5 at 5!  Thats what we call it our "normal weekday" run...well actually lately its been 5 miles at 5:15 am.

Yep, you read that time right.  (and after Daylight Savings Time, yes it does feel like 4:15) BUT the time didn't matter because I am on a total endorphin high. Today I finally returned to my normal 5 miles!  Ok, you think who would be excited about a normal run?  Well, it has been a long road to recovery after running the Walt Disney World Marathon on a teetering IT Band injury.  I made it through those 26.2 miles and promised the running Gods that if I finished, I would rest this injury.  The first 4 weeks were easy, light running and a few vacations thrown in to help naturally lower my mileage.  Then the work got tough....it wasn't getting ANY better!  In fact, the less I ran the more it seemed to hurt after my runs. 

So, the treatment was clear before this injury got out of control, 2 weeks of solid rest...NO RUNNING!  Yep the dreaded prison sentence for any runner.  After 2 weeks of rolling, anti inflammatory medication and massage, I came back with a beautiful 2 mile run in the rolling hills of Napa.  Guess what?  No knee pain!  I followed that with a week of 3 mile runs and then a week of 4 mile runs all with little to no pain.  I was being smart (and a good patient) and actually REHABBING my injury properly.  

So today 9 weeks after that marathon I returned to my normal 5 mile AM run and, frankly, I am more elated then any race I have ever finished (well, except my first marathon).  I have still cut back to 3 days of running instead of 4, but its a small sacrifice to make.

Looking back on the last few weeks, I realize, it was actually the hardest training I have ever done.  More difficult than my first half marathon when I wondered how I would ever run more than 4 miles, more mentally challenging than overcoming my first 20 miler, and very eye opening about which of my running buddies stuck by my slow and steady approach.  It was invaluable training in which I learned a whole lot about my psyche, my running buddies and my body from!

Dr. Misty McNeill
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D.P.M. - Founder of Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic
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