Once upon a time, a kind physical therapist told me to wait until October before I tried running again. I, of course, tried to defy him by running in the summer.
Bad idea. I wasn't ready. I found myself with a very sore knee and dejected spirit. It was also a reminder that my knees could not be bullied by me into running.
So I pushed the thought of running to the back of my mind. When people asked me if I had started running again, I'd just say, "No - and there is no guarantee I ever will again."
Instead, I rode my bike. I swam. I did other exercises designed to strengthen my legs and core and upper body.
But...with the approach of October, the thought that maybe...just maybe...I was healed and strong enough to run again kept popping into my thoughts.
So - I found a beginner's running plan online. It's designed for people who have never run before. It starts by alternating running and walking and running and walking - for 30 minutes. The idea is that in 8 weeks, I should be running 30 minutes straight. Not the kind of mileage I used to do, but I'm just so happy to run again.
So, on Thursday and Saturday and this morning, I did my 30 minute run-walk combo (1 minute run, 2 minutes brisk walk) completely pain-free. My right knee felt a little tight at first, but that's very different from the stabbing-take-your-breath-away pain I experienced last fall.
I can not even tell you how fantastic it felt to do one activity that felt so natural. As much as I enjoy swimming, I'm always thinking about my flippin' stroke - and biking, as much as I love it, is simply not as relaxing to me as running.
But running...oh running..I've missed you, old friend.