Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Appreciating the Small Things

Being injured makes you appreciate the small things. If you're healthy, and you're capable of running however far you want, cross training doesn't sound like much fun. But when you're injured, and every movement that's capable of giving you an aerobic workout seems to make your injury worse, all of the sudden spending a half an hour on an exercise bike is a gift.

And so it's gone for me over the past two months or so. I hurt my LCL and partially tore my hamstring a couple of months ago just after my first 100, and now I'm slowly getting back into shape. On Sunday, I ran 6.2 miles in 49 minutes. A sub-50 10K! And I was ecstatic. Because it was a run. Four months ago, I nearly did a 100-mile week. Now, I'm thrilled with six miles. Like I said, being injured makes you appreciate the small things.

Right now, I run every other day a few miles and then bike and swim on the alternate days. Working out in gym four days a week isn't ideal, but it beats the alternative, which, not long ago, was not being able to do much of anything. By wearing a HR monitor when I run, I can tell I've lost some fitness, but not too terribly much. I can still run sub-8s and keep my HR below 150, so I'm not in awful shape right now. But it's going to be a long slog to get into decent 100 mile shape this summer (Boston, which is less than 12 weeks from now, is already pretty much a lost cause).

But for now, I'm happy to be able to run about 20 miles a week, because it sure beats the hell out of not being able to run at all. And I'm happy that I can get some exercise in the gym, because it beats the hell out of not being able to work out at all. I'm not sure when I'll be able to run 100 miles in a week again, but I can tell you I'll be smelling the flowers a lot more the next time I do.