August 22, 2011

One Mile at a Time

After 6 weeks of forced rest, I was finally allowed to run a mile this weekend. As excited as I was to get out there running again, even if only for a mile, I was also really nervous. What if I couldn't do it? What if my hip hurt or my hamstring hurt? What if I wasn't ready and I set my recovery back? So many "what ifs". And then I stumbled upon an incredible video on Scott's site, iRunnerBlog, and I was quickly reminded of my goals and why I'm fighting so hard to get back out there.
How incredible is that video?!? Aside from just needing to run for my sanity and because I love it, I can't wait to run through the streets of NYC on November 6th with the entire city cheering. I love this city!!!

I woke up Saturday am, giddy with excitement to head out for my one mile. Just as I promised Krista, my physical therapist, I stretched lightly and headed to the dirt track by my apartment. This is the track where I found the courage to take my runs off the treadmill and outside in public. I ran on this track for my first few weeks of running outside, have watched many sunsets from this track and worked out a lot of crap in my mind on this track. I figured it was the perfect place to see how much progress I've really made.

I ran half a mile in one direction and then turned and ran in the other for the second half. The great news? No pain! My hamstrings felt fine, no pain in my hip. I have no idea how fast I ran because I left my garmin at home so I could just focus on how my body felt. The crappy news? It was hard. I don't remember a mile run ever being this difficult but I'm sure when I first began, it must've been. Breathing was the most difficult and there was a moment when I only had a lap to go when I thought "I can't even run a mile. How will I be able to run 26.2 in November?" And then I told myself, "1 mile at a time Erica." I'm pretty sure back when I first started running, each additional mile was easier and easier. I just need to remember that and keep on running one mile at a time. Tonight, Krista is going to have me run on the treadmill so she can evaluate my form. I'm sort of excited to see what she has to say. And I can't wait to tell her I've been pain free since my run!

When I woke up Sunday morning, G asked me how my hip and hamstring felt. Until he asked me, I forgot there was a reason that it might even hurt. I'm taking that as a good sign. So with 10 weeks to go until the NYC Marathon, I'm moving forward with my training and still planning on running it. I did my second "long run" on the elliptical last night. Two full hours, 16 miles, loads of fun (yes, that is sarcasm you detect). I'm extremely grateful for my meditation practice because if I couldn't meditate through most of this workout, I'm not sure I would've completed the entire two hours. Since at this point in my training calendar, I would have been running for at least that long, I decided to make it my goal. I also attempted to push my lungs and heart a bit more by increasing the intensity to 12 for a portion of the workout, and it definitely made a difference. By the time I got home last night, I felt like I had run 16 miles. My legs were jello and I was rungry! I loved it. Here's my workout summary from last night. I can't stand that the machine won't let you go past 60 minutes so I had to do two workouts in a row. The man next to me started laughing when he saw me start the machine again. At least someone got a kick out of it.

So that's where I stand right now. Once I get Krista's feedback tonight, and find out the next steps for my running, I'll put together a 10 week training schedule and will post it here. I'm hoping you'll stop by and help out a bit, give me some feedback, etc...  In the meantime, I'd love to hear what's going on in your running world. How's training going? Excited? Anxious? How was your long run this weekend? Please, I could use as much motivation and inspiration as you're willing to give so leave some ink!
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