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….

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What better way to celebrate than with a flat 5k with my favorite race presenters?!





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