117 Days of Recovery

I just got out the old calendar recently and counted up the days since my calf strain injury. At the time, it was 112 days. Wow. That number astounded me. It doesn't seem like it has been that long. At that moment, I decided it should be well by now. It wasn't a tear. The MRI was clean. In my mind, I tried to "will" it well.

The Women's Half Marathon is this coming Saturday. I had decided to run/walk it. Then about 3 weeks ago, I ran/walked 9 miles and my leg hurt for days afterward. So I decided to walk it. Then I walked 9 miles and saw how THAT felt. (Shin splints and hip pain--different muscles used when walking!) Then I decided to go with a run/walk combination or just hang it up altogether and become a middle-distance runner (5K's and 10K's) for a while. I even e-mailed my 3rd and final physical therapist and asked him if I should do the race at all. I was certain he'd tell me to sit this one out. Then, yesterday, I got his response: Go for it! Just go easy and run/walk 4:1 or 5:1. Good luck!

So, one week before the race, I tried it out this morning. I ran/walked 4:1 for 9 miles. It was actually great. The walk breaks broke it up, so what I'm lacking in endurance was less noticeable. There was enough walking to alleviate fatigue and stress on the calf, but not so much that I had hip or shin pain afterward. Now, I still have to see how I feel tomorrow and Monday, but I think I'm really close to recovery..... if not "close," I'm at least heading in the right direction.

What does 117 days of injury do to a runner? I have to say IT CHANGES YOU.
  • It makes you run slower. What used to be my comfortable marathon pace takes a bit of effort.
  • It makes you re-evaluate your priorities. When something extremely consuming of your time and energy goes away, you have a chance to regain the balance that was missing.
  • It makes you appreciate running... at all. Slow, short, fast for about 10 seconds---any kind of runninig that doesn't cause pain is a good thing.
  • It makes you lower your usual race-day expectations. If I can finish under 2:45 or 3 hours on Saturday, I will be pretty darn happy. I have never tried a half-marathon on just two 9-milers!


mindysmarathon said…
So glad you are able to get back into it. Take it slow and enjoy the race! Good LUCK!!
lawmonkey13 said…
Great news, DP! Good luck this weekend! If I'm not on the course cheering you on, know I'm doing it in spirit! Keep the faith, DP!
Wendy said…
Glad to hear you are close to recovery.