“Relax! Hands down, quick feet, back straight, eyes forward.” Last week, I returned to running for the first time since my visit to the orthopedic surgeon’s office 3-months ago. My stress fracture has healed, and I’m learning to deal with the lingering effects of my plantar fasciitis. But, man is it tough starting all over again!
Humility and Hope
Gone are the grace and speed I once possessed. Instead, I find myself lumbering along at a slower pace (1 minute or more) and with decidedly more effort. Running is really no fun at all until you get into decent shape. It’s a miracle anybody gets started.
However, even these pathetic runs have rewarded me with a feeling of accomplishment and hope for the future. I began with 2 miles, moved to 3 miles, and ended the week running 5-miles with Peyton, my sixth-grader. There’s even a slim possibility I may be able to train in time for Boston this April!
During this touch-and-go recovery phase, each run is followed by an unpleasant icing session. I drag in the red and white cooler, fill it with 4 inches of ice, add a few pitchers of water and silently curse for the next 15-20 minutes. But, it sure beats another week of sitting on the sidelines.
I am the designated coach of our running family. My wife, Tina, is a regular at local road races. My daughter, Abigail, is a freshman cross-country runner. And, my son Peyton is a middle school cross-country runner. He’s also competing in a half-marathon next weekend to raise money for wolf conservation.
When I want encouragement, or need inspiration, all I have to do is look around. I’m surrounded by runners. Last weekend, I attended the Derryfield Invitational in Manchester, NH. It’s a big time meet with schools from all seven New England states.
Abigail climbed her way to the top of the same killer hill, and ran under the same tall shade trees, that I did 30 years ago. Her grandfather was quick to remind me that he ran there as well. His team, (Concord High School) recorded the only perfect score at the NH State Meet of Champions 52 years ago by finishing 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 overall. Go, Tide!
Enjoy the crisp fall weather and enjoy the miles!