It all started Friday morning when I went to see my orthopedic Doctor. Dr. Pak was out of town, so I saw his nurse practitioner. After some smooth talking (and a couple of x-rays), we collectively decided (I was on board, I just had to get her on board too) that it was time to give running a try. I was Pumped! Sure it's only a couple weeks of trial running and then back in for further evaluation, but let's not even talk about the "S" word right now. It isn't important.
Let's face it, I hadn't taken one step that mimicked running form in 16 weeks. Ok, fine, a couple days earlier it was pouring rain and I had to jog through a parking lot. SPOILER ALERT!!! Talk about foreshadowing, it was exhilarating.
Anyway, I was super excited about the awesome news, anywhere I was going, I was probably going to jog a little. To my car, at the grocery store, to the bathroom, etc. It was super hard for me not to go straight home and hit the trail. I didn't though, because we were headed to Lubbock and I knew Brittni had an interval workout the following a.m.
The entire drive home I was ecstatic about the following day. The plan was to run part of the warm up with Brittni.
Satruday morning, we got up early and headed to the Texas Tech mile loop. This is a cinder loop and basically wraps around the rec center. It is a great place to get in hard workouts, while still being able utilize a soft surface.
The sun was just coming up and it was a perfect Texas morning. Like a little kid at a candy store, I was staring down at the dirt, ready to enjoy my first run back. I was excited to be joined by my friend Quent Bearden. *** Fun fact: he holds the school record (1:52) in the 800 meters at the high school we attended.
Quent has been battling an iliopsoas injury, but decided to come out and play when he heard I got the O.K. to run again. Almost a master, he is still throwing down miles faster than most people I know. With a very "Quenton Cassidy-esque" training style, he will hop in a 100 miler every once in a short while, always reiterating he will never put his body through that pain ever again.... HA! Running competitively through college and post collegiately, he has a very stellar personal best of 1:46 in the 800. Any time I am in Lubbock, I can count on him to help get me through a tough workout.
Anyway.... a group of 10-12 people showed up for the run and it was great seeing familiar faces. As we started the run, it was everything I had hoped for! 10 minute pace had never felt better and I was going to appreciate every second of it! Although it went by too fast, it was great to feel the ground under my feet again, especially with such good company.
After the run, I got to watch my girlfriend crush a workout! She is coming off a stress fracture and seems to be gaining fitness very quickly. I am proud of her optimism and patience and try to reflect that on my current situation.
Although my foot feels fine today, I'm not sure what the next two weeks will bring, but I am very excited and nervous at the same time. I realize how much I take the ability to run for granted and injuries help you appreciate running even that much more. Hopefully I learn from this lesson and mature as a runner and a person.
Thanks for listening.