When pitchers tear rotator cuffs, you can hear baseball analysts groan in sympathy. When soccer players tear an ACL, thousands of former players wince. And when runners come down with plantar fasciitis, joggers the world round start limping in sympathy.
So it is that I’ve returned to running, wincing a little bit every time I go out. It’s not that I’m hurt anymore. (Really, I’m not. Most of the time.) It’s more the idea of running again, of doing battle with that evil possibility of injury, just waiting to pounce. It’s psyching me out. And I don’t get psyched out easily.
After 8 weeks of not nearly enough activity, (erm, but enough to do what I’m about to do…), I’ve given in. I need help. And so it is that I’ve decided to return to the path with a little bit of support, structure, and fun. After the Chicago Triathlon in late August, I benched myself in favor of working too much, and exercising too little. (Anyone else been there, done that?) I could feel the muscles in my legs (which I’d worked so hard to strengthen over 5 months of physical therapy) working just a bit harder every time I hit the stairs.
So last Saturday, when I went out for a nordic walk along the Chicago Lakefront, I thought to myself, “self, get thee back in the game”. For me, that game means signing up with my walking/running group, Chicago Endurance Sports. Lucky for me, they’ve designed a program like they knew I was coming.
This fall, for the first time ever, CES will be offering a combined 5k/10k and Half Marathon training program as part of its Winter Warriors series. When I sauntered into the packet pickup last Saturday, intending to sign up for the half marathon, but only train for a 5k, I was thrilled when Jayme Tipre (long time CESer and administrative guru) informed me that the 5k/10k group would be an option.
After some discussion, we also discovered that they had a need for folks to act as Pace Group Leaders for the 5k/10k group. And if you’re a reader, you know I always love the idea of helping people become runners for life, so I signed on – and then checked to make sure I could actually do the current distance. (I can.)
That means that tomorrow morning, I’ll be lining up at 7:15 with a ton of new-to-running or returning-to-running or I-just-want-to-run-regularly runners who aren’t in it for a half marathon, but who think that a 5k or a 10k is a perfectly acceptable (and healthy) distance to run.
For me, it’s about two things: seeing the amazing friends I’ve made over the years every weekend as we do something active – and holding myself accountable for these bi-weekly workouts. If you’re interested in joining us, I’ll be pacing at Piper’s Alley Fleet Feet, Saturday mornings. They’re also offering training from the Lincoln Square location on Sundays, if you’re a true North Sider.
Next weekend also promises some fun, as I join a bunch of friends (including intrepid traveler Kim, joining us from D.C.) in the Monster Dash, where I’ll be walking a bit, running a bit, but mostly having a lot of fun in the 5k.
Costume suggestions??? We’ll take them all!
See you on the path!