Friday, October 12, 2012

One Mile at a Time: Learning to Run Again

I took my first steps this morning, really.  I haven't run in 2 months, and today I ran one mile.  That was it.  My coaches instructions were one mile and only one mile.  As I walked out to my front gate, I realized that my walking was a little awkward.  The plantar fasciitis has definitely been messing with how I walk.  So, I decided to focus.  Focus on each step.  Focus on my form.  Focus on trying to have each leg move like the other.

Today was exciting in many ways.  One year ago this weekend, I watched the Ironman World Championships on my computer.  I had been avoiding a decision on doing another Ironman for a couple of months at the time, but watching the pros and age groupers ignited the already hot embers inside of me.  It's been five months since Ironman St. George, I've had major life changes and my training had literally disappeared.  On top of that, the foot pain was just getting to me.  I've been working on it diligently, and making progress.  On Tuesday, I spoke with my coach and initiated my 11 month plan towards Ironman Lake Tahoe.  My goal is to achieve the best result that I possible can.  I don't know what that result will be, but I know that I will not leave anything on the table.  Training will be my first priority (after my wife and family, of course).  Saying it and writing it feels so right.  My bike rides the past two days have solidified the feeling that this is healthy for my mind and body.  Years of excessive stress and pressure have taken their toll.  I tend to be a driven person, so channeling that drive to something healthy makes the most sense to me.  I'm also goal driven, although I am not defined by whether I achieve those goals.  Giving them my best shot is enough, I've learned that in my life.

I slept very soundly last night and woke up ready to go.  I swam for 35 minutes, then spent about 5-10 minutes in the hot tub, stretching.  Then, it was time to run.  Left, right, left right.  I noticed that I didn't want to land on my heal, but I just naturally let my stride fall on my mid foot (as best I can tell) of both feet.  The left leg felt different than the right, focus on trying to keep them feeling the same.  Breathing was very easy, stride was comfortable.  No pain, no twinges, no concerns.  Looked at my Garmin, I'm keeping a pace of about 10:20, but I know that I'm running slightly uphill.  I get to 0.5 miles, my coach said "one mile", no more.  It's tempting, but I must and will be cautious.  I turn around and as I head back, just getting lost in the surrounding trees and morning air.  Looking down at my Garmin, I see my pace coming down to 10:00 (now going slightly downhill).  I know that pace doesn't matter, but it's still nice to know that I'm running super easy and my pace is right around 10:00 per mile.  That's ok, for now.

I notice my left heal occasionally, though not any real pain or discomfort.  One mile will be enough today.  I get home, immediately sit down and massage my left foot and heal.  No pain, that's a good sign.  I stretch as well, something it's finally time for me to start doing.  I'll get in the hot tub again, why not?  It's there.

I told my coach earlier this week that it was my intention to train like a professional athlete.  That doesn't just stop at the training log.  It involves my nutrition, my recovery, how I take care of my body, and my mind.  This is a journey that I am looking forward to, one day, one mile, at a time.


Lucho said...

Awesome!!! Funny, after we talked I found myself motivated to get back at it also. Coincidence? Your attitude and drive are certainly inspiring!

Wassdoc said...

Wow! Knowing that I actually inspired you is pretty cool! Now, I just get to have fun the rest of the day. Going to see a movie:)