|The 12/6/14 run that started it all|
Recovery should happen slowly and in stages, and that's the plan I've been following over the last four weeks. Last year at this time, I was training for the Brooklyn Half using the Hal Higdon intermediate plan. That required some type of running workout nearly every day. It was a mixture of long and easy base runs, short and fast speed drills and 3-4 mile tempos. I could manage that because I was injury-free and had a very flexible schedule.
One year later, conditions are different. I have a long early commute four days a week and my running comfort has been compromised since December 6. That's when I let my ego get the best of me and foolishly overextended myself to prevent another runner from passing me on a long road. The symptoms I had the next day match the ones I have today.
It's been a roller coaster of recovery since then. A race in late December, along with the New Year's Hangover Run, reignited the pain and soreness. An icy and snowy January and an unusable treadmill provided time for healing. By the time we acquired our new Freemotion unit, I was ready to return to the run. So ready, that I did a high intensity workout that (unfortunately) produced some serious pain near the end. One week later, I suffered through an extremely painful three miler. It was the last time I'd run until yesterday's session.
Which brings me to today. After yesterday's encouraging experience on the treadmill, I considered taking it to the street this morning. It had snowed all day on Saturday and there was still a coating of powder on the roads. I opted for the treadmill and slightly increased both my speed and the length of the run. The soreness was there, but it was fully tolerable during the run. Like yesterday, it felt better as I went on and the soreness is responding to the massage roller.
So I've transitioned back to running, but I'm doing it a lot slower than I had before my injury. The things I like about running (fresh air, changing views and the sense of forward progress) that come from being outdoors, are absent. When the weather gets better, I'll run outside and take it easy. I think I've finally learned my lesson but I hope I don't get challenged to race anyone too soon.