Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 9)

Yesterday was supposed to be my last one-mile run before ramping up to a run of 1.25 miles as I steadily progress…

But progress, or success, and even life itself, doesn’t always go in a straight line.  Progress is not always forward.  Sometimes, in order to go forward, we need to take a step back.

Yesterday was rainy and cold and miserable.  Today is supposed to be warm and bright and beautiful.  Delaying my run by one day made a lot of sense yesterday.

Rather than running yesterday, I lifted weights.  Later in the day, I did 30 minutes on the stationary bike.  I did nothing out of the ordinary.  These are exercises I have been doing for decades.  I didn’t push it.  I stayed within my regular routines.  It was all good.  

But as I woke up today, something didn’t feel right.  There was… pain in the back of my right leg.  Slight pain.  Very slight.  A dull sensation.  I’m not very good at describing things like this.  Maybe the word isn’t pain at all, maybe it’s “uncomfortable.”  I have some uncomfortableness in that area.  

I know this, I’m not supposed to wake up with a sensation in my Achilles area that doesn’t feel right.

It’s not pain, per se.  I know pain, even if I can’t describe it.  But it also isn’t a happy feeling.  

I spent time laying in bed trying to identify the exact location of the uncomfortable sensation.  Was it the Achilles?  It’s in that area, but I thought, “Maybe not…”

An hour later, now wide awake, sitting and writing this, I can look and feel and see where the sensation is.  I have good news.  It’s not where I had the surgery.  It’s above that area.  I haven’t re-injured the tendon.  It’s slightly above the scar…

But, it’s close enough.  Close enough to be of concern – however slight.

I can logically explain this pain, or discomfort, or uncomfortable feeling.  Easily.  I can explain it very easily.  I have been working out, a lot.  And, with most of my workouts, I’ve been doing a lot of stretching, using exercises I learned in physical therapy.  I don’t believe I am hurt, it is simply my leg is telling me that it’s tired.

Years ago, when I was invincible, I would tell myself that pain is just a way of encouraging me to go harder.  I thought that pain makes us stronger.  I didn’t stop for pain.  I pushed through it.  I’m a runner.  I run.  That’s what runners do.  I didn’t know the word “quit.” 

I’m a marathoner…who ever ran a marathon without pain?

But, I’m not that guy any longer.  I have to listen to my body.  And, today my body says, “STOP!”

I’ll still exercise, I need to do something, but today, like I did in the weeks after surgery, I’ll do dumbbell work, sitting in a chair.  I won’t do any strengthening exercises for the Achilles.  I’ll just let it rest.  No running.  No biking.  I won’t even pound the bags in my boxing gym.  I’ll sit and lift.  Period.  

Today the Achilles gets the day off.  It deserves it.  

I’ll run again.  And I’ll keep running.  But in order to get to the point where I can run, and run well, today I need to back off.  Maybe tomorrow too.

I never used to listen to my body.  I do now.

Even though the troublesome sensation isn’t necessarily in my Achilles, it’s too close for comfort.  My body will tell me when I should run again.  It’ll let me know.

I’ll wait to hear. 

There is no rush. 

At all.  

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