We have guests staying with us and this morning we arranged for Tim and I to run to the beach, while they drove there to meet us for breakfast. The route to the beach from home is 7km along a combination of trail and tar that, after almost 8 years living here, is very familiar to us.
I felt skippy with energy as we started our run, excited to be out again on a Sunday morning and thrilled to be recovering from my hamstring injury. I’ve realised that the hamstring tendon tolerates the motion of running better when I lift my knee a little higher than usual, and does better ascending or descending on uneven ground. Sadly, running on a flat stretch of road is still not without discomfort.
I knew these things, and I knew the route: uphill and downhill trail, sure, but with good amounts of flat road too. Each time I go out, I am testing the hamstring tendon, gauging it for the level of healing and trying to modify the run to stay within necessary limits. These limits are not where I want to be - I want to be able to lengthen my stride, to run easy along all our normal routes, to go as far as energy allows.
I don’t want to be where I am. I don’t want what is true about me to be true about me. Now I can moan all I like, I can want things to be different, I can even try to run as I usually would (which this morning would have meant adding on a few kays at the end) but it doesn’t change what is actually true about me: I over-worked my hamstring which caused some inflammation in the attached tendon and, unless I limit what I do, recovery could take a long time. To get where I want to go, I have to start from where I am.