A while ago I told myself I would start officially training for Hood to Coast last week. I went on one two mile run in Palo Alto and got nervous about my knee and stopped for another week. So this Monday marked my first pain-free run that was longer than a mile since my marathon, the day my mom decided to get me a physical therapy appointment, and was less than three weeks away from Hood to Coast (where I’ll be expected to run 17.13 miles – though not all at once). Sidebar: one of my favorite things in the world is when my mom makes appointments for me. I still remember the time near the end of high school when I had the horrible realization that she would not be making every doctor/dentist/haircut appointment for me for the rest of my life, and I was going to eventually have to start doing it on my own. I think this physical therapy appointment was the first one she’s made for me in at least five years. It was glorious.
Even though my leg has stopped hurting, I’m super paranoid because of the nature of this injury – which is to feel one hundred percent fine, and then at any random time start hurting really bad. But making it three miles on Monday was a huge confidence boost, and I started thinking I was ready to really up my mileage in preparation for the HTC. Most of the stuff the PT showed me I already knew, but I think her real value was in the training schedule she gave me for the week. The plan I had been cooking up was to run 4-6 miles every day and then do a 10-12 miler this weekend. She told me to run 2 miles on Wednesday and 3.5 on Friday. Huge buzz kill, but necessary I’m sure.
The PT also said that this injury probably came not just from the marathon and the scramble I did, but just the general fact that I’ve been running so much in the past ten months after such a long period of not running. And the fact that I never stretched. I’m sure at some point I mentioned how I gave up stretching, and apparently that was a bad idea. But it was great while it lasted; I hate stretching, and I thoroughly enjoyed my break from it.
I know some people won’t relate to this, but going on a two mile run feels ridiculous. On Monday during my three mile run, I was worried I was really out of shape because the first two miles were really hard. But then the third mile felt great, and I remembered that during marathon training it always took me at least 2-3 miles to start feeling good. It just feels so weird going out for less than 20 minutes and calling that my run for the day, like I’m cheating or something.
I think that the fact that I don’t really consider two miles to be a real run has been detrimental to my recovery. While injured I never put on my running clothes and purposefully go for a run, but I will run any amount up to two or three miles by incident or convenience without acknowledging the fact that running is running, and doing it in my street clothes doesn’t mean I won’t worsen my injuries. This is especially true when I’ve been drinking – I seem to hit a critical point after which it seems ridiculous to not run, but other times too. Last week I ran a good mile, if not two, around downtown Portland in flip-flops, trying to beat the bus that Lauren and Sam were on. I run barefoot with Pascal around our apartment complex all the time because it makes him poop faster. Things like that.
Speaking of Pascal, he his in horrible shape. I always talk about how fit he is, but it turns out that he was super fit three months ago, but not so much now. I stopped running with him a few weeks before my marathon, and he hasn’t really done much since then. Now he’s dragging after just a couple miles. It’s also a little warmer than it had been, but I think mostly he’s turned into a fatass. I’ll have to work on that with him.