During Jack’s first few days of recovery I wondered, How can I run when he needs me so much? This was early last week when I was still sleeping on the couch and Jack in the pack n play so we could be close to the refrigerated meds he needed every four hours. We are now 10 days post-op and it seems that life is for the most part back normal. I’m sleeping in my bed again, Jack in his crib. He has no need of his pain medication and is finishing up his antibiotic today. And I am running.
At first I felt guilty for taking the time to run, like somehow I wasn’t a good mom if I didn’t watch over his every waking and sleeping moment. But it became apparent the Tuesday after Jack’s surgery that I NEEDED to run. I was so tightly wound I needed a release. So I ran. I ran hard and fast. The anxiety, the stress left my body with the sweat and I came home refreshed. After Tuesday’s run I felt less guilty and more justified in taking the time for me and so my training went on as planned. Here’s what it looked like:
Tuesday: 4.02 miles outside in 32:35; average pace: 8:06
This run (as with most of my runs) started with a 230 foot, half mile hill climb. After that I settled into a nice groove. I looked down at my watch after mile two and couldn’t believe my split was 8:15. I didn’t think I’d be able to maintain it, so I told myself to relax and run easy and mile three went by in 7:54. The last mile was back down the hill I’d climbed up at the start, so I was flying.
Mi 1: 9:22; Mi 2: 8:15; Mi 3: 7:54; Mi 4: 6:57
Thursday: 6 treadmill miles in 55:12; average pace 8:54
Started with an easy pace and tried to increase the pace every mile. Turned into a bit of a progression run. This run felt mentally difficult (I dislike treadmill runs) but physically easy. I varied the incline randomly for 1/2 mile increments from 2% to 4%, mostly to prevent boredom and to get my heart rate up every once in a while.
Mi 1 9:18
Mi 2: 9:05
Mi 3: 9:00
Mi 4: 8:57
Mi 5: 8:49
Mi 6: 8:?
Saturday: 12.56 mile long run outside in 1:48; average pace 8:36
The pace felt easy on a rolling hill course. I felt strong for most of the run until mile 10 when I started a slight continuous uphill for the last two miles, I felt tired and my pace slowed . I also noticed a tightness in my right hip and upper hamstring around this point too. Probably due to the weakness and imbalance in my pelvic floor that I’ve been working on with my physical therapist. I haven’t been consistent with my PT exercises at home like I should be, so I don’t think I’ve gained any new pelvic floor strength. I believe the long run distance coupled with an increase in weekly mileage contributed to the hip discomfort. If you’re at all interested in reading up on hip pain in runners HERE is a great article written by my sister, running partner and PT, Danielle.
Sunday: 3 mile shakeout run on the treadmill in 29:57; average pace 9:58
Hip felt stiff to start but loosened up. This is the first time I’ve ever done a “shakeout” run after a long run. Usually I take the day off. But I noticed a significant decrease in muscle tightness and soreness on Sunday and felt completely recovered by Sunday night. I think I’ll be doing these “shakeout” runs more often.
Looking back at this week’s training I feel confident and excited. Confident in the decision I made to continue to train because mentally I need a release from all the stress and excited about some of the times and paces I’m running. Those times bode well for a few spring races…more on that later this week!
Have you ever felt guilty for wanting to run?
In what ways do you NEED to run?
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