Chronicling A Comeback (Vol. 3)

Well, I am falling onto a nice pattern, running every other day, just like when I first became a marathoner about 18 years ago.  Back then I strictly followed the marathon plan in the great book The Non-Runners Marathon Trainer.  That plan called for three or four runs a week – basically every other day.  In the years since then I became a sometimes every day runner and other times a five-day-a-week runner.  In my prime, when I set my marathon PR in Chicago (2006) (boy, that was a long time ago…) I was peaking at 50+ mile weeks.

But, for now, I am an every other day runner and my distances don’t compare.

It’s all part of the process.

It’s a good process.

Today Ethan and I were the only people at the track, the only people again in the sports complex.  It’s very strange to be in a vibrant place, a place usually full of life and excitement, and for that very same place to be empty.  

The world has certainly changed.  I’m quite sure that this is for the better.  

Earlier today, my wife and I did a 3.5 mile walk.  We passed many people, but, either we – or they – crossed the street to walk on the other side well before we’d have any sort of contact.  

People are waving to each other, which, in good times isn’t an every day occurrence in this part of New Jersey.  In our harried lives, we didn’t always take the time to wave or say hello.  Now we do, even if it’s just a quick word from across the street as we pass.

“A beautiful day for a walk, no doubt.”

The words are nice, the distance isn’t. 

I don’t necessarily like the empty arena, but I wasn’t there for the scenery or for social purposes anyway.  I was there to get a run in. 

I did my now traditional 100 yard walk, followed by my 100 yard walk/slow jog back (alternating every 10 yards) before beginning my run.

The directions from my orthopedist stated for me to not run more than a mile at this point, but my physical therapist wanted me to only run for six minutes.  I figured I’d split the distance.  I figured I try to do three laps or .75 mile.  

I stared out very slowly and realized that that pace wasn’t even running, it was old man walking.  I picked it up a bit.  

My first lap, thusly, was very slow, but I finished the second lap at 5:05 (a 10-15 second improvement over Friday), and, feeling good, I set out for the third lap.  I’m was not running hard, I was just kind of jogging, and I didn’t push it, but I didn’t back off either.

The final curve got tough, but the end was in sight.

I finished, just under 7:30 for three laps.  That would be better than a ten-minute mile.  

On Tuesday I plan to run again.  I won’t go a mile, I’ll do .75 again.  I pushed it a little today, I do want to be smart.  I won’t go for the full mile until Thursday.  It’ll be here soon enough.  

But, so far, each run has given me hope, no pain, and very apparent progress.

I’m not a runner again, not yet.

But I’m getting there.

The marathon is 209 days away.



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