After an injury that wouldn’t seem to heal and moving house which, as it always does, takes a lot out of you in terms of mental and physical energy, I was happy to be able to hit the restart button this morning and head out for a run.
I didn’t want to do anything crazy, just ease back into things and make sure my leg wasn’t going to hurt. The last thing I wanted was to hurt my leg again and find myself laid up for another week or two. The problem is one of time, after all, and I think I need a good 10 weeks of preparation for the 50 miler I will be doing in England in mid-September. This means that, starting July, I need to be back into things.
And the sooner I can get going at the end of June, the better.
I set out from our new apartment in the center of Lyon and clicked start on the Garmin just after exiting the building. We are in a lovely part of town near the Places des Jacobins and the Place Bellecour, and as I made my way through the still-drunk football fans who had gathered in the area for the Euro 2016 matches the night before, I was feeling OK. Maybe a little slow, but OK.
I headed down the Presque Isle until I got to the railway lines at Perrache. I had in mind something between 6km and 10km and, as I tried to do the math in my head as to where I should turn around this morning, I made the decision to head down to the Confluence Museum. I crossed over the Rhone, dropped down onto the berges, and set my sights on making it down and over the Pont Raymond Barre.
Along the river the wildlife (or what counts for it) was coming alive. I’m not sure whether I saw more rabbits or hungover English soccer fans, but both made me smile in the crisp morning air. Crossing over the Pont Raymond Barre, I looped around the Confluence Museum and then dropped onto the other side heading up the Saone river. Past the shopping mall, past the boats and then, at around kilometer six, I started to feel a tingle in my leg.
It was exactly where I had been hurt before and I decided immediately not to try and run through it. I slowed my pace by a good thirty or forty seconds a kilometer and took very small steps for the the next five or six minutes. The pain wasn’t bad and, indeed, it is probably an overstatement to call it ‘pain’ as it was really no more than a niggle. But niggles have a way of becoming problems and ultrarunning is, as I have written before, all about solving problems on the run.
After a kilometer of slow, short steps I decided I was not going to be able to outrun the niggle and so I slowed to a walk and the niggle went away quickly. I walked in the last couple of kilometers to home, passing by the Old City and then crossing over the bridge at the courthouse to re-enter the Presque Isle and click stop on the Garmin right where I’d begun.
I’m not injured and I think I am going to enjoy the walk into work this morning. I’m also planning a walk at lunch just to keep my legs stretched out and I don’t think it’ll cause me any problems either. However, I will either run a shorter distance a little slower tomorrow of trade up the run for a cycle to make sure I don’t over-stress that leg. Who wants to be sitting still and stewing when they cold be running, right?