Something amazing happened on Friday morning.
After 10 days of not running and 647 meltdowns in between, my leg began to feel better. The esoteric galaxy of shooting stars causing that undetermined pain in my leg? Gone. And while trying to run only 3 days post-pain — and determining that my body was not yet ready for pavement pounding — may have been a bit premature, I was hoping with every ounce of it that I had that 10 days would do the trick.
Naturally, I drank a few too many glasses of wine on Thursday night because, well, why would I go into a Friday morning run under any other circumstance? As any WRFG reader knows, hungover runs are what I do best.
Although it might have been more intelligent to rest up and get a good night of alcohol-less sleep, I instead enjoyed my evening at a Zeel happy hour in NYC followed by my favorite shrimp, avocado and heart of palm salad at the East Village’s Boca Chica. As much as I’ve needed to restore my physical well-being, I’m also the first to admit that my mental health could use a bit of primping too. Drinks and dinner with good company was a solid place to begin.
When I woke up on Friday morning, I was ready to run. Bring it, pavement, I thought to myself the moment I opened my sleepy eyes.
New York City greeted me, as expected, with creepy new graffiti wall art outside my apartment doors.
Uncertainty. Anxiety. Anticipation. While not three things you typically want to feel before running, these were the thoughts racing through my mind.
Well, here goes nothing.
The plan: to jog a mere half mile to Madison Square Park. There, paying homage to Monday’s free-flowing strength training session, I’d squat, lunge, dip and more for about 30 minutes using nothing but my own body weight and the park benches for stability. Then, I’d jog a half mile home for a total of 1 mile, split up into 2 segments. 10 more minutes of crunches and arm work would ensue once back at my apartment.
(It’s not Central Park, but this little oasis in Flatiron certainly did the trick.)
Well? I made it! 2 half-mile pain-free stints was all it took for my smile to return. Needless to say, however, I’m trying to be smart about this because, while my leg may not be in as much pain as before, I know I’m not in the clear.
Going forward, my rehabilitation program will be more important than ever, and it’ll be a tricky one to manage at that, what, with the prospect of the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (which, by the way, is less than a month away). When I got back to my apartment, it’s all I could talk about. Fortunately, Noah was more than willing to help me hash out a loose, unofficial training plan: run 3 days a week, start with getting back to 5 miles by next weekend.
Of course, none of that would matter until I could determine whether Friday’s excursion was real actually progress or a figment of my imagination. Saturday, I hit the Summer Streets to find out.
I knew that my leg wasn’t yet ready for any substantial kind of run, and so I planned to run 1 mile — just to test out the gears — and then meet a good friend for a little weekend morning flow. We decided to hit up Strala Yoga, the studio started by the gorgeous and lithe Tara Stiles, and to take the 11am “Strong” class led by Tara herself.
The class itself was awesome, and the perfect way to “reward” myself for a mile (and a half; I was a bit late for class and couldn’t help it!) of hard-earned running. After what turned out to be about 4 hours of sweating, between running, yoga, errands and the nice, long walk home from Soho, I threw in the towel and resolved to give my body 1 full day of rest.
I spent the rest of Saturday setting up my new bedding (and finally throwing away the duvet covers that Noah and I were still using from college — more than 3 years ago)…
…getting ready for a Mexican-themed birthday gathering in honor of our good friend and fellow runner Tim…
(The chili pepper pinata, mustache and tequila were pretty much the only details that made it a Mexican party, but that’s neither here nor there.)
…and putting together a delicious, fresh, healthy dinner for myself. It can be incredibly tempting to eat out every weekend night when you live in a city like this, but I also know that I never feel good afterward. One of my recent goals was to cook more on the weekends, even if it means chopping up some veggies and picking up a few smaller pre-made items to go with them on the side.
On Saturday’s menu: A lovely, fruity salad with a lobster summer roll ($5) and tuna summer roll ($2.50). If you love summer rolls as much as I do, be sure to pick these up from Grand Central Market. One is probably enough if you’re eating it with something else, but it was a Saturday night, and I couldn’t choose between the lobster and the tuna, so I went all out.
As for the salad, it was pretty basic. I cut up a plum tomato, a cucumber, 2 slices of a peach, a kiwi and an endive (this crisp, peppery lettuce compliments the sweetness of the fruit really nicely, I find).
On top, I added fresh basil and balsamic roasted chickpeas, which you can find the recipe for here.
That brings us to Sunday. As promised — to myself — I took the day to wrap myself in my new bedding and be a total, self-proclaimed bum. I left my apartment only to get a salad from Piccolo Cafe and to pick up groceries from the Amish Market to make another homemade meal on Sunday evening (lots of ideas and recipes to come tomorrow!).
As for the leg, I’m still somewhat on the fence. I know that those 2 days of short runs was a really great start, but I am also a staunch realist. 10 days of non-running can do wonders for the body, but that may not necessarily mean that I am 100 percent healed. I imagine this week will be very telling of my future.
- How was your weekend? Any great runs? Did you participate in Summer Streets, NYers? How do you feel about mustache-themed parties?