Back at it.

Ack.

It wasn’t my intention to desert this space.

But Owen, Jeff and I spent the week leading up to Christmas on a Caribbean cruise with my family to celebrate my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary.

Anyway. I’m back now.

I didn’t get to work out much on the boat at all. The first few days the seas were rough enough that it made walking difficult, and I couldn’t imagine trying to run a treadmill.

The third deck had a contiguous loop which you could walk, but they didn’t allow jogging.

I managed to walk about 5 or 6 miles last week, though, which is better than nothing.

Especially since when I got back I was able to run a 4 miler yesterday without ANY ITB pain.

I need to start training for my half marathon on 2/26. The OCD chick in me is already starting to worry that I’m a bit behind on the training.

Which, you know, I am.

However, this race will not be about setting a PR. This is going to be the start of building my mileage back up – this time without getting hurt. Hopefully.

I found a good beginner’s half marathon training program which has a 3 day a week running schedule and two other days of crosstraining. One of the days I’ll do my PT exercises – essentially strength training – and the other I’ll swim.

It’s hard to look at how small the mileage is. I want to run MORE. I want more miles, more time on the road, more more more MORE!

But I also want to be smart about this and train intelligently. I don’t want to get hurt again.

Because I want to run more marathons. For many more years.

Rehab update and 2012 goals.

So I’ve been working with a physical therapist now for three weeks. And last week he was so impressed with the rate of healing of my tendonitis that he gave me the okay to try a run.

So I went out on Sunday morning and ran three anxiety-filled miles.

The whole time, I could feel it simmering under the surface. I kept running, just waiting for it to erupt into the stabby, omg-I-can’t-even-WALK pain.

It never did though.

I finished mile three giddy, as if I had just won the lottery.

I was stiff and sore that night and on Monday morning, and it’s twingy today, but there’s no PAIN.

Apparently I’m getting better. Which is really good.

Because I’m signed up for a half marathon at the end of February, and I only have a couple more weeks before I need to start a new training regimen.

Clearly my goal for this race has changed from a couple of months ago. Back then? I would have told you that I wanted to aim at a sub-2:00 finish, since my last half I clocked in at 2:02:47.

But really, I’m starting to learn that I need to change up my training regimen in order to make it so that I don’t get injured again. I need to add strength training, as much as I hate it, and make the time to stretch after a run, no matter how long I’ve been out.

So I added a weekly barre class, which is a core/pilates/dance/yoga class. Works all the muscles I DON’T have, since I’ve never actually done a crunch in my life. Or a plank. Or a push up.

It sucks and when I’m in the class I hate every minute but it’s EXACTLY the stuff I need in order to strengthen and avoid injury again. And I can tell myself when I’m in the midst of the suck that it’s important for my running.

Really, my goal for the Hyannis Half is to get through my training without re-injuring myself. And if that means I end up running this half at 2:15?

Fine. Whatever it takes.

Because I DO have goals for 2012.

I want to:

  • Run 1000 miles for the year
  • Finish a half marathon in less than 2 hours
  • Finish a 10k in less than 55:00
  • Finish a 5k in less than 26:00

All of these are absolutely within my reach, even WITH having to start off slowly in order to finish rehabbing my ITBS.

It’s so funny. Because just before my marathon, I posted a note to my dailymile friends, telling them I was worried that I wouldn’t want to get up in the dark and run without the fear of a marathon looming over me.

Truly, it wasn’t that long ago where I NEEDED a race to keep me motivated.

Maybe it’s because I’m injured and WANT to be out there, or because there’s been some shift inside me, or exercise truly is my addiction.

But I find myself really looking forward to another year of training without a huge event on the calendar; to run because I love it and I miss it when I can’t do it and it’s my zen.

In the meantime, I just need to keep trucking along with the crosstraining and physical therapy and testing the running waters out.

Here’s hoping that by January I’ll be back in running form.

Lucky.

Every morning, my son appears in whatever room I happen to be in at the moment, his arms full of his stuffed bear blankets, his hair a riot of cowlicks, a shy smile on his face.

Today he carried his new red fleece slippers in his arms too. And asked me, Mommy can you help me?

So I helped him put them on. And when he stood up and ran away to get some toy of his, his bare ankles peeped out from the bottom of his pants.

He’s growing up so quickly.

I’m finding it hard to wrap my brain around the fact that he’s going to be four in March. FOUR.

When did that HAPPEN?

I mean. For more than three years we were stuck in the Waiting Place, hoping to get pregnant. That time felt like an eternity to me; decades, eons.

But from the moment he was born, time accelerated, rushing through us, nearly overwhelming me with milestones and things to remember and change and movement.

It took me a long time to adjust to being his mom, to really embracing the fact that we got lucky enough to be parents. I was scared for so long that I didn’t deserve someone like him.

So. It’s looking more and more like he will be our only child. And if I were to be honest, I’m mostly okay with that. I like babies, but I LOVE little kids. The imagination. The vocabulary. The independent play, the trying new things, the teaching about words and games and the world around us.

But sometimes it’s hard, too, knowing that we only had one chance at babyhood.

This morning? The glimpse of his bare ankles in the gap between his pajamas and slippers struck me.

He’s a little boy.

And there are some days where I see the man he’s going to become.

So bitter and so sweet, all at the same time.