I was pretty sore all day yesterday. After having almost a month of no running for various reasons, I spent yesterday with some pretty tight and sore muscles. Overall, I felt good though.
My husband surprised me by buying dinner (a nice big BBQ spread) and all I had to do was go pick it up on my way home. It made things so simple, because that meant that I got home, made sure they were eating and I got to change and go run before it got dark. I almost never run in the daylight, so this was a fun change and helped keep me motivated while running a farther distance than I've ran in over two months.
I did 3.5 miles at a 12:25 average pace. I realize that's faster than the pace I should have been running at, but it's what felt right yesterday. I don't regret it even though I'm quite sore this morning. I did my first mile in 12:32, 2nd in 12:30, and 3rd in 12:27. The last 1/2 mile was quite a bit faster because it was mostly downhill. It felt good to get out there and really push myself. Coming home was great because there was an abundance of carbs and proteins waiting for me.
Today is a rest or cross training day, so I'm not sure what I'll be doing. Tomorrow is a 5-8 mile long run (target pace of 13:59-15:36) and I'm sure we all know that I'll probably be doing just a bit over 5 miles. I'd attempt 8 if I hadn't spent the last two months battling various injuries and sickness, but I don't think I'm ready to push quite that hard yet. I will get myself to the higher end of my run distances, but it may take me some time.
I'm not disappointed though. My performance is definitely less than what it could be if I'd been able to keep running over the last couple of months, but it's actually above what I thought it would be. It's taken me a long time to accept that my body will never be what it could have been, because of everything that it has been through. I have two disabilities that I manage very well, but will always be there and will keep me from being as fast as other women my age. It's taken me a long time to accept that. Instead of looking at what I've lost, I'm trying to see how much I've gained.
I find that I tend to appreciate the good days more. I listen to my body a little better than a lot of people my own age. I'm also used to these aches and pains now, which is something that not many in their early 30's can claim, which means that while everyone around me is just learning how to work with it, I've gotten it down to a science. It's a tarnished silver lining, I suppose, but one that I actually really appreciate. I'm not scared when I wake up to a pain somewhere anymore. I've learned what to eat, what to drink and how to move to work with the damage. I've learned pain management techniques. I'm amusingly a source of wisdom for many of my older coworkers (40+) that are just coming into sore joints and back pain.
I appreciate my body in a way that I didn't ten years ago. Ten years ago I was angry at it and I was ready to give up and just accept that I would eventually stop walking. 30 year old me is appalled with 20 year old me's attitude. I'm not entirely sure what changed, but I strongly suspect it was having my daughter and knowing that she needed me to be the best I can be. Whatever it was, I have spent the last decade working very hard. I accept that I will never not be disabled, but it is comforting to know that I do have some control over how disabled I am for the time being. It was April 2007 when I was told that I had less than 10 years of walking left. It was April 2008 that my daughter was born and changed my entire life. It will be April 2017 when I run 13.1 miles.
I think I might just look up my old doctor from 2007 and thank him for giving me the tools to turn everything around, because it's his tips that I used to go from not walking (seriously - in 2011 I couldn't walk without crutches for about 6 months and they weren't sure it would get better) to knowing that I can run a half marathon. Not everyone will be as lucky as me, but I am sure thankful.