This morning I woke to a second day of pretty severe cramping (it would appear that the endometreosis, cleared up by that the laparoscopy I had two years ago, is back) and a slightly sore throat probably passed on to me by Clara who’s been fighting something since early last week.
Ignoring those minor discomforts, I ate my bowl of oatmeal, my slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and choked down my glass of grapefruit juice as I prepared for my Sunday morning long run. Last week I did 6.5 miles; this week I was aiming for 7.
I went upstairs and found my other knee brace, also ignoring the slight throb in my bad knee that was gently nagging me, suggesting I might want to rethink the run. Found some workout clothes – sports bra, running tank, workout capris and socks – and was going into the bathroom to pull my hair up when I walked into the bathroom door and stubbed my baby toe. And immediately swore numerous times.
I don’t consider myself athletic by any means and not long ago, banging my toe would have been the final straw. I would have canceled the run, stayed in my pajamas and guiltily defended my decision to not run by showing off my already swelling toe.
But things have changed for me in the past couple of months – I’m eating healthier, seriously running 3-4 days a week (mostly on the treadmill while I strengthen my bum knee that started to act up when I pushed too hard a few weeks ago), doing weights and the rowing machine 3 days a week, using the weight program that my father-in-law designed for me (he just got a job as a personal trainer here and has permanently relocated). I’ve lost 7.5lbs and am finally getting rid of the tummy that’s plagued me since long before I was even pregnant with Clara.
At this rate, I may very well be wearing a bikini pool side when we go to Vegas for my birthday in September, and will actually be comfortable wearing it.
Today was a huge turning point for me when I went downstairs, in my workout clothes, and showed off my swollen toe. “Nothing a couple of Advil won’t handle,” I said optimistically, as I downed them with a glass of water before putting on my brace and lacing up my shoes.
I hobbled onto the treadmill at the gym and limped through my warm up. Set the machine to 6.0 with intervals planned at 6.3, unscrewed the caps off both water bottles and off I went.
My father-in-law, who was at the gym with me, told me afterwards that it sounds like I got into homeostasis within the first mile or so, and maintained it during my entire run. After each mile or so, I paused to drink water and check my heart rate and each and every time, it read 156 – 84% of my maximum heart rate -exactly the intensity I’m supposed to be working at, according to Terry.
Homeostasis is a state ideal for long-distance running and I achieved it with very little effort – I breathed easily, my legs were strong, the muscles never burned, I felt like I could run all day.
I ran against the odds this morning – ignored the throbbing of my toe, the soreness of my throat, the cramping in my back. Respected the knee by taking it slow but still ran regardless. The old me wouldn’t have run even a mile feeling the way I did; the new me ran the planned 7 miles in just over an hour.
I returned home feeling elated and victorious. My little toe, however, didn’t do so well. In fact, I was scared to take off my shoe and sock to see what had become of it.
It would appear that I had every reason to be scared, because this, this is my toe.
My friend at the pool this afternoon took one look at my toe and said, “you know your toe is broken, right?”
I looked down at it, in all it’s red and purpleness and I couldn’t help it, I grinned. “Maybe,” I said, “but I still ran 7 miles.”
And in my head I thought, “I’m one of those people.”