Here’s a golden tidbit to add to the slim volume of “Moments I’ve Been Wrong”–I should run at my normal workout pace as I rehab from this newest injury (not slower, as I assumed). Danielle explained to me Monday, as I lay on my back on the mat in her PT office doing heel dips and concentrating on engaging my abs, that running slower could alter the pounding to which my body has adjusted; and also running slower will push me up on my toes and tighten my calves. Well, sweetness! I have to cut out distances over 5 miles, hill repeats and speedwork, but I don’t have to give up my 9:30’s street runs. Sounds like a good bargain to me, considering what other options could be.
I headed out Tuesday morning with that information in hand. Still sleepy at 5:30 from my Ambien CR, the cool air gently woke me all the way. That’s one thing I missed all those months I was injured and not running outside–observing in a practical and incremental way the seasons gradually bump into each other until they’ve settled into their place in the rotation.
So I held nothing back as I moved up 43rd Avenue. I certainly wasn’t running at maximum effort, but I also wasn’t checking my stride. I found a pace that felt comfortable yet required a bit of oomph. Not favorite-old-sweater comfortable, rather like make-up-sex comfortable: you know how it will end but it is still exciting. The nip in the air must have been also at my heels, because my splits were like the good old days. 8:57, 8:52, 9:02. I wasn’t entirely pain free—things weren’t normal—but I felt a certain measure of relief and reassurance after my run, as if I’d been able to pull a bit of the past to run along side of me, here in the present, for a few miles.