Monday, January 18, 2010

Doctor's orders: It's okay to run again

I had my follow up visit with my doctor this morning and my condition has improved enough to allow me to return to work tomorrow. It's been a long time since I've been in the office and I'll admit to being a little ambivalent about the whole thing. While I miss my co-workers and the energy of the work day it's hard to give up that extra sleep and the happy avoidance of the commuter trains. All the same, it's time to come back. The best news I got was that I am now permitted to run so long as I keep the distance to 2 miles or so. That is until the weekend when I can expand my distance and duration based upon how strong I feel. The doctor still cautioned me that I should run easy this week. No problem, I am not anxious to set any speed records at this point, I really want to get back into the rhythm of the run.

After I got the go-ahead from the doctor I decided to hit the streets for a 20 minute easy run. Although I haven't got far enough into ChiRunning to do anything useful in terms of technique I've read enough to start incorporating some elements into my style. Along with that is the form I had been working on prior to my illness using smaller, more frequent steps and midfoot striking. By the time I finished doing some necessary tasks plus spending time with my daughter doing homework and practicing her skateboard skills I felt like I was running out of light. Yesterday, while driving in my neighborhood I twice came upon some women who were doing their "health walking" in the street, side by side. They took up half the road, and foolishly, they were walking in the same direction as traffic. I tried to signal to them that they should move over but they clearly did not appreciate my advice.  Later I came upon them blocking another street. How they could trust people who speed through the neighborhood while talking on the phone? It's stupid, naive and a tragedy waiting to happen.

So to be safe I did today's running on the treadmill. 15 minutes was enough to humble me. I did the first mile at 9:30 without feeling like I was exerting myself too badly. The remaining distance (totaled 1.52 miles) was at a slower pace but my overall pace was about 9:50. It was a tough run and I can see that I have to be patient about my recovery. It doesn't matter though. 15 minutes today, perhaps 25 minutes this weekend and then a gradual increase in speed and distance will get me back to my late-December performance levels. It was great to run today - guilt free!

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