It was a beautiful day. A perfect day to revive my love for running. So, I busted out my new pair of New Balance running shoes (that have been waiting to be used since I bought them back in March). They're pink and grey, which makes me happy. They were also only $20, which makes me even more happy.
Because it's been nearly 2 years...two sad, sad years...since I've run, I stretched for a long 15 minutes to remind my body what it felt like and to warn my body just what we were getting into.
And then I took the step. The running step. Oh, did it feel good. For about 10 strides, it felt good. Then I remembered that running requires breathing. So, I focused on that. Another 10 strides later, I'm reminded of the fact that I am totally and completely out of shape. I stop. I breath. I hold my hands over my head and walk. I run again. And feel even better this time.
I decide to work up in small increments of 100-200 meters of running, then walking and running again. Each time I run, I go farther and each time I walk, it gets shorter. I'm making progress. By my last increment I'm running about 400 meters and because I'm starting to feel awesome again, I sprint the last 100, like a real runner.
I cool down with the same series of stretches I started with. This time I bring Jim with me and we walk my route as I talk him through my first attempt at going back to running. I feel good. Really good. Although my body aches, I know it's a good ache. I am eager to hit the pavement again.
Unfortunately, today I woke up with a twinge of pain just above my left heal. Every runner, even old runners know that feeling is not good news. You know that dude from Greek Mythology - his name was Achilles and he had an arrow shot through his heel...and he died. I'm not sure how comforting it is to think of that. But, I know that I've strained my Achilles Tendon...and I have to lay of the running for a bit. And now, I'm sad. I guess that last 100 meter sprint just wasn't meant to be. I just hope I can enjoy a run sometime this fall. There is nothing quite like running through crunchy leaves on a crisp fall afternoon. Nothing.