Return to running
I was a little homesick after my brother and dad visited. So the next weekend, my mom drove from Illinois to Wyoming. She brought her two little dogs.
While Mom was here, we went for a 4.5 mile hike along the Bridle Trail at the base of the mountain. And, for the first time in a month, I didn’t hurt afterward.
Rewind: I hurt what I thought was my knee after running the Parade Day 5K way, way too fast and failing to stretch properly afterward. How fast? Try an 8:15 first mile — my PR 5K pace was about 8:40. I ran the first mile alongside a group of Marines, which should have been my first warning sign. Soreness went away a few days later and I attempted to run. I gimped through 5 miles and another 7 that weekend. The point of injury moved from my knee to the top of my quad. The next week, I (stupidly) ran 12 in New York.
I hobbled through two runs a week for about a month. When I saw other runners — especially younger, perkier, faster runners — I got insanely jealous and a little sad. I just wanted to run.
Harder than running through the pain was realizing I wouldn’t be able to run the full marathon in Denver next month. I signed up in May, intending to complete my first marathon close to home with friends and family cheering me on. I told myself I could always drop down to the half in case I didn’t get the training in. I didn’t get depressed, but I was pretty down for a few weeks.
After the hike with Mom, I dialed back, focused on strengthening exercises for my IT band. The injury made sense in hindsight — I stopped lower body weight training a few weeks before the injury, stressed all my muscles too hard in the 5K and didn’t cool down properly. I’ve hiked every week since and gradually added shorter runs in.
This week’s runs have given me hope that I can finish the half. My legs felt like new on Thursday and this morning I only felt a little pain after 4 of 6 miles.
So I’m back in the saddle with a modified plan that includes lots of stretching, foam rolling and trail running.