Five years ago I ran my first 5K in my hometown — the Stow Conservation Trust’s Run for the Woods. It feels like a whole lifetime ago — so many things have changed for me since then. I had just completed the Couch to 5K program and remember it as a gorgeous warm spring/summer day. I struggled with the heat, the distraction of running surrounded by other people, and with my pacing in that first race.
I completed this race again today, the first race I’ve done since last October when I limped the Hartford Half with a broken toe. It was important to me to do because it was my 50th race and I wanted that milestone to be in my hometown and on the anniversary of my first race.
I’ve been training with a mix of running and walking — right now I’m running 15 seconds and walking 45 and have gotten up to 2 miles doing that. I made the decision to walk this morning because I didn’t feel ready to bump up to 3 miles for the first time in a race setting and didn’t want to risk injury. I wasn’t sure how fast I’d be able to walk. Before today, my fastest walking mile was around 14:50 and my fastest 5K training time was a couple of weeks ago at 46:03. Today I finished the race in 41:36, dropping my pace to 13:25 and my overall time significantly. That felt great, as did the fact that I got 3rd place female walker and a trophy to go with it.
Over the next week, I’m looking forward to extending my training to three miles and looking for another 5K to run. Slowly, slowly getting back to it.
Here’s a photo of my trophy!
This week brought good and bad news on the “return to running” front.
Good news: I logged more miles walking than I have in the previous two weeks. I managed to get out there 6 days out of 7, and did a total of 15 miles, including my longest walk to date of four miles. My fastest mile was 15:07, also an improvement. And my 5K time dropped from 52:55 to 47:23 something since last week. I’m still walking with a slight limp but I feel like it’s becoming less noticeable and I’m hopeful for a 15 minute mile by next week.
Mixed news: Met with the doctor and had another x-ray. Learned that most of the bone has healed well, but that about 1/4 of fracture isn’t like to ever heal unless I have another and more difficult surgery. That part of my toe is still pretty painful. The doctor recommended that I work on resuming “normal” activities and see if I am able to do that. She is hopeful that I will be able to recover without surgery — as am I! So I am continuing physical therapy and am cleared to try to resume running.
Bad news: My first attempt to run since January wasn’t great. I ran 1 minute with 3 minute walking intervals for 20 minutes — so a total of 5 minutes running. I was hopeful that this would be a precursor to starting Couch to 5K, but the toe was so painful that night that I don’t think I’m ready. So I’m going to try Jeff Galloway’s running recovery program of 10 seconds running, 50 seconds walking this week and see how that feels. This is going more slowly as I had hoped, but I’m determined to keep working at it.
No great insights this week, just a healthy dose of persistence and determination.