We’ve all been there. Whether you’re in the middle of a long run or you just clicked into your skis and you’re standing in the starting gate, and you realize: oh shit! I have to pee WICKED BAD! (Or at least that’s my New Englander self-talk. If you’re from around here, it probably goes something like Oh gosh, y’all! I reckon I need to urinate! So polite in the South. Except to pedestrians) A full bladder brings with it a sense of panic that is actually sometimes beneficial when it comes to going fast. But today, unfortunately, I am not able to go fast. At all. My full bladder came during a 4-mile training run on the dirt path around Audobon, the first real, planned-out comeback run since I learned that I’m good to go. So unfortunately, my rusty legs couldn’t actually carry me much faster, and even if they did it wouldn’t matter at all, since I wasn’t racing. I was actually contemplating which giant oak tree I could pop a squat under and not be seen (it was pretty dark out) when I came upon the bathrooms. Thank god.
Other than that, I had a pretty good day! Bright and early at the Lambeth House, took a break from sandwich and salad assembly to sign up for the Boston Marathon and have a great conversation with my incredible preceptor Stefanie, accomplished some work on the party-planning front and had another delicious four-course lunch. Today’s meal consisted of:
– Duck and andouille gumbo
– House salad
– Pecan cranberry stuffed pork chop
– Shoepeg corn succotash
– White chocolate brandy bread pudding
Once again, everything was beautifully executed by John, the chef, and the rest of the kitchen staff, and served with a smile. Man, this rotation is awesome. Tomorrow we are arriving five minutes early to man a made-to-order omelet station. Good thing I perfected my omelet skills over summer ’09.
After a little more work, I returned home to no air conditioning. For some reason, our central air is broken and it is 85 and humid in the house. What the heck?! As a result, I forgot completely about my laundry in the dryer, the pants and polos I needed to buy, and the walk I had planned for Louie went out the window when I no longer had a cool house to return to (sorry Lou-dog).
After glazing over for an hour, contemplating froyo, and attempting (but failing) to use my brain and do some reading, my mom reminded me about the pants. I recruited Alysse, and we went to the Lakeside Mall. Several fun things happened, including stumbling upon this backpack:
And this dress that reminded us of Ellen’s stories of shirts turned dresses turned walks of shame:
On the way home is when I stopped at Audobon to run. As it turns out, my uncomfortable incident did not help me run any faster (which I guess is normal, having just taken over three months off). My average pace for the 3.8 miles was just a hair over 8 minutes, AKA s-l-o-w. I can’t remember the last time I ran an 8 minute pace. Just a few months ago, my average just-going-out-for-a-jog pace was around 7:20 for runs up to 16 miles. Then I’d slip into the 7:30s. I feel like a totally different person, but I know I’ve fallen a long way in the past three months, and that the speed is still there but needs to be dusted off.
In order to get that speed back, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. First and foremost, I have to get these legs used to running again. To do that, I will start with 3-5 mile runs as my “meat and potatoes”, my go-to runs for every day. Based on how my legs are feeling after a few of these, I’ll see if I can sneak in a longer (read: 6-6.5 miles) run this weekend. If not, I’ll just keep chugging along working on just getting the miles under my belt. I will follow these guidelines:
1. The 10% Rule: Never increase your weekly mileage, or the mileage of your long run, by more than 10%. This will be a tough one to stick to, since I want so badly to mark off those milestones: first double-digit run post injury, first sub-20 5k post injury, first week over 30 miles post injury, first week over 40 miles…
2. Run easy: I know I’m supposed to live easy and run hard, but I’ll be switching that around for the next month or so. I need to be careful, listen to my body, and push it only when I have re-learned my limits.
3. Ice EVERY DAY: There is a reason that I bought nothing but salmon and frozen peas at Rouses yesterday. Peas are the cheapest, greatest icepack you can buy.
4. Stretch EVERY DAY: The bane of my existence. I am a horrible stretcher, and it shows when I take yoga and when I have little aches and pains in my knees, or stress fractures and inflammation in my lower legs.
5. Buy a foam roller: This has been on my list for a long time but I lived at the gym in Amherst and used theirs constantly, then lived with my dad, who got one from yours truly for Christmas (I may or may not be guilty of having employed my sister’s famous “get them what you want so you can use it” gifting philosophy for this one). The problem is that the ones at chain sporting goods stores are expensive and too soft. I really like this one from Power Systems.
6. Eat for anti-inflammation: Post in the works. Again, the brain power was lacking today.
These rules will be critical for building myself a solid base for when I begin my training program for Boston. I’m not where I thought I’d be at this point in time, but I am going to make the most of what I’ve got. And that’s a lot of flat land, determination, and possibly a super-helpful piece of technology on the way to aid in my comeback. More on that later.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go inflate the air mattress and sleep in Andrea’s room with the window AC unit. I need my beauty sleep and my flipping-arm needs to rest up for tomorrow’s breakfast extravaganza!