Getting back on the track

Today I ran on a track for the first time in 7 months. It felt…good? difficult? almost fast? tiring? exciting? disappointing?

There are a lot of unknowns in injury, and they don’t go away as you make your way back. There is no secret formula that says you’ll get back in shape without hurting yourself if you run this far at this speed but will hurt yourself again if you run further and/or faster than that. You try to balance your overprotective mom brain (“be careful, sweetie!”) with your over competitive athlete brain (“suck it up, wuss!”) and end with feeling…confused.

Was what I just ran impressive? Should I be proud of myself? Or should I have pushed harder, ran longer, and finished faster? Do I even have the fitness to do that right now?

I have been a planner my entire life, and the last 7 months have turned me into someone who tries not to think more than a couple of days in advance. The way to stay sane is to not get attached to the plan. Then there’s nothing to be sad about when the plan changes.

I’m not sure if I’m “back” or still a ways out from that. I’m not sure if I’ll start working out on the track again every week or every other week or what. But I’m trying to savor the positives of this morning. Like the cadence of running into the curve of a 200, the familiar sound the wind makes as you cut through the air at a new speed, and the sight of sweat flinging off your body as you pump your arms.

Yeah…that stuff is pretty good.