Slow and steady makes the race.
After three weeks of physical therapy three times a week, the physical therapists have reduced their level of concern about my Achilles to a 1.6 (out of 10).
Still, they say that they don’t like the swelling around the surgery area. They are still concerned.
Today I visited my orthopedist. He wasn’t overly concerned, but he wasn’t unconcerned either. “Achilles are tough,” he said. “It can take a long time for the swelling to go down.”
“So you’re not concerned…” I asked, hopefully.
“No, I am concerned. It’s not great. I don’t like swelling. But, you didn’t have proper PT due to Covid-19. The inflammation isn’t great.”
Good and bad, I guess.
He also talked about my PT exercises (“Do them!), icing (“Do that!”), and he prescribed an inflammation creme.
I’ll go back in a month.
He didn’t tell me not to run. He said I’d have to try it out and see.
“Jog. Slowly,” he said
So I did.
The other day I looked at the calendar. The New York City Marathon (if they run it this year) is about 20 1/2 weeks away. If I am going to run that thing, I need to build somewhat of a foundation before the week of July 12 when my 16-week training plan would begin. In my training plan, I would need to run 15 miles that week.
I figured that my last best shot to run the marathon this year would have to begin soon.
I need to get ready. Now.
I just made a plan that would have me running five miles this week, six next week, and eight the week after. Then ten. Then twelve.
And then the training would truly commence with the 15-mile week.
This plan seems awfully ambitious, but I’m going to give it a try, even though I know the odds are (very much) against me.
Still, I have to give it a try.
So, tonight I ran two miles at 5.0 MPH on my treadmill. 24:00 for two miles is painfully slow. That is a light jog.
I didn’t push the speed, I pushed the distance.
I figure that I’ll run two miles again on Thursday. Then just one on Saturday. That’ll be my five mile week.
Then I’ll see how I feel.
I’m still doing PT three times a week. I have to get the inflammation down.
I’m doing all I can.
This is my last best shot to be able to run the 2020 marathon. If the pain comes back, it’s over. I won’t be able to ramp up in time.
If I fail, I’ll make a much less ambitious plan that will (hopefully) have me ready for the 2021 NYC Marathon.
I am an optimist.
But I don’t think I can pull this off.
Still, I must try.
I absolutely must.
It’s what marathoners do.
It’s what I have to do.
It’s who I am.