When I got to the Alfond Youth Center (AYC), it was too nice not to run outside. I figured that if the knee started to get grumpy, there are a couple of places where I could shorten it up a little and it would be a good test of how I was progressing.
I did a warm-up routine down in the Gronk Zone and then headed out the door planning to do the long Messalonskee Stream Trail Loop back to AYC.
Starting out, I felt like Herman Munster lurching along, it was as if I had never run before. I’ve been running off and, this year, but the smoothness that I’ve always enjoyed as a long-time runner has disappeared. There was no just running this morning, it was all an effort to keep things going, keep breathing (always a good thing), and just shuffle along. That is what it was — that old man shuffle that I’ve seen in so many other older runners. It was less running and more shuffle.
However, it is still running or what I now call running, and as the knee continues to slowly improve, maybe this feeling of uncoordinated running and shuffling will disappear, and I will get back some semblance of a running gait.
When I got up to the trail head, I started to smooth things out a little. Then I saw Judy M., my old personal trainer from Champions and we stopped and talked for a second. She seemed like she was in a hurry, so we didn’t get to talk much, but it was good seeing her again. It was a quick break, but once I got going again it seemed like I had to start over again and felt so uncoordinated.
There were more than a few people on the trail enjoying the weather and thankfully all the dogs were leashed, which was a pleasant change from when I walked here last year. At the other end of the trail is a slight incline, which I’m not used to anymore and it taxed me to run to the top, but I made it. At that point, I decided that the short loop was going to be long enough, I turned left at the next street to get back on North Street and headed back to AYC.
The mind still remembers too well about how I used to run before getting injured and all the body knows is that it has been almost a year since I was injured, and this running shit is hard to do. I must learn to listen more to the body and tell the mind that we will get back to a semblance of where we were, but it’s going to take a while.
The joys and frustrations of being an old runner, attempting to come back from an injury and long lay-off.
Oh well, it’ll be a fun challenge to keep moving forward.
And yes, a Happy 21st Anniversary — Mary. The past 21 years have been some of the best years of my life and I can’t imagine having shared them with anyone else.