Absence makes the heart grow…

Fonder?  Nah, I’ve just been too busy to post.  Luckily, a lot of that busy comes from getting back into running.  I am fresh off my first 30 mile week, including 30 miles in two days last weekend.  Yes, folks, I’m almost like a real live runner again.  I successfully pulled off 15 on Saturday, followed by a half marathon on Sunday where I paced a dear friend through her very first half marathon. Granted, both of those runs were incredibly slow, but I’m grateful to have survived with no symptoms and to be running this week without any residual pain.

So how did I get here?  As those around me can attest, I have been fastidious about routine and willing to try almost any rumored way to speed healing, encourage the regeneration of nerves and reduce scar tissue.  This has translated into a number of new things:

First, I am actually taking my vitamins every day, which include a multivitamin, Vitamin D (I’m in the North, we are low on sunshine) and a Fish Oil.  All of this comes from my mom, who also doubles as my RD.  She reads a lot more of the nutritional research than I do, and while I can’t provide support beyond the anecdotal, I’m reticent to change the routine because it isn’t hurting me and I know, like many of us, I don’t always eat as well as I should. 

Second, I warm up and cool down.  No longer can I run from my front door.  Now, I warm up on a foam roller, then walk for a few minutes, then transition to a run.  After my run, I stretch carefully and foam roll again.  This adds a good 20 minutes to every run, but I’d do 40 if it meant running comfortably and avoiding additional surgeries.

Third, I am consistently working on flexibility.  Much like taking my vitamins, I know I should, but that doesn’t mean I want to.  If I have an extra hour in my day, I am just not someone who would opt for yoga.  I’d watch TV, go for a run, organize my bathroom, floss my teeth.  Anything but yoga.  I have to admit, though, that a regular practice has allowed me to be better aware of where my left foot is in space and for that, I’ll om with the best of them.

It’s hard to know whether these things are making a difference or if I’m just finally reaching the end of this road to recovery.  Since none of them are likely to have a negative effect, I’ll keep doing them (probably until I run out of time or forget all the lessons I’ve learned). 

The next challenge is to not succumb to “too much, too soon.”  With registration for the Boston Marathon fast approaching, I find myself eager to start following a stringent plan.  I know, however, that I still have a lot of base building to do and I fear that a strict plan will be discouraging.  For the remainder of 2010, I am going to keep working towards a normal base for me, which is somewhere between 50 and 60 miles per week.  This will come from a longer weekend runs and a handful of midweek runs.  In a month or so, I’ll begin to add tempo work back in.  By January 2011, I should be ready to gear up for a true training cycle.

Stay tuned for a picture or two from the half marathon on Sunday.  The event itself was poorly executed, but we had a ton of fun and it gave me a whole different perspective on running, which I will share along with those pictures.

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