Doggy 5k & Injury Recovery

Well, injury recovery is officially underway.  Over the past two weeks, I’ve increased my mileage up to 5 miles, with my first 5-miler happening yesterday morning.  Let me tell you, this has been way more mentally and physically challenging than I thought it would be.  Specifically, I’ve been so surprised at how weak my muscles have become.  My left foot was in a walking boot for 2 weeks, so it makes sense that I would have lost some strength….I’ve just been surprised at how much.  After my short runs, I’ve had to ice and compress as if I just ran 13!  What’s more, is that I can feel the fatigue toward the end of my run.  Today, my entire last 1.5 miles I was thinking about my legs, and then my Achilles, and was so stressed that I was going to push it too far.  I’m trying really hard to listen to both my doctor and my body, though.

As a bonus to recovery and starting from scratch, I’ve been able to train with my dog again.  He’s gotten a little chubby and needs the activity, but he was too out of shape to train with me before.  Since I’ve had to start with low mileage (1 mile) and have to do run/walk intervals, this was the perfect time to start training with him.  Not only is it good for him, but it’s good for me, too.  I’ve been forced to slow down, and having him with me helps distract me from the mental obsession over my leg while running.

This past weekend, I got to do something with Skipper that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile…a doggy 5k!  We ran the Dog Days 5k in John’s Creek, which is a northern suburb of Atlanta.  It was a small race, about 150 folks or so.  What’s funny is not only was it Skipper’s first 5k, but also mine!  It’s weird, but my first race was a 10k, and I had never actually participated in a 5k.

Skipper LOVED this activity! When we started out, he got so jazzed that everyone else was running that he wanted to sprint, and I had to hold him back.  We did run/walk intervals (2 minutes run, 1 minute walk) and we finished in 0:32:23…the best pace I’ve ever posted in a race!

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Here we are before the race!

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Another shot of us ready to run!

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Skipper does great running, he trots along right next to my side.

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This is my favorite shot from the race – us crossing the finish line grinning!

When we came up on the finish, Skipper knew to start running hard, and we sprinted across the finish.  I love the above picture….not only is it a good one of me, but Skipper is smiling ear to ear.  You can really tell that he loves running!

After the race, I did my ice & compression, but my calves were so tired.  They were even twitching later in the day!  Sunday, my glutes and calves were so sore.  Lucky for me, I have a great boyfriend who massaged my calves and it helped so much.

My run yesterday morning (5 miles) was physically OK but mentally tough.  I came to the realization that I definitely won’t be able to run the Nike Women’s Half.  I may be able to do some running, but I’m really going to have to mostly walk it.  I’ll definitely be participating though—it was an expensive race and I want that Tiffany necklace!  If I’m being honest, it really bummed me out.  I’ve been holding on to hope the past few weeks but the reality is that my body simply isn’t ready.  I know that it’s not the end of the world and after a couple of days I’ll accept this, but for now, I’m just plain disappointed.  Luckily, I have another race on the calendar July 20th, which is 14.5 weeks away…plenty of time to get myself ready!  I’ve decided to focus my training on that race so that I don’t push myself too hard trying to run Nike and end up out for this race, too.  My physical therapist and I talked this morning, and we came up with a plan for my Nike race…I’ll be able to walk a quarter mile, then run a quarter mile, the entire race.  This will have me “running” only about 6.5 miles, which isn’t too bad!

I never, ever want to be in this position again.  I’ve had two injuries this year already!  Additionally, I’ve been contemplating a full marathon in 2015.  I’m looking into personal training studios here in Atlanta to get me started with strength training, which I know will really help me not only become a better runner, but keep myself from getting injured again!  I’ll definitely keep you all posted!

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Jess

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