|Patience is a virtue|
For now and for the foreseeable future, I am no longer a runner, emerging or otherwise. Like the old adage that insanity is repeating the same action but expecting a different result, I've concluded that running right now will only result in pain. I'm not as upset about this as you'd think. I don't plan to change the name of this site to "The Former Runner." I'm just hitting the pause button until nature fixes the problem.
Thursday's treadmill run was (literally) an exercise in determination. I was sure that getting through my three mile workout would somehow prove that I could always run through this problem. The bigger issue was that it hurt. First a little and then a lot. I knew that this was no way to handle things. I ended up skipping my workout on Friday because I needed to meet an insane work deadline that used up every minute of the day. An opportunity to recover somewhat offset the guilt.
I was still sore this morning and I knew that I couldn't repeat Thursday's experience. My strategy was to first do an elliptical session and then test the waters on the treadmill. The elliptical session went great. No pain during the 35 minute workout and no pain after I'd finished. I hopped up on the treadmill and set the speed to 4.1 MPH, hopefully fast enough to "run" without aggravating the source of my problem.
It only took a few seconds to realize that running at any speed right now will result in pain. I further backed down the speed and switched to walking for ten minutes, playing with inclines and declines between +/- 3%. Once done, I returned to the elliptical for 15 more minutes of pain free exercise. Stepping up my effort on the elliptical did not produce any pain. Better still, the soreness from my brief treadmill "run" was completely gone.
So today's lesson is that running hurts and ellipticals heal. I'm going to use the elliptical exclusively while my body works on whatever it is that's causing my running pain. I've decided to give it three weeks before I try another easy treadmill run. This is exactly what happened between the time when the old treadmill failed and the new one was installed. I did fine in that transition, but made the mistake of pushing my speed (and my luck) and that brought me back to square one.
If this plan doesn't work, I'll visit a orthopedist to get an MRI or meet with a physical therapist. They say time heals all wounds. Let's see if that's true.