This morning Mo Mo, the community cat, meowed below the staircase, waiting to scurry into whichever office door opened first. Mo Mo's my bud, so I called the fat, animated rainbow colored tabby to come up with me to Doc's office. When Mo Mo settles into the waiting room chairs he is clearly in his intended environment because he blends perfectly into the fabric. Swiftly to sleep he falls and I am summoned to room #1.
Says Doc, "So ... how was the jog?"
I hate that word "jog" profusely. It should be stricken from the English language.
I walk smoothly and steadily to the Chiropractic face slit bench thingy, being careful not to lend a hint of any type of limp. I have no limp, but I don't want to accidentally limp and have my "jogging" ripped again from my fragile grip. Ugh!! Such drama. Healthy smile on my face and spark in my eye.
"It was fffffffabulous."
A doubter's stare stabbed at me. "Mmmmhmmmm. No problems?"
Well that's not a fair question and requires some interpretation.
Wednesday was a much anticipated day for me. The last command barked to me as I exited Doc's office on Monday was, "You get one slow run on Wednesday. That means not today and not on Tuesday. Only Wednesday." Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. Hurry up already. I felt like an adolescent girl waiting to develop. Where are you guys already??!!
On Wednesday I carefully packed my backpack with all of my running essentials: shoes, socks, watch, sunglasses. Running is so simple isn't it.
When I pack for swimming I have goggles, cap, paddles, pull buoy, suit, parka, towel, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer. It's like packing for an overnight trip.
But not so for the track. Shoes, socks, watch and glasses ... boom (oh, oops. Little iPod Shuffle too)!! Happy, happy, happy. I love you puke purple Nike Free's. Let's go do this.
Doc was real clear about running surface. "Run on the city college track." Like a little angel conscience person, he sat on my shoulder when I arrived on my bike to the city college track. Hmmm 2:40 pm. City college track practice. Track closed to lowly non-team members. I dismounted and studied all posted signs. The little beasts were blocking all the lanes. Hurdles everywhere. Do they really need all 9 lanes? This is my track today. This is my Wednesday. My run day. Options? Options? Did Doc really say my only option was the track? I flicked the little angel conscience guy off my shoulder, got on my bike and headed over to the harbor. Surely the beachway concrete path was a reasonable substitute. "Do NOT do an out-and-back run." I flicked him off my shoulder again. Annoying.
Alright, so I'm not going to run on the track but I am going to run. Shoot, and it's going to have to be out-and-back. But I'll be careful to do everything else in full compliance.
The prescription: One mile extremely, horribly slow to warm up. STRETCH for a long time. Three not quite as horribly slow, but still nauseatingly slow miles. One hidiously, painstakingly slow mile to warm down. STRETCH again for a long time.
My greatest tool, besides my puke purple Nikes, was my Garmin which would be my monitor. On asphalt, I began a slow gait to warm up. With a continual body checking going on, I noted that my system was shocked. What!! We're running? How do you do that again? It was tediously slow on purpose and I was so very, very careful and smooth. As I warmed a bit, I began to feel that old familiar bounce in my step. My right side had been bounceless for over a year. Today I was bouncing off my toes ... and smiling at passers by. Please don't let there be Achilles pain. That was my mantra.
The warm up mile finished in a satisfactory 8:40, and I settled into my long stretch. An inspirational play list can work against a person in such a situation. I was filled with "Rocky-like" energy as I stretched. I envisioned running down the path with a crowd of people latching on to my slip stream, moving ever closer to those Philadelphia stairs. Tame it baby. Pull back the reigns. A deep breath and then I was off on my 3 mile out-and-back. My Garmin read 7:03 pace. Bad Garmin. You must be broken. 6:45 pace. Seriously? I put on the brakes. There is no point in taking any risk. I wanted to finish this thing pain free. Out ... smile, smile, smile ... back ... elation. You can do it. No pain. No pain. No pain. Sounding like Rocky again. My bouncy gait came to rest at three miles on my patch of grass starting point/stretching area. 7:30 pace overall, but I spent nothing to do it. Heck, that elliptical may not be half bad after all. Slow mile warm down and another long stretch and the verdict: no pain in the Achilles. The right knee was grumpy and I'll have to tell Doc, but the Achilles which has been the real problem and real focus, was wonderful.
Back at the office, with Mo Mo my bud, I lay face down with electrical pulses surging through my hips and leg. I told Doc that everything was great except my right knee. That little statement earned me some punishment in the form of ART in the pertinent area. OUCH.
"Alright. Great job. Have a great weekend. See you next week."
"Oh. Uh. Well can I run again?" Come on Doc. Give me my pill. Does he NOT understand the addiction?
"You may run up to twice a week on the CITY COLLEGE track. Make sure there's at least two days between runs. Ice. If there is ANY pain, stop. Do all your other cross-training in between runs."
I love my doctor. Corned beef anyone?