I recently experienced my first real “injury” as a runner. After my half marathon, I discovered that I had strained my hamstring, resulting in my physical therapist suggesting that I rest and thus missing my last long run before the marathon – my 23 miler. Luckily I had done a 20 mile run, and have felt pretty strong, but I never realized just how much I depend on my running to keep me sane! I regretted every time I had ever said “Ugh I don’t feel like running,” because I couldn’t.
That same weekend, a friend of mine asked me if I would run a 5k with her – it would be her first one ever. Of course I wanted to run with her, but I was gun shy about making my injury worse. So I told her I’d let her know what my PT said after my weekend of rest, ice, compression and elevation. I went to PT a week after my half marathon and ran on the treadmill during my session. He said I would be good to go to ease back into running so I told my friend it was a go!
That week I did ease back into running, starting with a 2 mile run, then a horrible 4 mile run on the treadmill (I mean dreadmill – I HATE IT), with plans to go for 8 miles with the 5k to start and 5 miles afterwards. I met my friend for the race, which was for a wonderful cause. It was put on by an organization called Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center to raise funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS in the Great Lakes Bay region. The weather was great – a little humid, but cool, and overcast so no sun blinding us. We took off and I let my friend control the pace and when we needed to stop to walk. I pushed her here and there to run just a little longer, and at the end of the race I told her to run ahead of me, sprint to the finish, and make sure she had a great finish photo! Our finish time was 41:18, which was my friend’s fastest time. It was so awesome to be a part of her first race and I am so proud of her!
After the race, I messaged a friend from my running group and asked if he would run some REALLY SLOW miles with me. This guy is literally twice as fast as me so I wasn’t sure if he’d be okay running slow, but since he was also nursing an injury I thought he might. He met up with us and him and I headed out for a 5 mile run. I was pleasantly surprised by how encouraging he was, and I think I pushed myself while running with him because I didn’t want to wimp out with such a fast runner. We ended up with 5 miles and I ended up with a PR for that distance!
It was a great day – I helped my friend achieve a PR, and another friend helped me achieve one of my own. 8 miles to get me back in the game and one step closer towards my twenty-six-point-two!