Training Day: 3
Miles: None/rest day
Man I wish I could go back in time…Uncle Rico, Napoleon Dynamite
A decade ago I started training for the Bulldog Challenge, a four-person team, obstacle course race. Since it was a 10k, I started running regularly for the first time since boot camp (a decade before).
On a bookshelf somewhere in my house was The Complete Book of Running for Women. When the time came to start running, I dusted off the book and read it front to back. It included training plans for a 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon. I started the 10k training plan and laughed at the idea of ever doing more than that.
The idea that my body could transport itself miles under its own power with no help whatsoever fascinated me. The more miles I ran the more I wanted to run. Next thing you know I’m registered for a half and full marathon. I wanted to see just how far my amazing body was capable of taking me. As a result, I became a wee obsessed with training, shoes, and nutrition.
By the time my marathon rolled around I felt unstoppable. I did the mile and a half run for my Navy physical readiness test in less than nine minutes. Five miles was a short run. This is when the idea of running a 100-miler first entered my head.
Unfortunately, I didn’t train long enough for my marathon. I skipped a couple of long runs because of cockiness and stupidity. I ran on a mildly sprained ankle and jacked up stride. All these things resulted in a knee injury during the marathon. The figured it would go away after a few weeks. It didn’t. Two months of no running didn’t help. Physical therapy didn’t help. And that ended my running career.
Since then, I attempted to start running again many times. Usually because I was fat and out of shape and wanted to get fit again. The first couple of weeks would go alright, and then my knee would start acting up. Five years ago, I completely abandoned the idea of ever running again and happily resigned myself to life of hiking and walking.
Towards the end of last year I met a badass, trail-running chick who inspired me to give running another go. Maybe I can do that 100-miler after all. Then I thought back to my numerous failed attempts at getting back into running. Man, I wish I could go back in time… I wish I could run without worrying about my knee. I wish I could be in the same great shape I was back then. But like Uncle Rico, I can’t go back in time, and I don’t want to zap my lady bits trying.
Instead, I’m working with what I’ve got. This time around I’m starting smarter. Instead of being fat and out of shape, I’m a healthy weight and relatively fit. Strength training is big part of my training to beef up the muscles that support my jank knee. As hard as it is for me to not go balls to the wall right out thr gate, I’m taking it slow. I can daydream all I want about being as fast as I once was. But the truth is, I’m in my late-30s, and I may never run that fast again. And you know what? That’s okay. Instead of trying to go back in time, I’m going to run forward.
Endlessly seeking adventure.