The first steps

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In February I thought I might never run again. Now I am open to the idea that I may never run the same way again.

 

Last weekend I decided it was time to lace up the shoes and go for a run. Okay- go for a jog. Okay- go for a really slow and short shuffle around the block.

 

Jim and I were shooting for about half a mile and we went just a little longer. I have to say after sitting out for this long half a mile was enough to make my calf muscles really sore. And yes to answer the question you are thinking of asking my ankle did feel tender both during and after the run.

 

Today we went out again, this time we made it almost a mile. After today’s run I am confident that I won’t be going much longer distances for a while, I still have quite a bit of rebuilding of muscles and confidence to do.

 

I think the confidence will take longer than the muscles. As Jim and I were running I kept imagining falling. Then after my imaginary fall all I could think about is how badly my leg hurt when I injured it.

 

As with all healing it takes time. But these two runs mark the first steps of healing.

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Am I Afraid?

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I read a blog the other day that made me pause and reflect. A woman who ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon wrote it, it was her first half. Though she had been training for a finish time of around 2 hours, she actually finished about an hour after that. It bothered her, she wanted to find out if she really deserved the Corral A assignment. Immediately after the race, she signed up for a 20k and crossed the finish line in under two hours. (http://thefinalforty.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/race-recap-miles-for-music/)

 

Awesome right?

 

As I read the blog it occurred to me, I’ve never really run a race to prove I can make a goal time. I have pushed it on a few 5ks but it was just because I was feeling really good and really in the moment. But most important I just felt like running. So a question has been lingering, why haven’t I tried to break 2 hours on a half marathon? Based on my 5k time it should be well within my limits.

 

In previous blogs, I’ve written about how much I just enjoy getting out and running. I’ve also written about how much I enjoy running with new runners. But I recognize that the pace I run is really comfortable. I am so much in my comfort zone that I can knock out a sub 2:30 half marathon with virtually no training. Am I satisfied with being comfortable? Am I satisfied with simply enjoying every run? Or do I want something more?

 

Answering the question is a struggle. One thing really bothers me. Am I afraid to try? Am I simply afraid to set a goal time? Am I afraid I won’t be able to do it?

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I love running. I love the not so competitive atmosphere running offers. I love the friendship and camaraderie. As I struggle to answer the question I also wonder if chasing a time goal will make me lose the things that draw me to the sport. Or am I selling myself short by not challenging myself and trying?

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There are a few more races on my schedule for this year. I’ve got the Newport 10 miler in April and I’m going to sign up for a half (not sure which one) in the fall. I think it’s time to reassess what I really want to achieve from this sport. And maybe, even if it is for one race only, I should make a goal of getting a PR (for both the half and full marathon).