Sometimes you really have to wonder if the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a light or is it quite possibly a train? Sometimes it is damned hard to tell the difference until it is too late.
To be honest with everyone I have to say that pretty much for the past few weeks the tunnel has been dark without any light to speak of.
Okay... it hasn't been THAT bleak but it has been touch and go the last few weeks. While I have known all along that I would get better and I would get back to running the question was always when?
Walking. I've walked a lot and that has been invaluable for boosting my morale. While it wasn't ideal it still allowed me to get the miles in, around 50 a week, and at the same time allowed me a sense of accomplishment to know that I was still working. I could walk many miles in a day and not have any pain during my walks and what was even more special, no pain after or the following morning. Logic would dictate that if I could walk without significant pain, then eventually I'd be able to run without pain as well.
So last week my coach gave me the yellow light to proceed with caution and start doing some running again. The stern warning being that if I got silly, I could completely undo the previous weeks of babying the injury in five minutes or less of carelessly running harder than I should. My orders were to walk/run pretty much every other day last week and I did and it worked out beautifully.
Of course I'm not running nearly as strong as I'd like to be but I'm doing okay just the same. I did a 13.5 mile run/walk on Saturday without any issues, well, besides the damn wind, then on Sunday did another 8 mile run/walk, again without any adverse affects.
The light at the end of the tunnel... nope, it's not a train, it's the actual light and in the later part of Sunday' s run I got the sense, finally,that everything was going to be okay. Having the feeling that the worst part of this episode is behind me was such a relief. I can not express how wonderful it felt and still feels to have hope again and that I can continue training and that all is not lost.
I have to say though, thank god for my coach, Coach Weber who has been invaluable in working through this injury. He's been supportive but also realistic in regards to what I should or should not and or could or could not be doing. The biggest benefit of having a coach in this situation is that he has basically protected me from myself. (Yes, I am learning to be more cautious, conservative and smart. Albeit slowly... ) :)
So things are coming back on line. I have my crew pretty much picked out and an idea how that is going to run and I have a great pacer who has ran the race before and who knows the course. The weather is getting better so running conditions will be getting better. It just feels like it is all coming together.
I am not out of the woods yet with this injury but we can deal with it at this point. I get a rest week this week of only forty miles and I am looking forward to them. I am going to make them smart miles and not go out and blow it this week and get hurt all over again. But more important than being able to run again right now is the return of hope, some confidence and just an overall sense of optimism. It is nice to once again believe that, "I can do this." ;)