Saturday, July 26, 2014

Free to fly

It has been more than four months since my last run.  Four very long months.  It was the only race I never finished and the race I finally finished to redeem myself.  After which I had grounded myself from running until a goal date of the first Saturday in August.

I began working through the plantar fasciitis that was now plaguing my right foot.  After having dealt with the same issue in my left foot for a full year, I decided not to make the same mistakes.  And so started the rolling, the stretching, the foot curling, walking, resting, (I skipped the icing), elevating, massaging and on and on it went for the next four months.

As the first Saturday in August starting creeping up closer and closer, very slowly, I started getting excited to get out onto the trails again.  It was time to shoe shop!!  I had picked up several pair of zero drop and minimal trail running shoes and tried them on walks a few times to see how my body responded.  One pair was even a 'barefoot' trail shoe.  My body and my feet especially loved them!!  I wasn't sure how the feet would react with my 'extra gravity' and the minimal cushion, but I wanted to run in those darn trail shoes.

I tried the third new pair out yesterday.  AMAZING!!  Apparently, these low to zero drop shoes are exactly what my body needed to distribute the gravity more evenly.  I felt so wonderful by the end of the day, I simply could not wait one more week and decided to make this morning my first training run after the four month hiatus.

My new awesome feel great trail running shoes!

I woke up and it was dark, very dark.  But it wasn't dark because it was too early, there was a thunderstorm coming in just west of me.  Could I make it?  I would get all the fur critters taken care of and head out right away.  Grabbing a banana and a drink, I thought to myself, I could eat breakfast when I was done.  I finished getting ready, laced the new shoes and threw on the race shirt from my last race as a rebellious statement.  I headed out to the car, there were a few sprinkles but that's okay.  I love running in the rain.

I entered the park and by the time I was at the trail head, it was almost black out, thunder and lightening decided to show themselves and it was pouring.  It was as if someone took a couple of clouds over me, cracked them like eggs and opened them up to drop torrents of rain directly over me.

Nope, not waiting until next week.  Nope, not waiting until later today.  I had on my new super awesome fantastic trail shoes and I felt good!  I am going to sit here for a few minutes and see what happens.  I finished my banana and drink and waited.  After a bit the rain looked like it was slowing, it was getting a little lighter and I thought I had my window.  That was until a big flash of lightening overhead changed my mind.  Just a few more minutes, is it passing?  I'm hearing the thunder a little further east.  Could it be?  Yes!  Here is my window.  I don't mind the rain.  Let's go!

Popping in my earbuds, off we went, my trusty little interval training guide and I.  Warm up walk first.  Lots and lots of flooded trails.  You might think you could avoid the pools of water and mud somewhat by stepping gingerly around them or even finding the best spots to wade through, but really, where is the fun in that?  Even still, I did start out that way.  Here comes the first run interval.  Running, body check.  How are the legs?  Strong.  Breathing?  Not too bad.  Upper body?  Good.  Hips?  Strong.  How are these feet taking the gravity?  Wonderfully!!  The new shoes are doing the trick!  This feels good.  I am enjoying this, really enjoying this.

Time for the second walk break and I'm so happy inside I feel I could just burst, can't wait for the next run and here it is!  With a huge smile spreading across my face, I begin aiming for the biggest and deepest puddles.  Pounce!  Stomp!  Splash!  I was laughing and enjoying this second run so much!  And I felt good and strong!  In fact, I felt great and strong for the entire training run!

A rare breed the runner, there were many of us out there in the storm this morning.  Apparently, I am not alone in my love of rain running.  It was nice to see so many smiling faces.

Heading out of the park, the sky lightened and the clouds began to clear.  As I rounded a turn, I saw a big red-orange box turtle in the middle of the road holding his head straight up and all the way out.  I'm guessing to get away from all the water.  I stopped in the middle of the road and as I approached him, he tucked his head back.  Picking him up, I located a spot off the road that was a little higher and clear of the water and gently relocated him.
He was quite a bit redder than the photo shows, quite beautiful.

I hopped back into my car and headed home.  As the sun burst out from behind the clouds, I felt such a surge of joy purge its way up from the pit of my stomach, my eyes filled with tears and again I smiled at how happy and blessed I was.  I felt good, no, I felt great!  I was strong!  I was free to fly again!!

Time to soar!


  1. Wow!! Wow!! Wow!!! I can feel your smile and I hope that you can see mine!
    Congratulations on giving your body what it needed; rest, love and permission.

  2. Glad you're running again and it brings you such peace and is so nice to excel in something that is so healthy! I know the excitement I get from adding extra weight plates to the machines at the gym and lifting the weight! It is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment! Congrats! Love ya gf! <3