Saturday morning, I ran the Panicking Poultry 5K out at the reservoir. It was freezing out! I'm someone who prefers hot to cold, but even those who like the cooler temperatures were looking uncomfortable. I will admit that the cold affects my heart valve leak and drops a dose of anxiety into my system. A few times during the race, I placed my thick wool gloves over my mouth to try to make the air feel warmer and calm myself down. Despite the nerves and the cold, it turned out to be a fun race, and I think I sensed some fitness in me somewhere.
Since I haven't been training for anything in particular, more just getting used to running again, I'm definitely lacking confidence. I'm not sure when and how to push myself in races. That's partly a mental thing and partly a physical one. Making sure I stay within what my wobbly and mechanically challenged body can handle is my top priority right now. I'm doing a pretty good job of running without getting to a point where I am crippled the next day like I have done in the past. Everything is more of a tempo run, but I can still push it on some level. I hope I can eventually push it without worrying so much about this twinge or that ache. The more I work on overall strength, the more I feel like I'm getting there.
I ended up running 23:39, but my chip time was a little bit faster, which is great news to me. I'm oddly very happy about my performance, because after a total of eight (yes eight!) surgeries shared between my two feet in the last bunch of years, there were times I thought I might not even walk again without pain. Neither the pain nor the issues are completely gone, of course, but I'm managing things as well as I can and am thrilled to be able to run at all at this point.
Don't look if you're easily grossed out:
|Shortly after the surgery on my right foot|
|I'm not flipping you off; I just can't bend my toe.|
|It's not perfect, but they work.|