Against Doctor's Orders - I Ran

First run in 1.5 years.JPG

This week I went against doctor's orders.

For the past year and a half I have lamented my loss of running.  I have mourned and thought I had come to accept the loss.  

What the Doctors Said

Every doctor has advised me against running and I have heeded their advice. But every morning for the past year and a half,  after a painful night's sleep I have woken in pain. Unable to bend to put on my pants, unable to to spit into the sink while I brush my teeth because I can't bend that far and shuffling around in pain until my back finally loosens its grip hours into my day.  


During my sabbatical from running I have beat myself up for the miles I put in over the years.  I have thought about what I would change if I could go back.  If I could go back I would stop the marathons after my Ironman.  I would go to running 3 miles at a time every few days just so I could feel my feet on the pavement and be able to continue running for years to come.  I would have been smarter.

A New Idea

But this week I woke up with an idea.  An idea that might be smart and might be taking me back to my old ways.  I woke up with the idea that maybe, since not running has not worked, maybe, just maybe, trying running again would. But only if I was smart about it.

The Plan

The plan was to take it one step at a time, see what my body would allow and go from there.  So I decided to try a mile.  Just one mile and see how it felt, not just during the run but in the days after the run.  

So I did.  On Thursday night I went for a 1 mile run.  Oh the joy.  Maybe that sounds sarcastic. Maybe it sounds over enthusiastic.  But It's neither.  Even standing in the driveway, resetting my Garmin brought excitement I haven't felt in years.  

But it also brought fear.  Fear of what might happen.  What if this little run made it worse?  What if I couldn't even run a mile? 

Remember though that I picked a word to live by this year and it fearless.  So I let go of the fear and I ran a mile.  I was aware of every twinge in my back it didn't hurt.  I paid attention to my posture, to my stride and to every time my foot hit the ground.  And it didn't hurt.  I made it the full mile and was happier than I have been in a long time.

The Day After

The best news is that the day after, I got out of bed for the first time in a year and a half and I put on my pants, brushed my teeth and went about my morning with hardly any pain.  I don't know why but I have a theory.  I think it is like a sprained ankle.  They used to say Rest Ice Compress Elevate but in the past few years they changes the rest to movement.  I believe my back needed something more than sitting on a bike seat.  It needed to move some.

Going Forward

So what's next?  Another mile and rest in between.  Monitor how I am feeling.  Document it.  And decide on the next step.  What I do know is I will not go above 3 miles again.  I will run a mile until I feel like adding another one will be okay and I will run two until I feel comfortable getting to three.  I see 9 mile weeks in my future but not for months.  I want to know that I am being smarter.  I want to know I am being safe.  

Yes, I am going against doctor's orders but I know my body.  I trust my gut and right now that's the best I can do.