The restlessness was beginning to be too palpable. I really needed to move. However, given all the set backs I’ve suffered with this injury, I told myself that I was going to follow a proper recovery plan, which involved going to see a doctor, having X-rays done, to rule out any potential fractures etc. However, waiting 3 weeks for an X-ray consult is way too long. The facts were that the complete range of motion had returned to my ankle, albeit stiff and slightly painful, and the barefoot runs I had done in the yard and to the mailbox had led me to believe that running a mile wasn’t going to be painful. So my best “non-medical guess” was that I was ready to take on a few easy runs, and see how my foot felt the next day. And so the very next day I decided to brilliant logic with a pair of brand new shoes.
I knew I needed a pair of trail shoes. My 2014 resolution was to spend more time in the woods. I was always intrigued buy Merrell’s foray into the trail shoe world. Growing up, I spent years hiking in the woods, and all of my hiking books had been Merrell and never once was I disappointed. I decided to buy the Merrell Ascend Glove. Briefly–because this isn’t a shoe review–it’s a light weight, 0 drop shoe with 8mm of cushioning and a Vibram outsole. Translation, light weight, low profile and no matter what the conditions are in the woods, I’ll basically be able to be Spiderman out there.
As soon as I got home, I decided to try take these shoes for a simple run. A 0.5 mile warm up, 1 mile run and 0.5 mile cool down. My foot was stiff especially during the warm up, but as I laid into my 1 mile, everything was good to go and I ran a 7:43 mile–not bad considering my age and about 10-15lbs of injury fat.
I woke up the next day expecting the worse, but my foot felt fine. After a day’s rest I decided to run a 3 miler to see how my foot would react, and again it was fine.
There it was, I had taken my first steps.
Given how I’ve felt after 2 runs this week, I decided that I was time to get off my ass. My brief experience with injuries is that you often find yourself walking a fine balance between no aggravating the injury and challenging you muscles and tendons to aid in the recovery. This was a fine balance that I had failed at miserably in the past in my quest to pile on the mileage. However after enough time off my feet, it was finally time to start challenging these muscles and tendons and get them going. So it was with that spirit and enthusiasm in mind that I signed up for the Canada Army Half-Marathon on September 21, 2014. Which gives me a full 16 weeks to essentially go from “no fitness” to “half-marathon” PR.
At this point, aside from using the first 4 weeks to build a base and the next 12 weeks of full training, I haven’t worked out the nuisances of the training cycle. However, I do know that although this is a road half-marathon, I will be incorporating significant amount of trail runs. The bulk of my hard workouts are going to be running hills and hill repeats. The logic being that right now strength in my legs is going to be a better ally than speed for this race.
I’m viewing this half-marathon as an experiment. How fast can my body recover from injury and how will it transform over the next 16 weeks as I start training and retooling my diet on the way to September’s race. I plan on documenting the whole process here. Above and beyond the traditional metrics of weekly mileage and pace, I’ll also be tracking the changes to my body–so yeah, getting on the scale and taking the famous mirror selfie.
This should be fun, stayed tuned for next Monday’s Week 1 report.