It’s been over a month now and I’m happy to report that things are coming along runningly. I graduated to my first 5K on July 4th and have gradually phased out the walk intervals since then. There was something about that first continuous 5K run that made me feel like, “Yeah, this is really happening.”
I stuck with 5K 3x for a couple of weeks before deciding that it was time to build… slowly. I started by adding a 4th run (and thus my first back-to-back), keeping it short at 3K. Last weekend I also started increasing my distance with a 6K “long” run. There’s only one way to go from here!
I had a gait assessment done by my physiotherapist and got some good feedback along with additional exercises to work on problem areas. The biggest thing I am working on now is increasing my cadence. I’ve always had a longer stride (160 steps per minute, when it should be closer to 180) but didn’t pay much attention to it since I wasn’t having any issues. Shortening my stride/increasing my cadence should help reduce forces through the knee on landing, so I have been running with a metronome app at 170 bpm for now (160 to 180 would be too much of a sudden increase). I started using it for only a few minutes at a time, and have gradually built up to the entire run. Yup, listening to “beep beep beep beep beep beep” in my ear the whole time. It is finally starting to feel less forced, although it is far from natural at this point.
I’ve been so lucky to have friends
willing eager to run with me again, despite my slower pace. I’ve been getting back into the habit of meeting the 5am crew, even though I don’t necessarily need to be up that early for the shorter distance. I have missed it so much – even the 4:30 wake-ups. My good friend P has also been meeting me for a run at lunch once a week. It’s so good to be back!
Hubs has been running with me, too, and we have even been able to take both pups out to run for the very first time as a family of four. Mark tried to run with Marlowe a few times previously, but she wanted none of it. He’s too fast and she likes to dawdle! I decided to try bringing her with me when I was only going out for very short and slow run/walks to ease her into it, and it seems to have worked. 5K is about all she will tolerate right now and she still tends to drag behind, but we are getting there.
Aaaand with all of that being said, my most recent exciting news is that I just clicked “Register” for the very first time this year. I will be tackling Lakeside Sprint Triathlon on September 13th. I have never been so excited to see a confirmation email in my inbox. (Except maybe this one…)
I decided not to target a 5K or 10K in case it led me to overdo it on the running build; I am treading very carefully because I do not want to risk a set-back. This way I can focus more on cross-training with cycling and swimming and approach the run without any goals except to finish pain-free. And I’ve already gotten started…