One mile at a time, is the new mantra. After three months off to heal my left foot, I have successfully had two pain-free 2-mile runs. It feels great to be running. The first 2-mile run was on the NIKE berm with Andrew and Bianca Martin. It has been a long time since I ran with my husband and teammate. They went a little fast for me, but I told myself it was only two miles and to not get dropped the first day. The second day, I only ran with Andrew, my husband, and it was much slower.
Even though we weren’t able to run together the last few months, we made other arrangements to exercise together. There are two stationary bikes in the living room to allow us to cycle together, but it is not the same. People always ask why I don’t cycle outside. The answer is that I am injury prone and can’t add another layer of risk.
This come back will be different. There is no time-line or goal race. I am letting my body dictate the course. My physical therapist and coach will also guide the return to running. I have to be more specific when I describe how the foot feels. Ok and fine don’t cut it anymore in the description department. They already pulled back the reigns when I wanted to start running after two months off. The foot was still sore to walk, so we pushed the time-off to three months. That was a smart decision because the foot feels almost normal.
I am a planner and a countdown queen. I like to know how many days till the goal. Letting my foot dictate the pace of therapy and running is frustrating. However, this is the final lap for me. Therapy and the return to running need to be perfect, not rushed. If it doesn’t work then I can hang up the spikes knowing I gave it everything.
Doing things perfectly means that my warm-up for a 2 mile run takes longer than run. The warm-up now includes:
Warm-up on the bike
Ankle Mobility exercises
Light Skipping Drills
These exercises get the foot ready to run and my body warmed up. Gone are the days of putting on the shoes and heading out the door. At this phase of recovery, that could put the Achilles or the ankle over the edge. They get the kid glove treatment. As I am writing this I am icing and using electrical stim on the Achilles. Pre and post run therapies are the key to staying healthy.
The Olympics started this week with the Opening Ceremony. I look forward to watching the Olympics the next two weeks to draw inspiration from the amazing athletes going after their dream. I will multi-task by doing my therapy exercises or biking while watching the Olympics. The Olympics will provide drama, suspense and tears of victory and defeat in the next two weeks. I hope the Olympics inspire you to set goals and begin the journey to achieve them.
Let’s support the athletes by following them on Facebook and Twitter. You can send them good luck wishes and congratulations after their events. Enjoy the Olympic Games but remember these athletes train and compete year round, not just every four years. Track & Field could use fans all year.