In the year+ since CIM, I’ve run a handful of times. Each time, I instantly remembered why I fell in love with running. The breeze, the strength, the amazing endorphin flood that carried me on a cloud for the rest of the day…
And yet, something didn’t click. A couple times I just didn’t run again. Twice, I ran a couple times in a week and then didn’t run again. The last attempt was in June: three short, solid runs, spaced a day apart. I felt strong – so strong that I clearly pushed myself too hard. After the workouts, I felt great. No knee or foot issues. Then, in a different workout, I went into a well-aligned squat at my usual depth and felt immediate trauma. I initially feared I had torn something in my knee (and perhaps I did) but as it healed over many months, the pain was in my quadriceps. I couldn’t bend my knee at all for probably a month. Pretty challenging when you teach Barre and Cycle. I was able to teach (though I could not demo child’s pose of all things!) and was able to modify Barre classes for myself but it was very challenging. And disheartening. I was finally ready to reclaim running and I couldn’t.
Between The Dailey Method‘s Barre, Interval (a body blasting HIIT/Barre hybrid), and Cycle formats, I have a balanced workout routine. I get cardio, strength training, flexibility, and balance work. But there’s something special about running. I love the quantified, measurable progress. I love the process of working towards a special goal. I love to hate the butterflies of race morning and I love calling my dad after a race and telling him about it – phone in one hand, burger in the other.
It’s time for a comeback. I have run coaching certification and a fair amount of experience but I still read many, many “how to return from running after injury” articles. I thought about doing the Couch to 5K but I wanted something with slightly longer running segments. Competitor’s article, The Rule of Two, suggested starting with 10 minutes of running (after warm up) and adding 2 minutes per session, assuming that the previous run was free of pain. Sounded promising!
I had given up my gym membership but El Nino has come to town and we are getting some heavy rain! A new Planet Fitness opened up the street and my husband has been happily going there for awhile. $10/month for treadmill access AND I can sign up online without having some obnoxious sales manager try to up-sell me for a half an hour and insist on showing me machines I’ll never use? SIGN ME UP! #januaryjoiner
So far so good. I’ve done two sessions with a 15-18 minute walking warmup on a steep incline. I’ve kept the running very slow and focused on alignment and the quality of my footfalls. No knee pain, no foot pain! I’ve also cycled and done Barre/Interval. No problems in squats or lunges. I feel stable and strong! And encouraged! Today, I am so sore from yesterday’s Interval class that I know my running form could be compromised. Next run is tomorrow. If all continues to go according to plan, I should be up to 30 minutes of continuous running by the 1st week of February. So….
What better way to celebrate than with a flat 5k with my favorite race presenters?!