I went on my first post-marathon run today.
A gorgeous day in the high '60s (when I started out), with trees still holding on to those last fall leaves -- yellow and red and a few green. As you may recall (it's been a while, folks -- I know) I've had some major ITB issues since The Marathon. Well, since the 18 miler in Marathon Training. It's not totally subsided -- and after three weeks of sitting still, I was beginning to spin in my head a little. Actually, I was spinning a lot.
So, about a week and a half ago, I took myself to Athletico to get an injury screening. Alex, who both settled and entertained me (which is not easy at 7:30 a.m.) assured me that it was "only" ITB -- nothing permanent, and that Someday, One Of These Days, I would be able to walk stairs (or just walk) without pain. And she encouraged me to do the exercises that she prescribed, but also to try to get back out on the path as soon as I felt able. (She also cautioned me to Be Smart this time, and stop if something hurts.)
Over the weekend in Montreal (ooh la la! oui! oui!) SJV and I walked... and walked ... and walked... And even though my leg let me hear about it, it didn't complain long into the night. So this morning I thought was the perfect day to try to run again. The last three non-running weeks have been the longest that I've not run since I started two years ago, so it was actually a little emotional when I put on my shoes, my Chicago Marathon hat (seriously earned that one...) and my favorite fall running jacket. I-pod in tow playing a little Iron & Wine... And off I went into the fall colors and robin's-egg-blue-sky that I otherwise could only admire through my window.
I was careful -- very, very careful. And I'm trying a new running form/style (Chi-running, for those that are curious) that seems to help. I ran a smokingly fast time for being out for three weeks and still being injured, and I only ran 1.5 miles. But I ran. I got to feel the ground under my feet, and the breeze on my face, the sun on my skin... it was exactly what I needed.
But it's clear that I'm starting over -- I was more winded than I normally would be, and this new form will take time to get used to. So it's good that it's The Off Season, and that now I can focus on form rather than speed, and the love of the outdoors rather than the PR.
More on Montreal soon, and maybe someday I'll post that Marathon Race Report. It's a hard one to write...
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