Project Resurrection continues here at Snowman Says Headquarters, and business is good.
I'm still seeing Jamie weekly, and he's pretty pleased with my progress. I'm down to one visit a week, as opposed to two, and after yesterday's appointment, he gave me the go ahead to run as much as I want—with one caveat: don't run through too much pain. Pain is the guide. When it hurts, it's time to pack it in. And, on all of my recent runs I've had tightness or "a ghost" in my knee, but very little pain—not enough pain to force me to stop. My range of motion is very good, and he feels we've worked out most of the adhesion. Right now, the area of pain is diminishing, and the focus is on the quad/IT connection. More work, more stretching, more not overdoing it.
I'm also starting to move from complaining about not running at all to complaining about how weak and out of shape I am. All of my runs to this point have been basically flat, as didn't want to aggravate anything. Yesterday's run was hillier, and it definitely bothered the knee. It also just bothered me in general to realize how horrible I feel on any kind of hill. No strength. No power. No nuthin'. I've also been mixing in some trail sections, and that's been eye-opening as well.
With my epiphany-induced change in form, trail running is a completely new animal. Even on my road runs, it feels as if I'm "seeing more." Instead of looking down at my feet, my gaze is further up the trail, and I'm uncertain of what I'm landing on. I know this sounds like I'm in week one of my couch-to-5k program, but it really is a radical shift for me. It's just going to take some getting used to, but it's already starting to feel "right." Maybe because it is. It's also feels like it's going to improve my efficiency. Time will tell. It's pretty easy to feel comfortable and efficient over 5 miles.
At this point, I feel safe to say I'm running again. I totaled 19 miles this week, and I'll be pushing beyond that next week. When I realized that I was seriously injured, I gave myself a goal of hitting 30 miles by the last week of April. Fairly arbitrary, but I figured if I could get there, I could think about possibly racing this year. At the beginning of March, I didn't think it was going to happen, but I'm feeling pretty confident now. Like I said, I'm running, but I'm not training. I'm certainly thinking about training. If all goes well, actual training begins on June 17. Stay tuned.