Opportunity knocked this week when the manager of our corporate gym called my office and said there was a group doing a timed 5K in the corporate park as part of a “Couch to 5K” group they had started. He asked if I wanted to join up and encourage the participants as they embarked on what would be the first time most of them had run the 5K distance.
“ABSOLUTELY!”, I said assuredly and then hung up.
Wait…I haven’t run in 7 weeks, is a timed 5K really a good idea? Probably not, but since when do I make good decisions all the time!
So today came and I was genuinely excited to run with a group…I was excited to RUN (period). As we lined up I had to mentally talk myself down from charging out at 7min/mile pace and keep repeating, “you’re not 100% go SLOW”. It helped because there were so many folks who were targeting 30mins plus and a few targeting sub-25′s, so I knew I could fit somewhere in there depending on the knee.
It went really well. Obviously not fast, but I experienced no pain. I did have a few spots where the knee felt a bit “floaty” and I did the smart thing and walked.
I like that word “floaty”, but to expand on it a bit I’d say a lot of it may have to do with me babying the leg over the past 7 weeks and there is a healthy amount of just strength loss going on with that whole leg. Having noticed that, I started and finished the run today in the exercise class room at the office with the foam roller, which is always a great way to keep that IT band behaving. I also added 100 jump rope jumps to the race finish and then some pistol squats to challenge that leg. The pistol squats are really what highlighted the marked strength loss in my right leg.
So what to do from here?
I’m not going to sign up for 50 miles next week, but instead I’ll keep jogging about 2 to 3 times a week and mix in a deal of strength (non-weight) training. I’m cautiously optimistic right now and after running today I realize how much I’ve missed that part of my life over the past 7 weeks. When you experience times in your life that you can’t run it really makes you appreciate the ability to run when it’s back in your life…