So I went running yesterday. For the first time since the Little Rock Marathon. IT Band held up much better that I expected. But the hardest part, was allowing myself to run, and then allowing myself to walk. Once I got out the front door it was weird, like I had no idea what I was suppose to be doing. Couple that with the fact that I didn’t really WANT to run and I was scared I would get just far away enough from my house and my leg would be in pain again and then I’d have to walk back like a big fat loser… and it was just a weird experience.
So I just started off and quite possibly over analyzed every step I took. Does this make it hurt? Am I going to hurt it? Do I need to slow down? Should I walk? Does that hurt? Wait, was that pain? Am I hurting? I made it down the block, around the corner and I was off. I knew there was no turning back at this point. I kept going and crossed the street by the fire station, down the alley way, and onto the main street to the path that I run through the park. I hit one mile. I cautiously continued waiting for the familiar ping of pain in the IT Band region. Nope. Nothing yet.
Oh but since I hadn’t run since the beginning of the month, sucking wind was pretty awesome. I continued on, up the hill to wind down the path in the park. When did it get so hot out? Still optimistic, I kept running, no pain in the IT band. Would have been cool to have some water. Alas, kept going, now I was on the back stretch and knew even if I walked home from this point, I wouldn’t consider myself a failure.
I hit two miles. I knew I would only have to make it one more mile and then I would be back home and I would have completed my first run “back” pain free. I decided to stop and walk and stretch. Most likely because my lungs were on fire and I thought they were going to explode. I stretched and my IT Band was sore, but not painfully sore like I had previously experienced. I started running again and hit my stride. I felt good. I felt like I remembered what I was doing. I didn’t feel like a giant sloth! I wasn’t in pain and didn’t want to quit!
So I cautiously exited the park and traveled back on the street, making the familiar turn by McDonalds to what I like the refer to as the home stretch. Where I envision the finish line to be the tree in front of my house, and I know I can make it that far. I can hear my high school cross country couch telling me in my ear that I have to push to the finish! I run as hard as I can to the tree and then I stop. I stop to look around to make sure no one noticed me sprinting for no apparent reason, stopping and panting like a dog trying to catch my breath.
I did it! I ran again! I didn’t want to stop running and cry on the side of the road. Running isn’t always fun, you don’t always have these brilliant life changing moments that make you always want to run. When it comes down to it, running is fricken hard. It hurts, it makes you sore, you get injured and guess what I’m never going to the Olympics. I’m not that fast. I’m usually ALWAYS going to get beat, unless I run a super small (read: 40 people) 5K or 10K and maybe I’ll place in my age group.
But you know what, getting my feet back under me, walking and running nice and slow and not feeling like my hip was going to snap apart, well I will give myself a pat on the back for that one.