This morning I ran for the first time since November 12th.
It was a short run – 30 minutes.
It was a ‘light’ run pacewise – 4.2 mph or 14:14 min/mile.
And at the end of the run I had 2.13 miles in 30 minutes.
I did have to slow down to a walk (3.6 mph) for about thirty seconds a little more than halfway through because my groin muscle was twinging a bit. Otherwise everything went well in that “Dang! I can tell I haven’t really done this in three weeks!” kinda way.
I will be honest: When my alarm went off at 4 am and I felt that tiny bit of tightness pulling at the top, inside of my right thigh there was a part of me – and not a small one – saying “You know, anybody would understand if you waited just one more day before hitting the treadmill again. After all, groin injuries are notorious for coming back at you if you’re not fully rehabbed.” She spoke on behalf of over forty years of being perfectly happy, and in generally good health, as a sedentary person who didn’t have to respond to an alarm tone at 4 am. And she was convincing! I was seriously entertaining resetting that alarm and blowing off this whole crazy “I’m A Runner!” facade and hearkening back to my fat, happy, middle-aged roots. You know what they say about not fixin’ what ain’t broke…
Then there was this other little, teeny, tiny voice who didn’t so much speak, as she ran a home movie-esque reel of messages I’ve received in recent weeks from four or five different middle-aged friends – people I almost never really interact with virtually or actually – each of whom, in asking for the link to the training program I used last summer also said “You have really inspired me with your running.” Which was really very dirty pool if you ask me. I mean how’m I gonna go and just Stop Running when there are people I have inspired for cripes’ sakes?!
To be honest, there was a part of me – she of the “just one more day off” – that was beginning to lean towards just quitting running.
And I don’t know why.
Some of it, I am certain, was the comfort factor of staying under my nice, warm, duvet for another 90 minutes every morning instead of going in and out of the cold (and wet today) weather getting to and from the gym.
But there was something more at play.
The half-marathon training bit has me a tad on the . . . ummm . . . overwhelmed side.
A HALF-marathon?! 13.1 miles?! Running?! At once?! ME?!?! I don’t need to run 13.1 miles. That’s why God made cars!
But then my little inner Martin Scorcese started rolling tape again, and saw all those Facebook messages. And I heard myself telling Marian Castroverde the Head Coach of the Beginning Runners group I took part in last summer “I’ve already decided I want to come back next summer as a Volunteer Coach!” and her excited reaction. And all her encouragement during the ten weeks that not only was I doing great, but what a great Coach I was going to be next year.
And then there’s my best friend Jenny! I didn’t even want to consider having to explain to Jenny – who isn’t able to run due to some physical issues and runs vicariously through me – that ‘our’ running days were behind us after only four months and three 5Ks.
So I rolled out from under the warmth of the duvet and my husband’s leg draped across mine before the (second) snooze alarm went off and got about the business of my early morning, pre-run routine and ritual. I even stooped to nagging my husband to get him out from under that warm duvet since he’s a runner too, and there we were side-by-side on treadmills at 5 am getting back into our respective grooves of running.
I’m glad I didn’t quit.