Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 15)

One of the best people in this world is my dear friend Ed Hasse.  He is just the greatest person ever.  I treasure and greatly value the times when we are together.  I especially love when we can run together.

Today we enjoyed our first ever “Social Distance” run.  Ed came over to help me on my first three mile run since my surgery in January.

He was supposed to carry me, but man.  I carried him.  I did the first mile at about 7:37.  I was flying.  I would have been faster, but I had to wait for Ed to catch up.  It was easy to social distance, the man couldn’t keep up with me.  I started getting frustrated during the second mile as I started at sub-seven-minute-mile pace.  I carried that for at least .60 before my cell phone rang.  It was Ed, he had gotten lost.  I guess I got too far ahead of him…

Ummmmm…

That paragraph above, the one about me running fast… yeah, none of it’s true.  I told Ed that I would write something like that, so I did, but none of it is true.

Here’s the true story – Ed came over to help carry me over my first attempt at running three miles since my surgery.  My previous long run had been two miles, but since today is the 300th consecutive day that I have exercised, I figured a three mile effort made some sense – sort of as a way to “celebrate.”  3 miles on Day 300!

The good news is that we covered 3.2 miles.  The bad news is that all we did was cover it, which meant that we had to walk a few times during the run.  (We stopped to walk because I needed the breaks – not Ed.  Ed has always been a much strong runner than I have ever been.  He’s done 30+ marathons.  (Me, a mere 21.)  Ed did an Iron Man.  Ed’s been running long distances all winter and into the spring.  Three miles for him is a piece of cake right now.  For me, it’s a bit too far.)

I felt good running.  The Achilles doesn’t hurt at all.  What hurts, ironically, is everything else.  Everything else.  My legs don’t take the pounding on the roads very well any longer.  (They will again, once I get back into shape.)  Four times, we slowed down to walk during our three mile effort today.  We’d walk for maybe .10 or .20 before running (slowly) again.  

The run itself was awesome.  It was great to be with Ed.  He is just one of the best people ever.  We talked and laughed and caught up, all while trying to stay 6 feet apart as we ran (and walked).  Social Distance running is a bit strange.  But it was great!  

Ed is a motivator.  He complimented me, time and again.  “You look great.  You’re doing great!”  Everyone should have a friend as encouraging and positive and supportive as Ed Hasse.  

I am disappointed in myself that I had to take any walking breaks, and as many as I did, but I know that three miles was too far for me at this point in my recovery and I knew that the roads would just cause all sorts of pain my my legs and such.  The pounding of my body (still way too heavy) on my legs on the hard asphalt while not being strong enough yet makes for a bad combination.  I did the distance, but it wasn’t easy or smooth, or very fast.  It wasn’t very pretty.   (If anyone saw my running form today, they would have said, “Good for that old man, he’s out there trying.  How sweet!”)

Until a few years ago, I was able to make the transition from the treadmill to the roads seamlessly.  Running was running.  And I ran hard, always – and everywhere.  But over the last few years, running outside has been much more difficult for me.  The transition outside has been very tough.  Very very tough. 

This is one reason I plan to try to not use the treadmill as much for my training and why I didn’t even want to start on it.  It’s not “easy” to run on the treadmill  I push myself.  It is still is hard exercise, but it doesn’t hurt my body, it doesn’t beat me up the way the hills and the roads outside do.  Those roads, that asphalt, it is just relentless.  

The treadmill is too easy in that sense, and for me to be a runner again, A RUNNER!, I need to force myself out the door and get strong on the roads.  No machines, no music, no comfort of home, just me and the roads.  Just me and the aches and the pain.  And the PAIN.  And the misery and the pain that comes with getting stronger.  There was a time when I was so much stronger as a runner.  

I also know, logically, that it will all come back.  This is still just a few months after surgery, just a few months after almost seven weeks of being on crutches and in a boot and all of that.  

It’s a process.  And I’m getting there.

Today my dear friend Ed helped me cover the miles.  I can’t wait to run with him again.  

And I’m determined that the next time we run, there will be no walking breaks!

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