The other half is physical. Yogi Bear said that.
Wait, Berra. The ball player, not the cartoon. Anyway, he was talking about baseball – not running – but I think it applies.
Things I realized in no particular order on this morning’s run: (And I’m using the term run very loosely.)
5 weeks is an awfully long time for a layoff. Injury or not. The doc said I ruptured the plantar fascia. He then smiled and said with all manner of assuredness, “The good news is it will get better.” There was little offer of a solid time frame for my recovery or how to gauge progress. I believe the terms increase activity to tolerance may have been used. He set a follow-up appointment for a month and I’m sure he fully expected that he would not be seeing me again.
Four weeks out and I was still in what I could only describe to him as constant pain. Not overwhelming, mind you, just ever present. And certainly significant enough that I was unable to run. I suppose Motrin may have helped but I pretty much suck when it comes to taking medicine so after the first week of no improvement I quit that course. He suggested an injection of corticosteriods intimating with the disdain in his eyes that I had brought it on myself. I’m familiar with the look. Again he smiled and said, “It’ll get better.”
I suppose the better part of prudence would have had me engaged in alternative forms of exercise over the past five weeks. Self-pity and ice cream are very poor substitutes for cardiovascular conditioning. After knee surgery for a torn meniscus this past December I asked my orthopedist when I could resume running. He looked at me (with disdain) smiled and said, “Get a bike.”
I’ve got a bike. I don’t like it. It hurts my ass and makes me numb in places I’d rather not be. The bike would have at the very least lessened the severity of what was surely a massive coronary suffered after the first 10 minutes of easy running this morning.
I have to listen to music while I’m running. Must. The noise of my breathing literally scares me! A close second on the totally annoying scale is when there’s a tiny, yet ever so perceptible rattle in my ear buds. The rattle of the cord on my shirt drives me nuts so I tuck the cord under a hat to keep it from flopping. This morning the actual ear bud developed a rattle and I became so discombobulated messing with the thing that I nearly ran into a tree. To my great fortune I had the park to myself so that at least some shreds of my dignity were salvaged.
It takes in inordinate amount of time to achieve a comfortable level of fitness. It takes exponentially less to lose it all.
I ran this morning for the first time in 5 weeks. It felt more like the first time ever.
It felt good.