After 10 weeks of no running, and 8 weeks of no high impact exercise, I can FINALLY say that I’m back to it! I’ve been testing the waters for the past 2 weeks and have had no pain in my left foot. This couldn’t have come at a better time. because Dopey Challenge training started July 1st.
Week one was a huge question. My foot had started feeling better, but I wanted to give a solid week of rest before I started testing it. I didn’t even weight lift that week. I scaled everything back and tried not to be on my foot too much. I did get a couple of swimming workouts in. It was so hard not to test the foot further- it was feeling good and I was pain free all week. On Sunday 7/6, I decided to test a “long run.”
I intended to walk my 3 mi scheduled long run, but after 4 minutes of walking, I decided to test jog a little. I set my watch for 30 run intervals and 1 minute walk intervals and was on my way. Man did it feel good. The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze, I felt on top of the world. I kept it slow and tried to focus on how my body was feeling. There was zero pain, tenderness or even a hint of discomfort coming from my foot. My hips on the other hand.. didn’t take too kindly to waking up after the 10 week nap. Hills took a bit out of me, and I was glad I was only running 30 second spurts. After about 2.5 miles though, I started to notice a light pain in my big toe on my right foot. Nothing I was too concerned about at the time.. there was bound to be some aches and pains starting up again. but after I finished, I assessed the nagging pain. My left foot (the one that was injured) was absolutely fine. No residual achiness, not painful when applying pressure; I iced it anyways just in case. The right foot however was sore around the big toe. Great. I iced that too, but it still felt a little painful over the next couple of days.
Luckily for me.. the pain subsided by the following Tuesday. Tuesday I was scheduled to run 45 minutes. I went to yoga class at the gym before hand.. no pain anywhere. then I hopped on the treadmill. I did a 5 minute warm up and then set my watch to 1:1 intervals. I found I was keeping up well with the 1:1’s and decided to up the intervals to 2:1. I was still being conservative because this was the second attempt to run post injury. I finished the 45 minutes with the 2:1 intervals and felt really good about it. I had some slight twinges here and there and was concentrating on my feet to analyze how they were feeling throughout the run. in the end, I had no lingering pain in either foot- a successful mid week training run.
Thursday was my second training run of the week. Again, I was scheduled for 45 minutes. I decided to stick to the 2:1 intervals. I was able to maintain the whole 45 minutes on the intervals.. though I was feeling some achenes in my hip flexors by the end. But no foot pain! I was thrilled at this point because it meant that I could attempt a long run over the weekend- I was scheduled for 4 miles. I contacted my running friends Randi and Dawn to let them know the good news!
I decided to run on Sunday in attempts to meet up with my friends. Dawn had to work, but Randi was free on Sunday. In the end though we decided not to meet up. Randi needed 8 miles while I needed only 4. Since she lives 45 minutes away, she decided not to come down. It was the right decision I think, although I’m anxious to see my friends again!
In the summer time, we usually meet up at 7 am because it’s light enough to be out earlier, and usually a little cooler. I was kinda glad I wasn’t meeting Randi and slept in a little bit. I decided to just run the 4 mi course near my neighborhood instead of going up to the trail. Although the tree cover would have been nice, It was more convenient to start and end at my house. I didn’t get out until 9:30 though. The sun was up, the humidity was high, and the air was thick. But there was an occasional breeze that felt wonderful, and sometimes the sun went behind the clouds. I set my watch to run 4:1 intervals this time, and walked the first 5 minutes to warm up. Once I was off and running I felt both elation and panic. Elation being that I was running. I felt normal and like myself again. It felt so good to be one of the people running down the road instead of the person in the car driving by, watching everyone else. Panic set in when I hit the first couple of hills and found it harder and harder to breathe. Humidity is killer in the summer time.. and I was meeting it head on.
A couple of times, I considered switching back to 2:1 intervals, but I stuck to my guns and plodded on. I really focused on the walk breaks, to try and slow my heart rate and re-hydrate. The last couple of intervals were tough though, especially hitting the hills. I made it though, in 47 minutes and an average pace of 11:38. Best of all.. still no pain!
Weekly mileage: 3.07 (week 1) and 11.07 (week 2)
Total Dopey Mileage: 14.14