Back on Track?

After spending the better chunk of the past three months not doing anything aside from physical therapy, I am slowly getting back on track. Or on treadmill, as it were.

My PT has cautioned me that I probably “shouldn’t” be running, but my doctor is fine with it. His words were “well, you CAN, but you won’t like it.”

He is right. I CAN run, but I DO NOT LIKE IT. I was given the go-ahead to run on the treadmill (I KNOW!), with strict instructions to watch my form and footstrike and to stop immediately if my knee starts to give me pain. With those two things in mind, I went to the gym on Monday and got on the treadmill.

Initially, I had intended to walk and not run, just to get my body moving and get back into the swing of being sweaty. But after about 7 minutes I decided to give running a shot, so I increased the speed. At first, my left knee was a little stiff and resistant, which caused a strange, stompy limp shuffle, but I focused on form, and gradually brought it into line. The pain eventually subsided (or dulled or numbed or something – whatever it was, it wasn’t actively hurting).

The weird thing was that my boobs decided to go a COMPLETELY different direction than the rest of my body. Perhaps whatever weight I’d gained during my downtime went straight to the ladies, but I think it’s more that my bras are starting to stretch out. Either way, it was disconcerting and incredibly annoying until I figured out which direction my shoulders should be shimmying and then the ladies fell into a more manageable rhythm.

All those years I wished for bigger boobs? Now I’ve got ’em, and I don’t want ’em.

My run/walk pattern is this: 5-minute walk to warm up, then 2 minutes of jogging (I don’t think we can *quite* call it running just yet) followed by 3 minutes of walking. Later, rinse, repeat until 2 miles. NO MORE THAN 2 MILES, because I think that is juuuuuuust about the limit right now.

Monday’s run felt good. Great, even. I got home and immediately iced up both knees and threw back some Tylenol. Then I stretched. Then I stretched some more. Felt fine walking over to the school to pick Jillian up, then I stretched some more. Iced the knees later that evening, took more Tylenol before bed, and everything was just fine.

Tuesday morning I was feeling amazing, but that always happens. I wake up feeling loose and not sore at all, then as the day goes on I get more and more decrepit and creaky. I’m backwards like that. Knees felt fine-ish, and I’ve been babying them and icing them and stretching like a mofo.

Wednesday was a no-go, because there was a party up at the school. On the other hand, having two days off might be a good thing for the time being. I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point where I can run EVERY day, but I definitely need to step it up to more than twice a week, eventually.

So yesterday was another gym day, and I pretty much did the same thing I did on Monday. Somewhere along the line, I messed up either food or hydration and was running on VERY heavy legs, which is not my favorite thing. Plus, I was feeling the Chub Rub and that was irritating me and taking me out of my good headspace. But I ran/walked my two miles and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

My knees were very unhappy this morning, but I’ve got the left one braced and will likely spend the afternoon iced up. I might even go a little crazy and throw some Ben-Gay on there, but I am out of the unscented kind and old dudes hit on me enough as it is – I don’t think I need to basically wave a geriatric-friendly flag at them. I did go out at 5 AM with the dog and felt okay, but I should probably rest more today than I have been.

Anyway, I feel like I’m eventually going to get there. I am essentially starting from scratch AGAIN, and I’m trying to keep that from getting me down, but it’s hard. I don’t think I am going to be quite ready for a triathlon in 2013, but I still have 2014 to go if I want to make my before-40 goal. That is a distant, hazy possibility, but it IS a possibility. Jillian will be in day camp for most of July, which means I will be able to take classes at the gym (like Pilates and Boot Camp and other core-work things), then come September, she’ll be in school all day, thus erasing all my excuses and reasons why not. I am looking forward to it.

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