When I started this running journey two years ago, I told myself that I'd give it a try just for my daughter's sake. She really wanted to start running and I wanted to support her.
We loaded the Couch to 5K app and got running shoes. It was a struggle. I specifically remember being out of breath, looking at my phone over and over in the hope that the minute mark was close and I could stop running.
I've had other struggles. There were shin splints. There was the time I hurt my back. Oh, and the time I had the flu.
But I always came back. Slowly, yes. But with certainty that I could regain my strength and get back to running.
And then came my nemesis: piriformis syndrome, aka, the pain in my butt. A worthy adversary for sure.
There's been Aleve, heating pads, stretches, physical therapy, a chiropractor, a sports medicine doc. More recently, there's been a massage therapist, yoga, strength-building exercises with a yoga ball, Dr. Jordan Metzel's Iron Strength videos and a tennis ball.
Despite all that, what's probably been the best thing for my running has been not running. I've only run a handful of times since my Sept. 21 half marathon. And I've only covered a mile or two during those runs.
Almost four weeks later, I finally feel like I've turned the corner. Today's run was almost magical.
I geared up with trepidation and headed out the door to temperatures in the 40s, a slight drizzle and a good head wind. Ugh.
But after a short walk to warm up a bit, I ran. With zero pain.
With my boy Pitbull singing Shake Senora in my ear, I put one foot in front of the other, concentrating on my form. Posture? Check. Mid-foot striking? Check. Cadence? Need to pick that up a bit. Lean? Um. Yeah. Not so much. Maybe next time.
And then I realized I was thinking about everything but running. Not about hurting. Not about when the run would end. And most definitely not about stopping.
Dare I say that I'm back? The next week will tell. But I'm signing my daughter and I for our yearly Turkeyman Trot 5K tonight. Because there are things even pain won't keep me from.
Plus, it's followed by no-guilt pie eating.
Have you come back from an injury? How long did it take? What did you do to make yourself better?