Having rested my leg totally and completely for 3 solid days — even taking the subway to work to avoid the 30-minute walk in at least 1 direction — I was anticipating that I’d be back up and running quite literally on Saturday morning. In my mind, I was being practical. The, what I thought to be realistic, goal was simply to cover 2 miles (I suggested 3 miles on Friday evening, and Noah made me promise to only run 2). I’d run to yoga, go through a restorative Saturday morning sequence, and run home.
But the plans had to change.
Noah and I woke up nice and early on Saturday morning. I did some work. Got myself pumped even for just a short, slow run. Snacked on some fruit. Put on my brightest neon shorts. Decided to leave the yoga mat behind so as not to compromise my stride. Left the apartment. Noah and I broke off immediately, he to conquer 18 grueling miles in the sweltering New York City heat, and me to trudge my way up Park Avenue to take in what I could of the Summer Streets.
On a positive note, Summer Streets was awesome, and I felt grateful to even be out there taking in the city’s many sights from the middle of the road — something not usually possible unless you risk getting hit by a car, taxi, truck, bus, and biker, possibly all the at the same.
After about 5 blocks, I knew that the pain that had dissipated during my 3 days of rest was beginning to return. I got about 10 blocks in and felt not excruciating, but unquestionable pain — the kind you just can’t ignore if you’re a runner who’d like to continue to do so for the rest of their life.
I had wanted so badly to make it at least 1 mile. Just 1 measly, 10-minute mile. Instead, I found myself force quitting at just a half. I had barely reached the other side of the Metlife building.
Part of me was trying to be proud of this decision to quit sooner than I ever had before. I was listening to my body. I was being smart. I was preserving my physical well-being.
“He who argues for his limitations gets to keep them.” — Richard Bach
I was also incredibly frustrated. On the one hand, there was, and still is, such a lack of clarity behind my undetermined injury. On the other hand, I was honestly annoyed by all of the happy, sweaty, pain-free runners whizzing past me. I know this may come off as sounding bratty, but when all you want to do is move your body the way it was born to, and you can’t, it can be difficult to show unadulterated happiness for all those who can. Put simply, I just wanted what they had.
I knew I had to reassess my recovery process quickly, because while I had planned to take Sunday off completely, I knew that single day of non-exercise was just not going to be enough. Originally, I was going to run a total of 20 miles this week. Right now, I’m not even sure if I should be attempting 1.
This is what I was thinking about as I made my way up the stairs of Yo! Yoga, a studio I had not yet been to before but had been wanting to check out for quite some time for their outdoor space.
Naturally, with good luck all around me, the class wound up taking place indoors. I just didn’t care at that point though. I was desperate for an hour of rhythmic flowing — eyes closed — in order to at least attempt to find my center once again.
Saturday morning’s class was restorative indeed. From the white, exposed brick walls to the quiet, light-filled space, I did really enjoy this quaint studio nestled beneath the 59th Street Bridge.
This landmark structure, of course, also served as a real slap in the face, and so what I tried to do was, with every inhale, to accept the fact that I was not at that moment running over the Queensboro Bridge that was staring at me from right outside the studio window, and with every exhale, to let that sense of frustration go.
I think it worked. (I think it worked. I think it worked.)
On Sunday, I headed out to Long Island for a little fun in the sun. If I couldn’t run, I would fill my day with poolside tanning, insanely adorable nieces and nephews…
…and a little light swimming, if only to get my cardio fix.
So, that’s where I am after this weekend. Just when I’ve learned to manage one injury — my recurring but easily manageable piriformis pain — another less obvious problem arises. It just goes to show you, there is always more to learn about running, about your body, and about what you need to maintain a healthy you. It’s a never-ending, ever-evolving journey, but I suppose, that’s also what makes it so addicting.
- Please allow me to live vicariously through you. Did you have an awesome run this weekend?
- Any suggestions for fun ways to switch up my workouts this week without injuring my leg further?