After running on the treadmill the other day, and thinking about how great that run was, I have had a paradigm change.
When I began my running comeback from the Achilles tears and subsequent surgery, my initial thoughts were that my early running should take place on a track or on the roads outside. Both of these had appeal. The track, obviously, has a cushioned surface. The roads are where I’ll do all of my heavy running and where the marathon will take place. In order to complete the New York City Marathon in November, I am going to have to run on roads – they won’t let me run that race on my treadmill.
But there was another reason as well. I wanted this return to running to be all me. Just me. Not me and an iPad. Not me and a treadmill. It was just going to be me. Me and the roads. Me and my legs. Me and my strength. Me and whatever it is that gets runners through runs. I didn’t want any mechanical help. I didn’t want motivation or inspiration from music. I just wanted it to be me.
I figured that if I was going to do this thing, it had to all come from within.
But then, the other day, due to the fact that the track is closed, the roads are hard, and because slight “discomfort” (it’s not pain!) started to return to my legs, along with terrible weather, I did an easy (but most wonderful) mile on my treadmill.
And because of that run, on a cushioned surface, where the tread is all flat and even, and where there are no hills (like outside), I decided that getting back to my running through the treadmill made a lot of sense.
I figured that it makes sense to build up my running strength on the treadmill, at least for a while, before heading back outside.
As such, on the advice of my physical therapist, I jumped on this morning and did my longest run yet – 1.5 miles. Now we’re getting there. (I plan to run two miles on Friday!)
For today’s run, I followed the same pattern as my last run. I warmed up, stretched (I never used to stretch), did some of my PT exercises, and jumped on the machine. I began at 5.0 miles per hour and increased the speed every tenth of a mile (at .10, I went to 5.1 mph, at .20, I went to 5.2 mph, etc.). I finished the first mile at 11:00 and then ran the last half-mile at 6.0 mph. (I wanted to go faster, but my physical therapist recommended just staying at 6.0 for that last half-mile.)
The run itself was a little more challenging than the other day, but not much. It was all good. I even did a cool down “lap” (.25 miles) at the end (something else I never do).
This is what they call progress.
I’ll be running a marathon in no time!