"Just like starting over..."
That line from the 1980 John Lennon song could very well be my mantra these days when my body is relearning running after 8 weeks of inactivity due to a metatarsal stress fracture on my right foot.
After a series of walks last week, I started doing run-walk intervals this week, and sure enough, my body's negative reaction to the stress immediately manifested itself when I took the first few steps of a 5-minute jog early Monday morning. I felt pain on my knees and my ankles. It was not the sharp stabbing kind that tells you something is wrong and forces you to slow down or totally stop. Rather, it was the kind that tells you your body has somewhat forgotten how it feels to do this and is complaining from the stress. But the body is a wonderfully intelligent machine, one that relearns and adapts quickly, and my knees and ankles are soon at ease with the movement.
My five-minute slow runs interspersed with five-minute brisk walks on Thursday were even better. No complaints from the knees, the ankles, and most of all from my right foot. It was like they were more comfortable than they were on that first day. I easily went into a rhythm in the run segments.
This morning, I started much later than I did in my two previous workouts. I attended early Easter Sunday mass with my wife, and had to move my run to 7 a.m. Being summer, the sun was already shining quite intensely when I went out. The walks were shorter today at 3 minutes, and the runs longer at 7 minutes. I felt something new this time. Starting my first 7-minute run, I felt a familiar burning sensation in my upper arms, the same discomforting one that you feel at the starting of most short races. It is a feeling that tells you you are pushing you body and it has yet to adapt to the workload. I also noticed that I was breathing more heavily.
Perhaps it was the late start. I always seemed to unconsciously push myself more when I started my runs later in the morning, and maybe I was again unconsciously pushing it just a wee bit more today than I did in the first two days. Whatever the reason, how I felt during the early part of today's first 7-minute run segment showed me how out of shape I have become. But I'm not worried. I know I'll get back the form I had before I was sidelined by injury in due time.
Right now I feel like I can't wait for Tuesday to do those 2min walk - 8min run intervals.