There was once a shining time of running for me. I'd run for an hour minimum, usually capping off at 8 - 10 miles. I'd essentially run marathons over the span of a week (all the while lazily dreaming that I'd run all 26 of those miles at once someday). I completed my first half marathon in record time (record for me, at least), and felt fine to teach a martial art the next day.
And then I had to stop running for two weeks.
Two or three Wednesdays ago, I mistook a cramp for soreness and ran through the pain. The problem is, running through a cramp is probably the worst thing you can do. What resulted was a slight tear in my muscle that had me hobbling by Friday morning.
After lots of heat, cold, NSAIDs, stretching, and rest, I finally got back into the swing of things. I did a small elliptical workout. It was like my muscles were waking up for the first time. I swear I could feel the dust and the rust been shaken off as I logged 30 minutes on the gym equipment. The next day, I got in a 5-miler -- a 5-miler on the very first distance route I made up while still living in Nashua. It was also the route that gave me the horrific shin splints that finally convinced me to switch to natural running, but I digress. Then, on Thursday, I ran four and a half miles.
My legs are constantly sore. Even two days after what I would have considered a tiny run -- even after two intense yoga sessions -- my calves are mad as all hell at me. And I have to take it easy. I just learned the hard way that I can't tell the difference between soreness and cramps, and the last thing I want to do is injure myself again.
I have a 16-miler in January. While I wanted to hit 16 miles before first snowfall (which isn't happening since we've already had a brief flurry), I also need to recognize that I have 2 months to get to where I need to be. Slowly but surely, get back into the swing things. No need to rush. Even though I want to.