Saturday, May 14, 2016

Walk Before You Run

Went all out today on my run...ran the full distance at the full pace. First time I've done that since January. I strained a hip flexor back in February, shoveling out from the monstrous snowstorm we had. I couldn't walk right for a week. It's been a long road back to normalcy.

I started running again, only to have to stop after a week because it didn't feel right. It was obvious my hip was not ready. It isn't easy for me to not run. I've been doing it since I was 14, and it's become a compulsive habit. I tried to be content with walking for another couple weeks. Then I began to jog, very slowly. It was as if I was learning all over again--and I was, really. I'd lost my wind, any fitness that I had, due to the inactivity. Some of the early jogs would be followed by mild soreness and tenderness. As plodding as they were, maybe I was still pushing it too hard. But I persisted. I took a hot bath and rested, getting ready for the next attempt.

I guess I've been lucky in that I've never had to deal with many injuries. There were the two strained calves, eight years apart, the first of which healed very quickly. Now that I'm older, I should be more careful. I have a lot of miles on these legs, and I want to keep running for as long as possible. Impatience won't serve me well. I can't imagine having to stop because I wasn't physically able to anymore. If that were to happen, I'd start looking frantically for an aerobic substitute.

No need to think about that yet. I read a post not long ago from a 57 year old runner who had to stop permanently due to a physical ailment. He sounded at sea, utterly lost now that his routine was no longer available to him. I could hear my own desperation in his. I'm not sure how I'd deal with it, but I hope he has found another way to recreate the endorphin rush that he used to take for granted.

The human body, while an instrument capable of real wonders, is, at last, a very delicate structure, hung on illusion.

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