It had been over two months since my last fix, and when the physical therapist put me on the treadmill, it only took about three quarters of a kilometer before the warm happy feeling rose up from my feet and put a deep, grateful smile on my face.
A few days later I hit my usual route, thinking I’d shoot for thirty minutes, forty tops, but of course I didn’t have the strength to turn around until I reached the water fountain that marks the halfway point on my easy 7-miler – my go-to short run when there’s not enough time during the week for anything longer.
A few hours later my heel complained and the tendons all around it pulled tight, so I skipped a couple of days before heading back out. With ice and patience, I made it up to over 13 miles on Sunday, on a beautiful course through the woods and in the hills outside a nearby town, and all I had to show for it were tired legs the following day; there was almost no pain in my foot at all.
It was good to be outside and with friends from my running team whom I hadn’t seen in months. There was talk of upcoming races and tentative plans were made, but I came home relieved and happy because of the one thing that’s been on my mind: San Francisco, July 27th.
Back in December my brother and I registered for the San Francisco marathon. With three and a half more months to train, barring any injuries, I should be back in shape in time to finish it without too much pain.
Whenever it comes up, people are always saying how hard the course is, and so far I have shrugged them off thinking, they’re Italian, what do they know? But today curiosity got the better of me and I checked it out. Apparently, they do know what they’re talking about. So many hills!
I will just have to add some more hills to my weekly repertoire, I guess. Other than that, it is tempting to take it easy this time around, enjoy the Sunday runs in the countryside with friends, scout out more hills for my weekday runs, snub the speed training at the track. Among my running friends, I might say it’s because I don’t want to risk any more injury, and it partly is, but it’s also about not wanting to lose the joy and freedom of running out the door as soon as my work is done and going for however long I can until it’s time to quick get home so I can pick my boys up from school. Renegade training!
This could all change, of course. Three and a half months is a long time and anything could happen between now and then.
At least I have it back, and I am centered again. That lost feeling I get when I can’t run is gone now. There is no denying that it is an addiction, more for your mind than for your body. My brother described it succinctly in an email last month:
I listen to educational podcasts while I run and the one I listened to today was about the studies of sleep. There was a quote where a scientist said “When you sleep your brain sorts through all of the information you received during that day and analyzes it and decides where to place the information and even decides if it should hold onto that information or not.” I thought to myself, ‘that’s pretty much what I do when I run.’
It’s good to be back.