I’ve been clear of it for sometime now. I pushed all the desire out of my brain. There was a inkling, a tickling in the back, but I had discipline. I knew it would do me no good, and so I pushed on. Lately, though, it’s become more difficult to keep the imagination at bay. To be honest, it didn’t take much.
January and February were both near 30 mile months. A pittance of what used to be, but a considerable amount more than the zeros that filled all but a handful of 2016’s days. No doubt, it’s too soon to tell, but I’m slowly starting to ramp up some miles. A push day here, a day off there, a patient waiting for the aches and stiffness to return to the Achilles. Much to my pleasure though, the Achilles hasn’t felt like anything. It’s almost returned to just another body part I’m only aware of when I consciously think about how it feels.
Over the past week, I’ve increased not only my mileage, but frequency. Probably a bad call in retrospect, but it’s one I almost can’t help. Last week I had a plan to push mileage on Friday. Things had felt good, and I had decided it was time to push mileage a little and see how the body reacted. So I laced up my Simply Shod huaraches, got the Ginny Dog and ambled over to the local wildlife management area (WMA) – a 5500 acre parcel essentially human-less outside of hunting season. Surrounding the WMA is more privately owned land and a multitude of old woods roads and atv trails ready to be explored.
I didn’t explore as much as I wanted, and was cautiously slow – although, it was probably still too fast as I am rebuilding from essentially zero base – but I still managed to get in 5 miles. What Joy! I know nature is beautiful. I know the gifts and blessings that lie in the quiet and solitude of woods devoid of humans. Of course with this little adventure, I went to bed Friday night filled with joy despite being resolved that Saturday morning would bring stiffness and aches. But when I rolled out of bed Saturday morning, there was nothing. No stiffness, no ache, no twinge. It was good.
Saturday took some discipline. I wanted to get back out into the woods, but I pushed it off. I waited until Sunday and went for another – shorter and slower – three mile run. Again Monday morning, no pain, no discomfort. And while I didn’t do anything on Monday, Tuesday was an easy, quicker two miles that led to zero pain on Wednesday morning.
It’s not much, maybe I’ll get 12 miles this week over the course of three days. The struggle is between an over-cautious fear of re-injuring my Achilles and being out even longer, and an over-zealous desire to get back into things.
I’ve avoided ultrasignup for the last two years, and I really should continue, but last night I caved. In truth, there’s no telling where I’ll be in November. In fact, I probably shouldn’t even be considering anything of ultra distance this year. I can’t help it. As I sat at the computer, perusing the semi-local races, I couldn’t help but map a 45 mile run utilizing the two bridges that cross the local river. I’m not sure why. I can’t help it; though I suppose, the mind can be over-zealous so long as I don’t let it drive my body. Sitting out all those months was the hardest part of this injury, but the slow wade back into things is proving to be difficult in it’s own way.