Last time I posted, I was proudly announcing my first 3 mile run post-surgery. A lot has changed since then...
I've gained 26 pounds since November, and am now at a healthy 154-155lbs thanks to gallons and gallons of chocolate milk. Going along with this new found weight is a level of strength I've never experienced in the past. So while I can now do pullups and pushups like nobody's business, running & cardio-wise I am truly starting from scratch again.
This has forced a totally new mindset as it relates to running, specifically, I've decided to start counting PR's as pre-surgery and post-surgery.
Otherwise, it would be too depressing starting from scratch again (athletically), trying to improve on where I was at in 2011-2012. Since I'm not going to be running any sub-2:50 marathons, sub-7 hour 50 milers, or sub-15 hour 100 milers anytime soon, I need to (and do) appreciate every little accomplishment during this comeback period.
Case(s) in point:
I ran the St Patty's Day 5k a couple weeks ago. It took me 20:40... NEW PS (post surgery) PR!!!
I ran a 5 mile run in 37 minutes last week. NEW PS PR!!!
It's the little victories along the way that make getting back in the saddle easier.
This last weekend was no exception. While I've not run anything over 12 miles long since the operation, upon discovering a local 24 hour timed lap event last weekend, I decided to sign up morning of, and see just how far off of my old ultra form I really am. The results were surprising...
Running into a fellow runner who was making his return in 2014 after battling injuries for the last year, we pushed each other for the first 20 miles of the day, finishing just a few minutes over 3 hours. NEW PS PR!!!
After that, I was content calling it a day, so I decided to walk for a while and enjoy the weather a little longer. That turned into me deciding a marathon would be awesome. After being out there a little over 4 hours, I hit the 26.2 mile mark. NEW PS PR!
At this point I wanted to quit, and could have done so unapologetically, HOWEVER the thought of trying to hit ultra-distance again was too great, and I kept alternating walking/running. Around 5:25 in, I had gone 50k. Booyah! NEW PS PR.
Once again, I should have quit. NOW the reason to continue was strictly me being overly competitive and wanting to beat a couple of friends who were there (who will remain unnamed). Long story short, I ended up running 41.82 miles around Palmer Lake on Saturday (51 laps). It took me 7 hours and 24 minutes. While much slower than I used to be, this has given me the psychological boost I needed to get back into it. I never thought running 7+ hours around a gravel hamster-wheel would be so rewarding...
Still don't have a 2014 race plan, other than now wanting to finish a 50 miler... any 50 miler. If my health continues to hold up in 2015, I can start thinking about longer & faster races, but for now I couldn't be more content with my fitness and overall health!