Posted by: Ingrid | January 16, 2012

Easing into it

I have had so many blog posts swirling around my head now that I am running again, and zero time to write them out.  Yes, you heard that correctly, I am running!

Not that anything was actually figured out.  Six weeks of physical therapy came and went and on the last day they still didn’t know what was wrong and felt very badly that they hadn’t been able to figure out or totally fix the problem.  On the other hand, did you know that a rolling pin is great for massaging a tight adductor muscle?  My rolling pin has now been used infinitely more for this purpose than for it’s intended use of rolling out cookies or pie crust.  I had tried running a few times by the end of therapy, and though my leg would always hurt a bit during the run it didn’t hurt afterwards, so I was told to just keep running.  I have an appointment with some pain/sports person this week so maybe they will tell me more.  Or maybe this will remain a great mystery forever and will constantly undermine my confidence in ever running another event.

All that to say, I ran a whole 15 miles over three days last week and just ended my first 21 mile week.  I have not run four days in one week since probably March.  It is humbling to start out again.  I have no mileage base whatsoever.  On one of my first 3 mile runs as I was finishing up and felt like I was sprinting towards the house, I found that I was running a 9:15.  Fully three minutes slower than I used to run when I felt like I was exerting that sort of effort.  Sad day.

Last week I ran my first 5 miler in which all my miles were around an 8:30 pace, and that required a good deal of concentration as well.  Mostly I am hanging out around a 9:15 to 9:40 pace.  I worry that I will never be fast again.  I can do 6 miles at a time now, but I am aware, as I wasn’t before, how much effort it takes to run.  Those people who make comments about the difficulty of running really have somethng.  I have to think about it now that I have been off for so long and I really have to talk myself out of quitting some of my runs.

Because I am sometimes quite egocentric, I feel like the lovely warm and clear first half of January was soley for my benefit.  I firmly believe it was a gift to me because I wasn’t able to run at the end of fall so I got a January bonus of clear roads just as I was starting to run again.  People may talk of global warming and fragile ecosystems may be crumbling around the world because of the unseasonable warmth, but I LOVED those few weeks.  I even documented the outdoor conditions with a photo because usually by that point we have an unmeltable accumulation of snow!

It’s hard to jump back into running when it’s snowy outside.  Just the getting ready process is daunting!

Now that I am running again, consistently, I am realizing that I don’t know how to properly ease into things after such a long time off.  Plus I have the half marathon at the end of April that I signed up for last year and then had to defer to this year because of injury, that is coming up.  How do I go from no running to a half marathon in four months?  Especially when I don’t do the whole “easing into” thing very well.  The last time I did this was when I was pregnant and had taken a whole 11 days off.  Then I think I increased my mileage like this:  11, 22, 30, 36, 40.  If I even attempt that I will be injured in no time!  But I still haven’t found any “Just-been-injured half marathon plans for impatient people” floating around out there.  I want to increase mileage and get some speed back and build my weekly base… all at once!  Despite my excessive mental gymnastics as to how I am going to get back to where I was while avoiding the nebulous never-diagnosed pain I am deeply grateful to be running again.  I may be slow.  I may be more tired.  But I am so much more happy when I get out on the road alone and just run.



  1. so happy to hear you are able to run again. I always have trouble being patient and want to rush back into getting in shape but you’ll be back to your speedy self again soon.

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