Four laps in 6:58
I acted like I won the Gold medal. OK, not really, but I did mutter, "yes!" under my breath and did a quick little skip/jump/happy hop after looking at my watch. Before I get into the play by play, let me reassure you that I know my time is slow. However, I will explain why I'm giving myself a pat on the back. The first reason is that I have been terrified to go the the track. I don't mean that I have those little excitement pangs in my tummy thinking about it; I mean that the track puts a deep fear in me. I don't know if it's because I didn't feel on top of things when I went to the track last year or because I've been afraid to see exactly where I am this year, but every time I have headed to the track recently, I backed out, thinking, "I can't do this," opting for something else instead, a tempo run, fartlek or random intervals. The second reason I'm pretty stoked is because just two months ago, I accepted that I may never really run again. There are other reasons why I'm happy with my effort today, but I'll stop at three, and add that I saw room for improvement. I didn't go crazy on this one, and it helped me see that even with such obvious imbalance, I can still manage some faster runs.
I'm very content with the way I ran. I felt on top of things the whole way, which is much better than the way I have run in the past, getting in over my head early and thinking, "AAK!! I can't do this!" by the third lap. This time on the third lap, I told myself that I had it and to keep it together. I evened out my stride, staying just a tad outside my comfort zone to prevent any stabbing pelvic or foot pains before they occurred, and the last two laps, while slow, were smooth. Running solo is sometimes hard, especially when you don't have a great sense of pace, and, after so much time off, I'm pretty clueless. On the other hand, it's kind of nice to be able to push it on your own terms. After the four laps, I quickly moved onto the streets for two sloppy 6 or 7- minute tempo sessions. I wanted to keep my experience on the track positive, so I stopped before getting buried alive by my workout there. To be honest, I sort of lost focus and had a hard time pushing it on the streets. My foot was grumbling at me, and, before I started the whole session, I had sort of put it in my head to just focus on the track, which means I stopped focusing right after! I keep thinking back to when I could bang out 5 hard back-to-back miles at under six-minute pace in a workout. I think my heart and lungs can handle that kind of thing (maybe not that fast), but my body, especially with the limp, can't manage as well.
Yes, I have a LONG way to go. Right now I'm just trying to focus on solutions. I've been looking at ways to strengthen my weak leg and foot and attempting to stay within what my body can handle. It's a start. I just hope I can walk tomorrow, but today I'm celebrating the fact that I can run at all.
It has been forever since I last took a peek at the running forum I once mentioned that I no longer frequent, but I was glad to go on today. Someone had posted a link to a website that allows anyone to compare body size to Olympic athletes. For some reason, I find this little activity entertaining. Apparently I'm the size of one of the gymnasts from Australia and also one of the swimmers.