Monday, October 22, 2012

Learning to listen to my body

Best Halloween Costume EVER! 

I think maybe the only one that can top this is a costume I have not seen, but only heard about.  A friend told me he once dressed as Forrest Gump complete with Nikes, full beard, and bubba gump shrimp hat.

Anyway, I'm slowly starting to increase my miles again and cautiously getting back to 'normal'.  I'm trying really hard not to over do it.  Resisting the urge to jump right back into doing too much causing me to re-injure my foot.  It feels pretty good and I'm itching to run and feel like myself again, but learning to listen to that little voice in my head that says, "hey stupid, remember when you said you were going to ease back into training, running every day and not resting IS NOT easing in".  I'm catching on and starting to actually listen.

Last week I ran 5 miles on Monday after work.  I felt really good, stretched and iced afterwards.  Tuesday I brought my running gear to work with me with the intention of running again after work, but felt this nagging sense within me telling me that I should not run two days back to back just yet and I should probably take a rest day just to be sure my foot would be OK.  So, I listened and took my gym bag fully packed and prepared right back home and put it on the floor for the next day.

Wednesday, Kim came over after work to run in Lowell.  We did a new-ish 5 mile loop that we have been trying lately that goes partly downtown and then through the hills of the Belvidere neighborhood in Lowell.  It's nice to get this weekly tradition started back up again after the marathon and coming back from my foot injury.  We did pretty good, chatting the whole way except in the last mile, we both picked up the pace and finished the run strong.  I stretched a little more and iced again.  So far so good.

Thursday I decided to test out my foot with another run.  It wasn't as fast as the previous runs in the week and I was a little sore to start, but eventually loosened up and felt OK.  Not sure based on that if I'm ready to start back to back weekend runs for Goofy.  I didn't have any pain and my foot felt OK the following day, but I was a little anxious and worried that it would hurt.  I think my body is ready, but my brain is holding me back a little.  Not necessarily a bad thing.  I do need to proceed with caution, but at the same time, I think I'm ready to start pushing it a little.

Friday I rested and I had planned on running Saturday morning, but it was drizzling and muggy when I woke up and I felt more like staying in my PJs and relaxing than running so I caved to that urge and skipped the run.  I had a couple of birthday parties to go to later in the day and just really didn't have much motivation to do anything.  I chilled on my couch most of the day with the windows open and a hot cup of tea in hand.  Didn't get a lot accomplished but still felt like I made the best choice for my body. 

Sunday morning was one of my favorite races all year, the Boston Fire 10K.  Great course, fast and flat with tons of volunteer support.  Awesome live music after the race, unlimited free beers until the kegs are kicked or until everyone leaves for the Patriots kick off, and raffles for really amazing prizes like $100 gift cards to the North End and weekend get aways to area ski resorts.  And with the exception of the first year that I ran the race in freezing clod and raining conditions, it is usually a gorgeous fall day, cool and sunny.

Yesterday was absolutely perfect.  Temperature was about 50 degrees when we started and the sun was out.  It was a little windy and I was shivering standing around waiting for the start, but as soon as we started running it felt awesome.  It was actually kind of warm.  With the sun shinning brightly on us it felt more like summer than Mid-October.  Last year I remembered getting passed in the last quarter mile by a friend on Boston Fire so I was looking for him this year and I caught him in the last 0.2 of the 10K and passed him on the corner going to the finish line.  I thought redemption was mine, but after checking the results, he must have started after me because he still beat me by several seconds. 

I crossed the finish in about 57 minutes, but didn't stop my watch, I wanted to run back along the course to find my friend Ann and see if I could run her into the finish and get her a new PR.  She was aiming for 1:03.  About half a mile out from the finish I found her and my watch said 1:00:and change.  PR was within reach.  I told her to keep pushing and finish strong.  She could totally do it.  I got her to the last corner and cheered her on the entire way, then stepped off the side of the course and watched her cross the finish mat stopping my watch precisely at that moment.  1:02:59!!!!  She got it.

This week, I will continue with short easy runs during the week and I plan to attempt my first back to back 'long' training runs this weekend.  8 miles Saturday and a half marathon Sunday.  Gotta get Goofy and see how my foot reacts.  Then I can adjust my training plan if needed.  I feel pretty confident based on my recovery from the marathon and runs so far.  It may be time for some new shoes though.  I didn't put much mileage on them before the marathon, but they are about 3 months old and they are the shoes that have really aggravated the Plantar faciitis, so perhaps they were a bad fit from the beginning.  82 days to go til Goofy and marathon #12.  Crazy!!!

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