"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm a runner. I'm going to run.

There's a fine line on when to return to running after an injury. More specifically, there's a fine line on how much pain you should run through before it's just plain stupid, doing more harm than good. Come back too soon and you may find yourself sitting on the couch for an even longer period of time. On the other hand, a first run back is never going to be the most pleasant experience.

I wasn't sure what to expect today when I set out for the first time in a week. I've felt slightly better the last two days, but certainly there's still a swelling issue. Oh, and the pulled muscle. That's still there too. But Newport is just a little more than 30 days away and so for my own sake, I had to see where I stood. I thought back to my conversation with the surgeon on Friday where I was told in no uncertain terms that I probably shouldn't plan on running in Newport (I "forgot" to tell her about Seattle and Sauvie Island three and four weeks later, respectively). And this was after being told I didn't have a hernia. She said it with a slight chuckle and suggested maybe I look at running Portland in October, perhaps trying to make me feel better. I don't think she meant any ill will by her comments, she just didn't understand: I'm a runner. I'm going to run. (See: Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans: "I'm a winner. I'm going to win.")

So off I went, not knowing if I would make it to the end of the block or not. Mile 1 was rough to say the least, but tolerable. Nothing felt like it was getting worse so I continued on. After a few miles I was running comfortably at an 8:20 pace and feeling pretty good about myself. I faded a bit in the final two miles to an 8:45 pace, but was still able to finish the seven miles in just under an hour.

I'll be doing a good amount of icing tonight and then I'll see how I feel in the morning, but if everything checks out, I should be on my way to at least making the starting line in Newport. What sort of condition I'll be in when I get there is still up in the air. Still, it was nice to be running again.

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