“Christie, you’re RUNNING!”

I picked up an IT strap yesterday. I was eager this morning to get out and try it on a little run in the neighborhood. I wore my trail shoes and figured I would walk the asphalt section (about a 1/4 mile) then gently jog along the dirt canals near my home. That’s what I did.

As usual, I woke about 8 am, got dressed, fed the kids and had breakfast, got them started on chores, then headed out for a run around 10 am. It’s always pretty hot when I finally get out to run and there are so many times I think to myself, “Why do I always do this? I should be one of those early birds, getting up before the sun and the heat.”, but it never seems to happen – at least when I’m running alone.  It was about 80 degrees, very sunny and hot. I didn’t mind that much. Since I’ve done it this way so often, the heat doesn’t bother me that much – at least for a short run.

Since this is only the second “run” I’d attempted since my chair injury, I was a little nervous. I kept the pace slow and clicked through my Garmin screens until it was showing just the heart rate and figured I’d focus on that for this one.  I was surprised how high my heart rate was while running so slow. I’d assumed it would be in the “easy” zone and it was midway through the aerobic one.  Maybe it was the heat. Likely, it’s also from hardly running at all this month. 🙁  I’ve been losing fitness while unable to workout. 🙁

The run went pretty well. I ran along the canal, the water reflecting the clouds in the sky above, ducks silently swam one-after-another in little rows along the waterway. Bushes dotted with bright purple coned flowers  lined the water on both sides.  The straw-colored grasses along the path were interspersed with pops of bright yellow sunflowers that cheered my heart.  I ran along the canal, as it wound through the golf course, settling into a steady, slow rhythm and thinking to myself, “Oh my gosh! I’m running and it doesn’t hurt!”

I hit 2.5 miles and decided to turn around — not wanting to push too hard too soon, even though I was feeling fine. I jogged along and suddenly, I heard my name, “CHRISTIE! You’re running!” I whirled around and saw my lovely running friend, Francie, out on the golf course enjoying a game with some friends, waving at me.  “Hi, Francie!”, I said and she said, “You’re running again! How is it?” I told her, “No pain yet! I’m so happy!” We waved good-bye and I grinned as I kept hearing the phrase, “Christie! You’re running” in my mind.  It made me glad.

Naturally, though, that high moment needed something to bring it back down to reality, so my IT band did start to ache a bit just a few minutes later. I slowed down to a walk and adjusted the band again to make sure the tension was good on the sore spot. I drank some water and then eased back up to a slow jog.  It seemed ok. Not bad, but it was still less-than-perfect.  That’s ok, though. I’ll take my time. I’ll hold back the pace. I won’t even THINK about that fall marathon I had my heart set on. It doesn’t matter now – not as much as running at all.  If it means to fully recover, but still be able to run, will involve a slower pace with walk breaks for awhile — then I’ll do that. I’ll do whatever I need to do to regain my running abilities and full health.  Running for a lifetime has always been my overall goal. There are things we can’t always control.  I grew up watching my Mom run all the time. She was the first female marathoner I ever knew and I was so proud of her for it! Then, about a year ago, she was struck with rheumatoid arthritis and almost overnight, her running career ended after nearly 25 years. It broke my heart and I watch her struggle emotionally with that loss. Happily, my Mom could not be kept down, so she discovered a love for biking and now easily knocks out many more miles per week than I ever have. She’s an athlete for life and I’m so proud of her for that accomplishment! I hope to be like her too and keep up a fit, active life as long as I live! Well done, Mom! What a great, example!

Stats: 5.03 miles 12:51 pace. 1:04 overall time. 166: ave HR.

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