few of the top hits.
When I listen to this playlist, I still think of beach and sun, although I know that Fall is just around the corner.
“Cheap Thrills” is the first song in celebration of Keira’s dance in the talent show when we were in Spain Every time I hear this song, I smile and remember what a great summer vacation we had and what a brave little girl my daughter is for getting up on the stage.
I added the “Grease Megamix” and a couple of the 80’s songs like “Hey Mickey” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” because I thought it was time to broaden Keira’s music repertoire.
I had no idea that she would be so into “Hey Mickey” as much as she has. Now she’s singing “Hey, Mickey” in the shower and when she’s getting ready for bed at night. I guess it’s a catchy tune.
Some family fun
The weekend wouldn’t have been the weekend without some family fun.
Pokemon hunting in Frognerpark
Nothing like having a great evening with friends and I don’t have to do the cooking.
Keira enjoyed her first game of Monopoly ever. I think she was buying up a lot of property. They start young these days — spending money.
And Sunday waffles! Yummy! There was a time that I wouldn’t even eat one. Thanks to training, I had 1, 5 and with all the fixings – strawberry jam, brown cheese and sour cream.
How’s your weekend been?