I've taken a few weeks off from running since my knee was injured. But I'm easing back into it. I spent five days in my tiny home town visiting my parents for Christmas, and I just had to get out and run while I was there. Santa brought me some fun new running clothes - all pink except for my new favorite cold-weather pants, Nike thermals - and I couldn't resist trying them out! The day after Christmas, I set out for a short, slow run after taking two weeks off. It felt so good to get back out there! I ran a mile, and my knee felt pretty good, but I could tell it was getting tight toward the end. I didn't go any farther because I want to take it slow and make sure everything is healed. So far, so good.
Also, I should confess that I've taken a few weeks off from doing ANYTHING. No gym. No cross training. Nada. So needless to say, I've lost a lot of fitness/endurance/strength. That mile was refreshing, but I was relieved to quit because I was sucking wind and getting exhausted. Since I've been so lazy, that means I'm going to have to work extra hard when it's time to start training for the Bentonville Half. I may have to actually go to the gym and cross train! *gasp* (I know, I know...the first rule of running is don't JUST run. I know I should be cross training all the time to build up my strength so I can run faster and avoid injury, blah, blah, blah. I know all that, and I like doing other stuff besides running. I just really hate the gym!)
I'm so glad that my knee can handle short runs again because today, we had an unseasonably warm day. It was 64 degrees, y'all! Yes, the wind was blowing at least 20 mph and storms were brewing, BUT, it was the perfect day to run in short sleeves and capris. No gloves! No toboggan! And best of all, I got off work a little early because of New Year's, so NO HEADLAMP! It was like getting a little postcard from September.
I ran at the Bella Vista pond trail and just made one lap around the pond, which is about 1.8 miles. Farther than my previous run, but not too far. I kept my eye on my Garmin the entire time to make sure I didn't overdo it. I'm terrible at pacing myself, so my goal was to keep my pace between 11:00 and 12:00. I averaged 11:34, so I was pleased as punch with my warm day run!
In fact, I was so pleased that I was actually smiling while I was running, which got some strange looks from the other folks at the park. I know I'm slow, and I'm not anyone's competitor. I can't run far or fast. But just being out on the road is so nice that I don't care. I couldn't stop smiling, not because I'm good at running, but because I enjoy it and can finally participate again!