I’ll Take It

This morning I dress for a run, with all the usual layers in place.  I have taken two days off, and the knee feels pretty good, although the butt is a bit sore from yesterday’s cross-training workout.  I almost changed my mind when I drove the girl to school.  I know.  It’s February.  It’s going to be cold!

I haven’t set any lofty goals for myself; I thought I’d see if the couple of days of no running were going to make a difference.  I start off slow.  For about 30 paces.  I speed up a bit and everything seems good.  I stop and walk for a couple of minutes with my outdoor fitness friends Sue and Richard, explaining what has been going on with my knee.  They nod sympathetically, knowing all too well about injuries themselves.   When I reach into my pocket to resume the workout on the Nike + iPod, Richard looks stunned and also sly as he asks me if they are walking too fast for me.  I grin at him and take off up the hill of Dean Road.  I dog-trot up, turn left onto South Street and find my rhythm.  At the fork, I take the long slow hill descending and let go.  My legs move of their own accord; I am ahead of my usual time.  I can tell because I am still listening to Moby on my playlist and by now I’m usually past him and onto the Corrs.  I peek at my time:  7’21″/mile.  I am flooded with relief.   Flying!  I am in the full body of a really good run!

I don’t fool around.  I just go with it.  The wind pushes against me most of the way home and still the effort to move forward is minimal, especially compared to Monday’s run.  I sprint full throttle for the last 1/4 mile uphill and stop at the corner of my street, panting.  I check my time, stopping the workout.  The voice on the Nike + tells me I have hit a new PR of 7’12” and I laugh out loud as I skip toward my house, pulling off my knit hat and unzipping my vest.  I don’t know if it was taking two days off,  if it was the little extra cross-training I did, or if it was just a really good day— 5.8 miles in 45 minutes— but I’ll take it!

I stretch and make a steaming cup of cafe mocha.  I sit down at my computer to cool off and see what’s happening online.  I find an email from my friend Sharon.  She is an experienced runner who has run lots of races and who has been at this much longer than I have.   She lovingly reminded me that middle-aged bodies need a rest now and then; that cross-training and running every other day instead of daily allows for less aches and pains, and lessens the likelihood of injury.  I know she is right.   I’d rather run four or five times a week and feel good than run every day and be in pain, maybe even have to stop altogether.   If today is any indication of the physical translation of  her advice, I’m taking it seriously.  I want to run forever.

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2 Comments on “I’ll Take It”

  1. Arnold Says:

    Bless you for your outstanding tips in the post, it’s really helped me!

  2. Craig Reed Says:

    So excited to hear about your new personal record. You Go Girl! I’m very proud of you, and glad to hear your knee is happy with the much-needed rest.


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