Last Friday I had the best run ever. It wasn’t my fastest. It wasn’t my longest…not by a long shot. But it was my first run since February’s surgery where I didn’t take a walk break. I covered 2.6 miles.
I tried to start running in July, on the very day my surgeon gave me the ok to do so. I covered about a half mile by hobbling and walking. I did this for a few weeks, but the pain wasn’t getting better so I bagged it for a while. I decided to try running again in September. I was able to cover a mile by alternating walking and running one-tenth of a mile at a time. By the time we went to New Orleans a few weeks ago I was up to two miles and I’d alternate running three-tenths and walking one-tenth of a mile.
I remained on this 3:1 ratio, increasing my mileage by 10% per week until last Tuesday. I decided to run “by feel” and take walk breaks when needed rather than on a schedule. I only needed two one-tenth of a mile breaks. I was thrilled and had a hunch I was now ready to run without walking. Friday’s run proved to myself I can do it.
My plan going forward is to continue increasing my mileage by 10% each week until I’ve rebuilt my base to three or four miles. Once my base feels solid, I’ll increase my weekend long run. I’m eying a couple of half marathons in 2014 I’m excited just to be considering those.
I hope to have many more best runs ever as I re-begin an activity I love so much.
What about you? Have you ever had to re-learn or re-start your running program following surgery? What were your keys to success?