Sunday, June 14, 2009

Once again, a runner

A monumental day! I think I can now call myself a runner again. Technically I have been "running" for the past 2 weeks but today I crossed the line from jogging to actual running. I had started doing some fast walking on the treadmill almost a month ago, gradually adding some intervals of light jogging until I managed to jog my first continuous mile 2 weeks ago. My jogging pace was only marginally faster than walking, though, I was walking at 12:30 - 13:00 pace and started jogging at just under 12:00 pace. For the past 2 weeks I have been jogging a mile every other day and gradually increased the pace but didn't really get much faster than 11:00 pace. I didn't have any issues with the Achilles but trying to get my legs moving again felt a bit awkward at first. Not surprising I guess after not having run a step in 4.5 months and still lacking strength in my legs. There was steady progress of course but no dramatic changes from one day to the next. The last few days I have been feeling stronger but I was still cautious and didn't try pushing myself much. Well, today I thought it was time to take a leap to the next level. It was a pretty good day overall, I managed to get myself out of bed early enough to ride my bike to work and had a really good ride on the way back. I'm either getting stronger or finally started figuring out how to climb hills on my bike as I was doing a really good job at it. I ended up back home around 8PM, finishing off a total of 32 miles on the bike, and despite having worked my quads quite a bit I was pumped about going for a run. As soon as I got home I switched out of my biking and into my running clothes and headed down to the treadmill for the usual mile. So far I had been doing some walking for a few minutes before starting my jog but this time I jumped right into it. I started at slightly faster than 10:00 pace for maybe a minute then brought it down to about 8:30. I kept it steady for a while and dropped down in the low 8s for the last couple of minutes. I felt like I could easily go faster but I thought it would be smarter not to get carried away. My legs are getting stronger and cardiovascularly I think I managed to keep myself in good shape. Sure, I still have ways to go but for the first time since the surgery I got a glimpse of how it feels to be running again. And what a great feeling that is. Never take that for granted.