For three weeks I’ve done nothing but walking. My doctor had begrudgingly given me permission to go to an eight hour race I had signed up for as long as I was smart about it. I realized that was not a possibility (you know, being smart) and even decided not to go to THAT! He was thrilled by my grown up decision. And as the mandatory three weeks of only walking came to a close and I started to get nervous.
Is three weeks enough?
How do I know if it isn’t working?
How do I try to be a sensible runner? (turns out that people that run ultras don’t tend to have a good gauge on sensible)
Will I remember how to run?
I came up with a game plan or at least something that resembled a game plan. A few years ago I started running by the Maffetone rules. Don’t know about it? Check out this link:
It’s what I used while training for my first 50k. It was one of the most excruciating (you will NEVER run up a hill) things I’ve been through. But, I felt GOOD after my runs, I saw marked improvement, and I ran with more comfort and confidence. That was a couple of years ago. I went back and took the test again to figure my Maffetone heartrate. With my new age and shiny new injury history, I was horrified at my low low low low low did I mention low target heartrate. Forget hills, will I be able to run at all on my runs while trying to keep my heartrate THIS low?
Reality check… I have to be SMART when I start running again. If a heartrate alarm (that I actually listen to) keeps me in check, then I need to do it! ARGH! LOGIC! I really don’t want to screw up the progress I’ve made because my dumb brain wants to go back to the dumb habits of ignoring my body’s signs (or red alerts as the case was). So, low heartrate it is!
And today, with my heartrate alarm set, I set out with my pup for three miles expecting to do a little running and a lot of walking. And the weirdest thing happened….
The running that I did was super fun and duh, of course I didn’t forget how to run. What kind of dork has that thought? Oops. But the weird thing is…
I immediately started to mourn the loss of my morning walks.
What? Who would have expected that? Tell a runner not to run and they will make up a thousand reasons why it’s ok that they run. And typically they will ignore doctor’s orders and run anyway. I did when my doc said no running for 3 weeks. But, when I committed to walking, I realized, I really like it! I’ve been walking with one of my dogs in the wee hours of the morning. And I’ve been stargazing and sunrise walking and really enjoying the stillness of the predawn hours. When I ran today it was so different! I couldn’t just crane my neck back to look at the stars and all of the sudden I remembered I need to be wearing a headlamp if I’m moving faster and everything seemed so different!
Where does that leave me? Well, I’d say that I suppose I should try to find a way to enjoy both things (I mean aside from the fact that I’ll still be walking a TON during my runs).
Did the run go ok? I think so, but I’ll have to try to pay attention to how I feel in the next few days to get a real handle on it. Baby steps….. Slow baby steps…. At a low heartrate.