Thursday, January 10, 2013

Starting Slowly

I have been running very, very few miles over the past few weeks. Due to my injuries the PT suggested I start back slowly. The first week I could run one mile per day. The second week I could run 1.25 miles per day. The third I could run 1.5 miles per day and now I am aiming for 2 miles tomorrow. I can't run two days in a row, either. I believe the plan is that I will be upping the mileage on each day I can run instead of adding more days to my schedule. I have been knocked off my workout schedule since December 18th, so I am not yet running every other day per week, yet. Probably 2-3 days/week at this point.

While (I think) my endurance is high enough for me to run 4-5 miles, I have to stick to this schedule of very low miles each time I hit the treadmill. You see, it's not for my endurance, it's for my body. If I ease back in to it, my body has the chance to slowly get adjusted to running again. Starting back at a higher mileage may very well throw me right back out of running again.

As I diligently press the stop button on the treadmill when my 1.5 miles are over, I think about what it means to come back from injury, and also what it means to start running from square one. Programs like couch-to-5K start with very little bits of running and intersperse them with walking, gradually adding in more running time and reducing walking time. It occurred to me that kind of program is just as much for increasing endurance as much as it is for helping the new runner ease their body in to the new challenge without injury. 

When I started running in October 2011 I laced up my sneakers and did 3 miles of hills on my first night. I pretty much never ran lower miles than that on each run after and two months later I ran my first 10K. I went from zero to 6.2 miles in about eight or nine weeks. I also immediately began interval training and ran my heart out every week on the track. While I was adding miles, I was working my hardest to speed all of those miles up. I was so wrapped up in the excitement of my love of running I had NO idea I was creating the perfect storm for injuries to take hold. In the first year of running I had shin splints, piriformis pain, hamstring pain, IT band issues and a stress fracture in my foot. Ay-yi-yi!

Since I am not running, it has been fun, and humbling, to get in more strength training lately, as well. As I sit here typing I am sore everywhere since my trainer at 24 Hr Fitness mistakenly believed I could do a dumbbell shoulder press with some insane amount of weight (okay, they were 20 or 25 lbs, but still! They were hard! I was sitting, which apparently makes them even harder!) I also did leg presses on one of those crazy machines and my trainer had the nerve to put actual weights on the bar. But seriously, as wimpy as I am, it was hard but good. I felt so weak doing it, but I felt so awesome afterwards. I hope all of this strength training pays off in terms of making my running easier/less injury-prone.

4 comments:

  1. Yay for strength training. Even sporadically it has helped me. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks! So far I am enjoying it.

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  2. Hang in there Sybil. The patience will pay off later, for sure. This is a great time to get strong to help prevent future injuries (that's what I keep telling myself too!).

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    1. I sure hope so! I will be watching your journey closely . . . I know we have different injuries, but it has been inspirational to watch you bounce back from yours and train for a marathon!

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