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On Being Cleared to Run Again and Overcommitting as a Result

After over two months of physical therapy (with the very friendly members of NovaCare!) I was finally cleared to run last week by my physical therapist. Not that I wasn't running leading up to that (as my race reviews will attest) but the therapist was only begrudgingly giving me clearance to run (mainly because they knew I would probably do it anyway) whereas now I've been given the all clear. Am I an ideal patient? No. But did I follow all of my prescribed exercises and whatnot? Yes.

This morning I ran a solid three miles without any pain which was really exciting, though I have now been incorporating about ten minutes of pre-run warm-ups and fifteen minutes of post-run stretches to every run. It adds a lot more time to my running (oh, for the days when I could just go out and foolishly run with no pre- or post-race stretching) but it's worth it to prevent more IT band issues.

So, to celebrate my newly cleared status (and to make up for the past month when I haven't run a single race) I'm running three 5Ks this weekend: the 5k Run Against Traffic, the Firefly Run and the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5K. Obviously I'd like to get up to longer distances again (and will be working towards that over the next few months in preparation for the Men's Health Urbanathlon) but for now a handful of 5Ks should satisfy the running monster within me. Even if I can't run as fast or as hard as I'd like to.

I also signed up for my first triathlon: the North Shore Triathlon (next weekend). So far I have managed to avoid all biking and swimming, and the closest I've come to even considering a triathlon was when I spectated the Chicago Triathlon last year). Luckily, this triathlon is a sprint (400 meter swim, 20K bike ride and 5K running) so I think I'll be okay (at least on the running and biking). This kind of cross-training should be good for the Urbanathlon as well (my upper body could definitely use some training).

So here's where I encountered my first hurdle towards the triathlon: I don't own a bike. This is where a very generous human being named Fuzzy stepped in to save the day. Not only was he willing to let me borrow a bike for the next two weeks to train with and then ride in the tri, he also gave me all kinds of bike and tri tips (I'm an absolute novice at this). He's been tackling triathlons for a while now (this weekend he's taking on Ironman Wisconsin) so his input was extremely welcomed!

My first bike ride was only a few miles (home from Fuzzy's house yesterday afternoon) but I'm ready to start getting some biking in before race day hits. Whatever happens, I'm just excited to be running (and I guess now swimming and biking) again!

Comments

  1. Telling a running well you can run but.. is like telling a smoker than can still have a few puffs.

    My initial clearance to run by my doc was - what are you looking for me to say? I said as brave as I could.. I want you to be honest, I want to run, but I don't want to hurt myself more, so I'll follow your orders.

    The warm up and cool down stretching is a bit more annoying clearing time for it. I used to be able to get back late, shower, and be out for work in 10 minutes... no longer.

    Good luck with the three 5ks and biking!

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  2. Glad you got clearance by your PT and that you are back in the swing of things! I hate "Injury Jail"!

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