So it seems that Brooks is messing with my favorite shoe. Not okay. Time to start hording the pink ones, it seems.
It’s amazing how quickly you can lose fitness and strength after a setback. Cardio-wise I don’t think I lost too much while off, but I definitely lost a lot of the strength I have built up. The perfect storm of finishing HM training at the same time that I had surgery and was put on a medication that made me ravenous was just a disaster in the making. It ended up not being as bad as I expected, but I still feel like I’m starting over from scratch. I went out for my first post-op run Sunday afternoon. I only planned to run 1 mile, which sounds so awful after having completed a HM just a few weeks ago, but it was a big deal for me. My form felt awful, and my legs were definitely much weaker. But aside from the achiness my lungs tend to get in the cold, I felt fine cardiovascularly. I stopped to walk for 30 seconds after about .3 miles and then at .5, but then ran the last .5 straight through, to complete 1.02 miles in 14:11 (13:49 pace). I have three weeks to get up to 5 miles, but luckily I think I have the psychological factor on my side – I know I can do it, I just need to remind my body that I can do it.
It’s amazing how much the trail has changed since I last ran on it. I mentioned back in October before my surgery that even in the week and a half since I ran it had changed a lot, but it seems to have changed even more in the last month. With all the leaves off the trees, I noticed a number of houses (some newer, some old and abandoned) along the trail, including one just behind the parking lot I parked in all summer. It turns out these two structures were part of the hotel that used to be there, along the train tracks. The picture didn’t turn out too well, but there are two buildings, about the same size, and just to the east of them you can see a stone wall that looks like it used to line the driveway.
So Saturday night I had my first post-op workout – and it wasn’t half bad! I did 30 min of easy cardio on the elliptical and only had to take one break, around 8 minutes in, because my nose started throbbing. After that it felt fantastic. I probably could have gone longer, but didn’t want to risk pushing too hard too soon and making things worse in the long run. I did a little bit of light strength training to see if I could kick my legs back into gear – again, I barely even noticed it the next day, so I think it’s safe to push harder next time, but I don’t want to risk it just yet… it’s just not worth it. I think I’m going to give spinning a try tonight and/or tomorrow morning – I need to preempt that turkey dinner somehow!
Because I’m cleared to run next week, and up until now all of my running has occurred in the summer months, I’ve been scouring the stores for cool and cold weather running gear. It is amazing how little there is out there for 40-50 degree running! All I want is a vest – nothing too heavy, but nothing so light to a leaf falling from above would rip through it. Like literally no one is selling vests this year. Everyone has jackets, of varying thicknesses, but finding a vest is proving to be quit frustrating. Last time I checked, Maryland is not Montana – we don’t get that cold in the winter! And when we do, it doesn’t last long. I did manage to find two items to get me started – the Nike Fast Pace long sleeve running shirt (sadly, not in that great color below, because like everyone and their mom has bought it out of existence) and the Nike Element Half Zip.
The shirt’s material is porous, so I think it’ll be great for those transition days, as long as it’s not too windy. And although I don’t like things on my arms – especially layered sleeves – I think the half zip will be great for cooler or windier days, and will go just as well with shorts as it does with pants. Now I just need to find the mythical vest…
Now that I’m getting excited about running again, I’m starting to look forward to 2013 and am planning my race schedule. Nothing’s finalized, but it’s looking like I’ll be making appearances at…
- the Maryland Half Marathon in May,
- the Dreaded Druid Hills 10k in June,
- the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon in September,
- the Philadelphia Marathon () in November, and
- the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler in December.
I’m really looking forward to all of these, even if I’m really kinda terrified of the idea of attempting to complete a full marathon in a year.
So maybe it’s just because I haven’t run in a few weeks, and won’t be able to run for another few weeks, but I’m considering doing a full marathon in the fall. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, but this is the first time I’ve told anyone other than my family. I’m planning on running a half in the spring (still trying to figure out which one) and a 10 miler over the summer, but I need to start thinking seriously about whether I want to do a half (or two) and/or a full marathon in the fall. It’s a big jump to go from 13.1 miles to 26.2 miles, and I don’t want to get in over my head, but I also don’t want to avoid a challenge just because it’s daunting. It will be more difficult to train once I get a job, especially in the winter months when daylight is in short supply. I never thought this was something I’d ever be debating. I love the half, but there’s something about saying “I’ve run a marathon.” So many decisions…