Today was my first run in ages, five weeks post-hamstring injury. Watch me go! Watch me recover!
It's been a slow and frustrating recovery. A number of friends have told me, with huge smiles, "oh, you're healed!" when they see me walking normally. I wish that were true. I can still feel a twinge with every step I take, certain everyday moves are pretty painful, and I've got a full six inches of reach more on one side of my body than the other. I'm like the polar opposite of Gumby. I've lost noticeable muscle mass and fitness, and it's probably going to be another few months before I'm done with the pain and peskiness.
But anyway: happy thoughts! It was so exciting to take my running shoes down off the shelf. We get to go out and play!, I heard them whisper excitedly. I dusted them off, laced them up, cranked up the Kanye ("That-that-that-that don't kill me, can only make me Stronger"), and headed outside towards my beloved Regent's Canal.
It wasn't actually fun. My thought process went something like this: Oh God, it's cold. I don't like this. Ow. Hamstrings are stupid. Great, now it's raining. I had to take tinier-than-usual strides because I can't extend my left leg back as far as usual. I favored my right hip. I was a full 80 seconds-per-kilometer slower than I'm used to.
But, much like Forrest Gump, I...was...RUNNING!!! And with every (tiny) stride, I felt just a little bit prouder. I wasn't making excuses--I was back astride the metaphorical horse that had thrown me, wearing purple riding boots and bright green jodhpurs. I made it to 5K, 2K longer than I'd set out for. And that felt pretty dang awesome.
I think Kanye is right (there's a sentence I never thought I'd type): sometimes we just kind of have to keep plugging away, through failures and injuries and tough times--they DO make us stronger. Those are the moments that shape us, and that we'll remember for the best in the long run. (Ha! Unintended pun.)
You heard it here first: I want to run the Médoc Marathon again in 2016. It's got wine and castles and oysters and costumes! It's nearly 7 months away. Hamstrings, you're on notice. It is ON.
Who's with me?