34 but not 35

The title of this post has nothing to do with age, although one of those two numbers include my actual age.

What those numbers represent are the number of consecutive non-running days that I have experienced this year. Actually, for a long, long time. Even when I have had pneumonia I was able to crank out a few miles when I was on the mend.

So, yes, I ran today at lunch. It had been almost a week since I had felt any sort of rubbing in my chest and it was the 1st day that I didn’t have any tightness/soreness in that area either. I was really trying to use last week’s swimming excursions to test if The Rub would wield it’s ugly head again. But since it didn’t I made the next hurdle to reduce, or eliminate the sore spots in my chest.

I had found a stretch that turned the sore spot on like a lightswitch. The idea was to do some easy stretching to see if that would help the area. Not sure if the stretching helped at all, but on Sunday, there wasn’t much soreness at all. In fact, when I was tossing my 30lbs son in the area at the pool, I never thought about The Rub or anything like that.

So, Monday when I woke up… I gave myself the Green Light. Yeah, sure the “educated” “professional” doctor had said ‘go for it’ but I wasn’t really sure that I was past the point and on to glorious recovery.

But I was a little worried. The last time that I had ran was 34 days ago, when it was 55 degrees. Now, 34 days later, it was 78 degrees. Huge difference and not in my favor either. It was all a big mystery. I wasn’t sure how far I would last. I wasn’t sure of anything really… other than the fact that I had been at this point before…

Over on Petra‘s blog, she confesses one of the deadly sins of running: Running in a Race for Which You Are (grossly) Undertrained. She ran a marathon this weekend which she was undertrain for and paid for it. I can feel her pain because I did the exact same thing back in 2002 when I had the opportunity to run either the Mardi Gras Half marathon or the Mardi Gras Marathon.

Even though I KNEW that I had not been running lately, I still opted for my Market Square Fab 4 miler because it’s my favorite course. But I even thought, “Hey, you need to run slow because you haven’t run in a while.”

Too bad, I can’t even follow my own advice. But as I rambled on in my comment over at Petra’s site, it’s not that you did anything wrong, actually, running a marathon (or any other distance you aren’t trained to run) under those conditions is a great learning experience. So, I had experience on my side today.

I was thinking that a 9:30 minute mile would be ideal for the first mile. Yeah, “Ideal”, but who really lives their life in “Ideals”? 8:41 First Mile. Ouch. And when you are running only 4 miles, and you run it that fast with my current training, it only goes down from there.

Second mile: 9:10. Not a bad drop really. Except the fact that I took some time to recover after the first mile. What it tells me is that I am compensating for the walking by running faster when I get back to running. Rookie mistake. But hey! I am running again, what do I care?

Third mile: 9:55. Longer walking break because it took me about 1.5 miles to get warmed up and then when I hit Market Square with all the people, I sped up. I would love to have a Garmin GPS watchie-thingie to see exactly how fast I increase when I run among other people. But just wait to watch me crash hard.

Forth Mile: 12:46. Sure, it’s much slower, but here’s where the experience paid off. Because I know what happens to me when I run under these conditions, I know what signals to identify. So, before I destroyed my legs, I knew when to slow down and when to walk. It did help that I knew the course too… After all “Knowledge is Power”

So how did end up? 40:32 for 4 miles. I was quite a bit dehydrated at the end of the run from the heat (but I will acclimate). Mentally, it was as if some hit my Mental Restart button. Will I be sore tonight, I am counting on it. I am planning on running tomorrow, perhaps not as far but maybe a hillier course to give the Ole Legs a stretch here and there.

How are the Lungs and The Rub? Lungs seem to be fine and no sign of The Rub at this point.

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon