So ... here's what happened
I've been so awful at documenting my thoughts about running, I'm not even sure how to explain where things went wrong this fall, but I'm going to try.
In September and into early October, after I had gotten past a recurrence of a calf strain in the early summer, but I had some heel pain that was really bugging me. I documented that in a tweet on Sept. 24 ...
A few weeks later, I posted something to Instagram about fixing my form after a half mile run on the treadmill.
Honestly, I don't even remember this post or how bad my heel had even hurt ... or if it still hurt at this point:
Any running right now has a very intentional purpose -- I have to fix my form. Somehow my running form got really bad and lazy looking. I kind of drag my left foot around and I need to drive my knees up and forward. This slow and steady half mile felt like 3 miles, but it's a step forward with a lot of self-coaching. #runchat #dontcallitacomeback
At that same time all this was going on, I was riding my bike quite a bit both outside and at the gym. I was experiencing NO pain while riding my bike, or at any time after.
A few days after the above post, I hit 10+ miles at the gym on the exercise bike for the third straight week.
That same night, I posted this in an Instagram post: "I'm on the verge of beginning something new, and I want to do it in a way that makes sense only to me."
Then the very next morning I woke up in extreme pain. I could not put any pressure on my right foot. It was off the charts on a pain scale.
After a couple of doctor visits within a few days, I ended up in a walking boot for a couple of weeks.
The pain wasn't completely gone in that time, but the walking boot helped tremendously. For the next couple of weeks, I really want to try to run, but I wasn't quite ready.
In the meantime, I continued to lift weights -- something I started earlier this year after almost quitting the gym. I stepped up my intensity a bit and rotated through numerous machines.
It was the only thing to keep me from going completely crazy.
I pretty much had to completely stop anything with my lower body though. That was incredibly frustrating. I could look at my legs and tell that whatever muscle mass I had gained this year was gone, and then some.
As time slowly went along, I decided that Dec. 1 would be a day I'd treat as my "starting over" day. So on that Friday, I ran a quarter of a mile. It was awkward. Slow. Weird. But not painful.
My goal on that day became what it did nearly 14 years ago when I first started running -- just run a little farther with each run until I get to a couple of miles.
So that's exactly what I've done in the past 10 days. My runs have been:
- Dec. 1 -- 0.24
- Dec. 2 -- 0.3
- Dec. 4 -- 0.5
- Dec. 7 -- 0.86
- Dec. 10 -- 1.0
That's right ... today I ran a mile, my first full mile in about 2 months. Dec. 1 marked 40 days between one run at just under a mile to any kind of run at all.
Today's mile also came in a week in which I lifted weights at 150 pounds on a couple of machines, the most I've lifted in a really long time.
One mile is great, but now it's on to a gradual increase to 2 miles over the next couple of weeks. I've got an incredible journey ahead of me still.
While I've been lifting weights, I've also gained weight during this process. Not being able to have much in the way of cardio, plus enjoying the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays a little too much, haven't been a great combo.
It would be really hard to have a worse low point than where I was a month ago. These past few months have been ones I'd rather forget, but there's nothing I can do about them now. They happened.
Now, I have to take these lessons learned and make sure they don't happen again ...