The running program had been going well until this weekend. I suffered from a common ailment: drunk dancing. I seem to have twisted my knee up pretty damn good. Strangely, I found that I wasn’t that upset with the injury. I used to get in a deep funk about injuring myself like that when I was regularly running. But after running out on the trail again lately, I kept thinking to myself that I wasn’t going that fast.
And by fast, I mean I wasn’t speeding past the scenery on my bike.
People change. I no longer think of myself solely as a runner. As my friend Dan asked me the other day, if I keep getting hurt so often, why do I do it?
Well, part of it is to help stay in shape, and I think I’ll continue on the running program as I am. If I can run a couple times a week for 20-30 minutes, I’ll be happy. I enjoy it for the intensity, but I don’t really have a passion for it anymore.
Upon realizing that this morning as I cranked my sore knee up the steps, I thought I should prepare for some cold weather riding. I can’t run on the knee this week anyway, so why stop excercising completely?
I ran by a bike store and picked up a balacava, gloves, an orange jersey, and my first pair of tights. I rushed home, weaving in and out of traffic to get my new clothes on and get out on the road before dusk settled in. I rushed the dogs through their food and pottied them, then quickly changed and headed downstairs to load up the car.
When I got out to the garage, I found I had locked myself out. The bike was inside the house. At least I had my cellphone… but the Chief had a late meeting. It was dusk as she arrived home to see a Spider-Man lookalike in the garage, balacava and all (because it was getting a bit cold in the garage).
But damn if I was going to let it stop me (after a quick pep talk from the Chief). So out I went into the dark, rushing through the night with my lights on.
I stopped to a dead end on the trail; Dodge Street is still under construction after all. I took my light off my handlebars to inspect where the trail dropped off into a mudpit. It wasn’t the longest ride, I thought to myself, but at least I got out there. And as I picked up speed leaving the lights of Dodge behind me I felt pretty good about myself, right up until my headlight flew off my handlebars and shattered on the pavement.
Anybody coming out of the local Grissanti’s restauraunt probably heard a very loud “Fuck!” echo out of the trail. I was alone in the dark, with nothing but my blinking tail lamp to help me find all the pieces. After 10 minutes, I gave up.
I looked on into the darkness and pulled a Shackleton I mounted up and I rode on despite the setback. Now, out on the trail, you do go by some areas that are lit well, but mostly you are out in nature. And despite what my best instincts were telling me, I hauled. I shot through trail sprinting as quick as my legs would carry me, as if I were being chased.
I got back around 8pm, had some dinner, and laughed to myself about my misfortunes, but I couldn’t help the nice butterflies I got when I thought about how it felt to be going as fast as I could in the dark. I should have wrecked, the night I was having. Instead, I got hooked a little deeper into cycling.
I ran this morning for the first time in two years.
I’m a bit sore. My tendonitis did fine, but I’m sore like someone who has never ran feels after their first time. This beginner’s program is great, and something I should have done after injuries when I was running previously. The first 8 days is all walking (Week Zero). I am officially on Week One, where I’ll run for 2 minutes then walk for 4 minutes, and I’ll do that for 5 cycles (for 30 minutes of activity). I’ll run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday every week, with Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday as rest or cross-training days, and at the end of 10 weeks, I’ll be running for 30 minutes straight.
I will more than likely re-injure myself sometime in the next 10 weeks. This won’t be a bad thing (well, besides the pain). Injuring myself again will help my physical therapist determine what is wrong with me.
My new Brooks Beasts are great. They are lighter than previous models. I’m a severe over-pronator with very flat feet, so the Beast is ideal; many people consider it the best motion control shoe you can buy. I added the Dr. Scholl’s inserts on top of the Brooks inserts that are provided. This seemed to work; my tendon started to get a little tight, but it didn’t start to burn or feel anywhere near as tight as it used to get. According to my physical therapist, this means I’m a good candidate for orthotics.
I walked home a bit wobbly since my knees and hips were a bit unused to pounding the asphalt like that anymore, but the small endorphin rush was worth it. Oh endorphins, you are the best natural high I can get. I took a cold shower after I stretched again, letting the water hit my legs (I’ve tried ice baths before, and while they work, the unbearable cold on my man parts is too much for me). Finally, I popped a couple of Advil on my way out the door for work to settle the eventual inflamation.
Update – 07/05/06: Oh my. My tendon flamed up in the late evening of the 3rd. It was okay all day, but suddenly began to hurt that night. Now, it feels good – I iced it and stretched it before my 22 mile bike ride with the Chief. I need further instructions from the physical therapist.
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