Square one?

Precarious. The word conjures a mental image, toes curling the edge of a cliff in cartoon proportions. My eyes peek over the edge while my torso does its best to pull away from the depths. All seems well, but with such great potential to end so horribly. A question looms – Am I about to back away from the edge to more stable security or is my trajectory heading toward impending doom? Like a pendulum paused at plumb, I only wish I could feel which way the wind is blowing.

I have run for a week straight, topping out at 6 glorious miles. I would deserve a spanking if that was a sarcastic statement, but I truly mean those 6 miles were “glorious”. Where once they would have been embarrassingly routine, after such a long hiatus from putting one foot in front of the other, each mile ticked off without restrictive pain was a finish line of supremely important proportions. To think I ran those at 6:00/pace and was still able to come back the next day and do 4 more miles, well, that’s just reason for celebration of a religious degree.

I celebrate internally, but if you’ve been following this blog long enough you know I’m hiding something. You know if I was in the clear from this injury I’d be typing in all caps, probably sending out ill-advised press releases of self-importance. And I’m not, because I’m certainly not in the clear. My situation is quite precarious.

I did run for 7 days straight, slowly increasing the mileage each day, and I was still able to run 4 today after running 6 the day prior, all around 6:00 miles, but I feel my leg. I don’t feel my leg like I was a couple weeks ago where any attempt at running had me sulking my way back home, tail between my legs, head dropped to my chest. But I still feel it. Today I felt it in the muscles and tendons on the outside of my leg, which is far enough away from my shin to have me excited, but concerned I might be drawing out a pain path right back to my shin again.

I don’t know, this pain seems to be entirely muscular, that might be remedied with a good dose of stretching and massage. But just like the pain I’ve been dealing with before, I still don’t know why I’ve been having problems down there, so I just don’t know how to treat it. I won’t say I’m back to square one, because I’m not sure I ever left.

I want to say these are residual twinges of pain that will work themselves out over time as I start to get my legs back, but I can say anything I want. It doesn’t mean that’s what is actually happening. I’m not going to wish this thing away that’s for sure. All I can do really is keep running while I’m able, keep assessing the pains and potential remedies, and stay positive as much as possible.

For now, every run is a victory and I’m ready to get my legs and lungs back. I’m ready to get consistent and controlled. I’m ready to get back to that 5:18/mile paced 10 mile tempo run I did before everything fell apart. Of course, I’ve been ready, but that doesn’t mean my toes have curled away from the cliff yet. I’m still entirely unaware which direction my momentum is taking me, whether that is towards stability or certain doom.

With a 50 mile week coming up, I think we’ll find out one way or another. Stay tuned.

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