Running Again – Really!

Christina is a guest writer for The Running World According to Dean. This is the seventh in a series of articles on her experiences with surgery and recovery. I hope her insights and candidness will ring true for many of you as well as keep your hopes high for any recoveries or comebacks you may be enduring. We’ll be with her every step through her journey to recovery. She’s really making progress even if it isn’t as fast as she likes!

I will often dream of running. Last night I dreamed about my first marathon, taking a wrong turn, waiting at a stop light and arguing with another runner that we were going the wrong direction and we should have turned 800 meters back. But the really odd thing is that I had split the marathon into two parts somehow (dreams often don’t make sense) because I wasn’t able to run a full marathon yet because of my foot. I probably dreamed of running because I’m so anxious to get back running. I’m going to attempt another one mile run today. I’m really worried about how much conditioning I’ve lost because the 400 I tried running two days ago was very, very tiring. Not to mention that everything is stiff, tight and achy from lack of running for six weeks.

Let’s recap…
• I was supposed to be on crutches for 1-2 weeks. I was on them for 4 weeks.
• I was supposed to be starting to run after 3 weeks. It’s now been 6 weeks.
• I was supposed to be running 30 plus miles a week at this stage in my schedule. I’m just starting to run and if I’m lucky I’ll get 5 miles in this week.
[DH – “Supposed to be” should be translated to “What I wanted to do even if it wasn’t reasonable.”]

Even though I’m behind in my schedule and have lost a lot of conditioning, I’m running again and I love it. On Saturday I set a realistic goal of one mile. Two days before I could only manage 50 meters before stopping to stretch and struggled to jog just four laps using the jog-stop-stretch sequence. On Sunday I ran 2.5 miles stopping every half mile to stretch my calf. Monday was a 3 mile run with a stretch after each mile. My heel is still sore and there is one spot that isn’t healing. My fear is that it is a wart. The doctor says he doesn’t see wart material in my heel but he was wrong once before. Years ago I went to him and said the wart that was frozen before was still there, he said it was just a callous. I was right; he was wrong. And being the worrier that I am; I am starting to think about what to do if it is a wart. Since I have a marathon to start training for, I won’t do anything serious until next summer. However, I was thinking that I would try the “duct tape method” if I had to.

Hokey is what I thought about the duct tape method when I heard about it a couple days before the surgery. I thought, here’s some construction guy that uses duct tape for everything that he used it on a gnarly wart and scraped it with an Exacto knife But there actually was a study that showed by using duct tape on the wart for six days and then scraping the skin with a pumice stone or emery board and repeating the process for up to two months, the wart went away with a higher success rate than freezing the wart. However, another study, years later debunks that study. Regardless, I will try it if I need to.

At the end of my 7th week from the surgery I’ve managed to run four times and the tightness in the calf is minimal as well as the discomfort in the heel. My weekly mileage is in the teens this week. But don’t tell Coach Dean because he’ll no doubt scold me for completely ignoring the 10% rule. [DH – I can’t believe she submitted this.]


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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