I didn’t really take the first 2 weeks off. A quick recap – I got a calf strain on a 9 mile run a week before our training plan was to begin, saw a doctor who said wait 2 weeks (R.I.C.E.) and then I’d be fine, ran after 2 weeks and it didn’t feel good, saw another doctor who said take another week off and also taught me exercises and gave me a sports massage. I’m not where I was before but I’m running again and know I’ll get back to that point!
So this morning, I woke up at 5:40 am and did stretching exercises (a new thing for me) before heading out with Mike and Matt at 6 am. I was very excited but also probably equal parts nervous. I kept trying not to replay in my mind what happened a little over a week ago when I thought I was fine, when I started running with them and instantly felt a pain in my calf and had to stop. Sadly my headphones broke this morning when I tried to turn on Pandora. I also tried not to see that as a sign, telling me not to run today. I’ve run without headphones so it wasn’t a huge deal and this was only a 3 mile run. I actually think it was a good thing because I was forced to really pay attention to my body and how I was feeling.
I ran SLOW. The Hal Higdon Novice II marathon training plan that we follow encourages us to run 30-90 seconds slower than our targeted pace time of 8:30. We are all pretty fast runners and run around 7:30-8:00 minute miles for everyday running. So I thought it might be hard going slow. Eh not so much today. I actually can’t imagine running a 7:30 minute mile right now. But I suppose that makes sense. I haven’t really run in 3 weeks and am coming off an injury. It’s important to really ease into it.
I tried to guess my pace by lagging a little behind Matt who has a Nike GPS watch (our Garmins arrived today!). I strapped my iPhone into my arm band and turned the volume up on the Nike + app so I could hear my average pace at the mile markers. That worked alright but I’m excited to use a Garmin on Saturday’s run.
My legs didn’t hurt. My right one felt a little tight. Once in a while my left calf felt a little off – just different. And my right ankle felt kind of strange at one point. Mike later said his did too – may have been from the foot circles/stretches we did on Sunday with X Stretch. I may have been a little too aware, reading into things a little too much, as well. I do wish I had brought water (will do that on Thursday). Even though it was just 3 miles and not too hot or humid today, I’m used to drinking a lot of water in the mornings and would have been more comfortable had I had some. Matt brought a small, handheld bottle with him – smart.
I felt pretty good after the 3.6 (we weren’t paying attention and ran too far before turning around) miles but was ready to be done. It felt strange running at the slower pace. A different running experience. I like that I’m able to take in more around me when I’m running at a slower pace. My favorite route, which I will probably get sick of quickly during training, is the run up to the Capitol, down the mall, to the Lincoln Memorial and back. It’s about a 6 mile route. Today we ran up to the Capitol (avoided hill) and a little way down the mall. The views never get old!
I did notice an increased appetite today with running this morning. I had to dig into my PopCorners at 10:20 am and enjoyed tart fro yo for an afternoon snack. I’m also trying to take breaks and get away from my desk to stretch my legs and do some calf exercises. The soles of my feet kind of felt strange and now I’m paranoid about getting injured (or plantar fasciitis!), so I switched out my terrible-for-my-feet flat gladiator sandals and put on flats with Nike Air (love them!).
Stay tuned for exciting Garmin running updates – we got our watches today in the mail!