Today was deemed Day 1 for two reasons. Firstly, I had had a week off due to injured calfs and quads from the bushwalk, so this was an introductory run to see how they felt. And secondly, I am now viewing this first run back as the beginning of my quest for Half Ironman status.
How did I feel? Well, I now realise how quickly one loses stamina, strength and flexibility. My right gluteus maximus was quite tight at the beginning of the run and it was hindering the full extension of my stride - not the best stride to start off with but it was now even shorter. Looking back over this last week, I have had trouble sleeping at night due to a sore back again and I think its all because I haven't been exercising and stretching as much as I normally would. So glad I can get back into it, couldn't handle going backwards again with my back. Not that I would let it happen.
My lungs started to burn again, not sure if it was due to being out of action for a week, the fact that I am slightly congested due to hayfever or the fact that the air is getting slightly cooler. Maybe a combination of all three, whatever it was I was trying to suck in the air. I couldn't really hold a conversation with my friend Susan, so she kindly did the talking whilst I nodded every now and then. I love running with her, she makes me feel like I can do anything. Susan gives me little bouts of encouraging words when she can see I am starting to feel it. I know she will help me reach my goal - I can definately count on her in every aspect of my life. I am truly blessed.
At about 2.5km my left shin started to feel a bit niggly so I stopped and gave my calf muscles a stretch and then walked for about 500m. Susan gave me some wise words, maybe because my calf muscles had been injured they were not supporting my shins hence the pain. Time to get back into stretching and strengthening them again. I hate the pain of shin splints and don't particularly want to suffer with them again. So I will pay extra attention to this in my training program.
I finished off fairly ok, nothing great - ran the 4km in 24.04. Don't know why I timed it, I guess I wanted to have some idea of where I stood. I guess it's ok, just need to not get caught up in times at this point. Need to focus on distance and just getting out on a regular basis to make running feel normal. I want it to feel normal, at this point it still feels foreign.