Thursday, May 29, 2008

The First Run

Thank you to All for the comments - they were all very meaningful and read and re-read several times over. YOUR support has been simply overwhelming throughout this entire process. And I thank you for that.

Today I walked into phyiscal therapy a slightly different person. Not different as in new hairstyle - still the messy pony tale.

Not different as in new shoes - still the same old running shoes that I've demoted to strength training or for PT.

Not even a new shirt - still an old race shirt (St. Anthony's 2007).

No - it was ME that was different.

And let me tell you, that this anger thing - harnessed properly of course - can really be an effective tool (again, when used properly).

While driving to PT, I rehearsed what I wanted to say to Jonathan, PT extrordinaire. Yes, I know that I'm not at 12 weeks yet - the timeframe I was told I could possibly-maybe-perhaps-slightly-if-everything-is-going-well-think-about running. After yesterday's crying in the shower - not pretty for Nate or The House MOnster - but refreshing all the least, I've decided to harness the anger and use it towards my advantage.

Remember, this is all part of The Journey. As new to you as it is to me...

So instead, I went to PT with a battle plan, running shoes (the ones I wore during the Pensacola half marathon - me and my inexperienced self figured that I needed all the cushon and support I could get - so why use racing flats for anything over a 5K - right? And even from Florida, I can still feel JH, ELF, and Soul Sister Ashley rolling their eyes)

Ahem.

I may be fast - may have the days when my super speedy-ness is working. But I'm still a newbie at heart. So work with me.

But I digress.

So I marched, plan perfected in my head, into PT and told J-Flo that 1) I am recovering FASTER and BETTER than anyone has ever seen (must be some sort of record) 2) I am completely off anti inflamatory medication 3) I am following ALL directions and doing everything by the book 4) Pool running is NOT challenging enough and that I'm not getting the workout that I need 5) We didn't know my leg weight BEFORE the crash, so had no way of judging what is "normal" and what is NOT "normal" for me 6) The best way to build up hamstring muscles for the type of activity that I engage in is RUNNING and 7) I did 270+ Lunges without complaint. I can do anything that I set my mind to.

But I ALSO told him that there were several things that he wanted me to try, I did - AND they didn't feel right. So I stopped - and waited until my body was ready.

Because if its one thing that I'm MORE terrified of than sharks or monsters lurking under the bed - is re-injuring my back/sacrum/butt by doing something stupid.

Like, say, for instance - running when I'm not supposed to. (Or jumping out of the way of LIttle Green Snakes....)

So I haven't. Run that is. Jump out of the way of Little Green Snakes? Heck yeah. YOU would have - I guarantee. Then again, you probably aren't the type to place yourself in a perilous situation like the aforementioned. But again, I digress...

So after examining my shoes, checking my pelvis bone for tilt, examining my scar, and watching me walk - J-Flo gave me permission to run on the treadmill...

SO TODAY I RAN FOR 20 MINUTES ON THE TREADMILL!!!!!!!!!!!!

I couldn't stop smiling... it was incredible.

The only down side? It didn't go faster than 6.0 miles per hour (10 minute miles for all you math nincomepoops out there. Ahem - like I once was).

When I asked if I coud go faster, one of the physical therapists said that the treadmill, "doesn't go faster."

Uh. Excuse Me? It does NOT go above 6.0? Did I just hear that correctly? Or is my pure exultation affecting my hearing?

"Oh no," Kim continued. "We've never had anyone who needed to go above 6 miles per hour. This is a phyiscal therapy clinic. Most people practice walking or simply walk backwards."

Oh.

Well - I can say that I did both before running. Walking was fine, walking backwards was comical - luckily the handrails (which I made fun of before I got on) proved to be useful. So there.

And now, my friends, now I can run.

I don't go fast and I don't go far.

In fact, when Jen adjusted my schedule for my newfound event, she wrote, "Run embarassingly slow. Preferably alone."

Check Coach.

Don't know if she was refering to the fact that I would either be embarassingly slow or embarassed to simply be going SO slow.

Honestly? It doesn't matter. Because I'll be running.

Today I discovered that anger is indeed my friend. It is not to be denied, not to be pushed aside. No - I need to confront it, yell, scream, stare it down, and then harness the energy it produces and turn it into something useful. Like fighting for what I believe in, or what I think is right.

Or what I know in my heart I can do.

So tomorrow morning, at 5:45 am - you'll find me running (at a snail's pace) around the track at UWF. Watching a beautiful sunrise and marveling at the promise of a new day.

13 comments:

rr said...

YEA!!!!

Time to find thee a real treadmill.. what is this 6mph stuff?

Have a great solo, slow run!! Enjoy every minute. Oh and expect tired arms. Mine are shot from 20 minutes ;)

Danni said...

YAY!!!
Congrats Marit!!!! Enjoy your run this morning.
Like Liz posted... baby steps, you took them and now you are getting closer to the strides.
Awesome!

kerri said...

Each time I read your blog, you are getting further and further ahead. YAHOOO! It may seem like time is standing still but WOW...you are doing great. OY VAYE, 270 lunges??!! Keep the patience!!! Soon you will be ZOOMING on that treadmill.

BriGaal said...

Yay to running!! 20 minutes at 6mph is the best thing for you since you've been off for so long. I hope to be plodding through 10 minute miles in the near future...Enjoy it :)

TriGirl Kate O said...

Hey, there is NOTHING WRONG with a 10min/mile pace....some of us run that rather consistently thank you very much! Ms Speed Demonj, you are. I think since you're relegated to run slow like a turtle, you could come up and run w/ me. I've got a nice brick scheduled for tomorrow--30 mile easy bike, 6 mi run.
SOOO happy for you. CONGRATULATIONS!

Ashley said...

Oh yes yes yes yes yes yes, YEAH, GOODIE, yippee!!!! Run Marit Run! I am so glad to hear you've made this next step... now, be careful (ie genital) with that running. LOL

Beth said...

Yay Marit!!! I was so happy to read this. What a great feeling to be back to ALL 3 sports now! Won't be long before you're lining up for a race... Have fun running and take it easyyyyy. The hardest part will be not to do too much too soon!

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cy said...

Great job-You have come so far!

After reading that you "let it all out" earlier this week, it reinforced that you are indeed human...With all your progress and great positive attitude I was begining to wonder :-)

270+ lunges-I'm hurting just thinking about it!

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

Glad that at least you are able to start running. Improvements will come as your body adapts and strengthens.

KayVee said...

Congrats! So awesome you get to run again...and so awesome that it doesn't hurt. I, too, have received instructions to run "embarrasingly slow" from my coach. Must be a Training Peaks thing... Anyway, good luck on your continuing recovery. I am in awe of you!

halseya@washpost.com said...

The two best words in today's post are these:
"I am."
Forget about "I hope," "I want," "I will," "I think" and even "I can."
I am running.
I am swimming.
I am riding.
I am an athlete.
I am a triathlete.
I am back.
It works.
Cheers,
Ashley Halsey

AddictedToEndorphins said...

Wowww! Congrats on the running! You're amazing!:) Keep it up, but don't get too far ahead of yourself. Running is running no matter how fast you are going!! Good job.