After passing this week’s balance and strength tests at physical therapy, I was cleared to run as much as I felt comfortable doing.
In other words, he sent me out into the world with all of the excitement of a race horse being lined up at the starting line.
The calendar said it was a five mile week, but because of the way that the course was laid out through the vineyards, the only place for the water stop was at the 3+ mile point. If you wanted to make it to the water stop, you had to do more than six miles.
Come hell or high water, I was going to do six miles.
I set out running with only brief walk breaks, still a little bit tentative about how far I could push my IT band without a flare-up. At about the one-mile mark I met up with one of our runners who was walking, massaging his leg. My mentoring instincts kicked in and I walked beside him to see what was up. Turns out that he was nursing an overuse injury from a strength training session two days earlier. We walked the next two miles to the water stop, up the big hill, as his muscles loosened.
He felt good enough to go on from there, and ultimately logged a total of 8.5 miles for the day. I didn’t want to push it on what was truly my first long run of the season, so I turned around and did a run/walk back to base camp, averaging <12:00 miles on the return.
By the time I got back, I was hot, sweaty and fatigued, but for the first time since April, my IT band didn’t hurt!
This did wonders for my confidence and made me just feel fantastic. I woke this morning with good old fashioned muscle soreness from a good workout. Oh, soreness: I’ve missed you.
This week was also my first time pacing my 5-year-old in a race. He’s long wanted to run with me in my usual 4th of July 5k, but I figured that 3.1 miles was probably a little bit too far for his first distance event. We signed up for the 3k “fun run” component instead. That’s where I learned a few new things:
- “Fun run” means “We don’t actually measure the course.” The 3k (1.8 miles) turned out to be about 4k (2.4 miles), which he did almost effortlessly.
- The kid is a speed demon. When he saw the finish line, he left me in the dust.
- If we had entered the real 5k, he would have had a chance at a medal for his age group.
He can’t wait to run more races, and is deeply disappointed that my Team in Training schedule precludes any Saturday races, which means that he can’t do The Color Run until next year. (Some people aspire to the Boston Marathon; my kid dreams of being doused in colored powder.)
All in all, a great week for running.
How’s your training going?