Bricks in the Foundation

I’m almost 4 months out from surgery. When stated that way, it makes it seem like I should be back to normal, cranking along at mileage and handling speed workouts. I’m at about 50 miles a week but workouts are casual and recovery is long.

I’m only 4 months out from surgery. Stated this way, it seems like I should still be rebuilding and resting between hard efforts. In the context that I haven’t even regained 50% of my tensile strength, this is probably a better way to phrase things. I’m having a flawless *knockonfuckingwood* recovery. I ran on time. I’ve been able to build my miles with minimal pain. My ankle looks good. My scar looks good.

I’m still thinking about things from the perspective of the first sentence. I’m getting frustrated when easy days aren’t easy. I feel left behind as friends and competitors get faster and faster. I’m anxious about racing in a week and a half when I haven’t done anything more than striders and progression runs.

Katherine and I have adopted a new phrase this spring. After suffering a fairly significant injury last April, Kath is finally back on the roads again which was perfect timing for me. We started with 4 mile jogs, plodding around through slush and snow at almost 10 minutes a mile. In the last 6 weeks, however, we’ve progressed to 8 mile regular runs and 12 mile long runs at about 8 minute pace. As we are prone to do, we occasionally whine about not being faster and the other is responsible for uttering the phrase “bricks in the foundation” or “today is just another brick.” It’s our way of reminding the other that this is a long game and that every day we’re out there running, we’re closer to our goals. And we’re right. Success in running requires extraordinary patience and doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over months and years of base mileage, of lifting in the gym, of stretching after runs, of fueling oneself with good food, of sleeping enough.

Build on.

How do you encourage yourself when you’re rebuilding?

What are you hoping to add to your running foundation this year?

One thought on “Bricks in the Foundation

  1. Jason

    If I have to restart from a relatively low number with regard to weekly mileage, I’ll write it out using the 10% rule. So I would have something like 20, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 41, 45, 50… and before you know it, you’re talking about lots and lots of miles!


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