Getting the Rust Off

Unhappy Matt

An unhappy Matt, as a little too much pesto, pasta, and gelato have proven to be detrimental to our figures. But damn, they tasted good.

I’ve reached one of those “enough is enough” moments. Bogged down by a bum knee that doesn’t seem to be getting any better, a few extra lbs. from excessive pasta and gelato consumption, and all while staring down the barrel of a crazy summer racing schedule that is paid for, advertised, and coming quickly. It’s time to get it in gear!

The doer in me has kicked in and we started things off today by attacking the knee. I’ve been icing and taking ibuprofen for a week and I’ve not run more than a few steps for two weeks. My brother encouraged me to rest until ready but finally, with the Prague Marathon coming up next Sunday, I decided it’s time to try and make this thing work. And holy hell, it worked –or at least it seems like it has. It sounds like the dumbest approach to injury but I’m tired of waiting.

So this morning, I hobbled along for a few minutes thinking I might not make it to the ten minute mark. But by five minutes, alternating between all heel strike running and all on-my-toes running, I started loosening up a bit. By ten minutes, I was running a bit more normally, and by twenty minutes, I was darn near a normal stride. I caught Julie, ran with her awhile, and then took off on my own, getting down to near 7 minute mile pace. There was still a dull ache in the knee for awhile, but it felt so good to be moving again.

After the run, my knee and I felt the best we have since pre-Madrid, no pain walking up the stairs to our apartment. I’ve iced repeatedly today and still feel so good. So it seems I literally needed to just get the rust off.

On the weight front, I received an email from a runner friend and Urbyville fan a few weeks ago that said, “If you somehow managed to not gain weight while in Italy, I’ll be impressed. From the wine to the food, everything is so good!” I laughed at first when I read this but unfortunately, he was so very right! We eat well here, going through gelato like it’s going out of style and cooking with a bit too much olive oil than is probably necessary.

Solution: exercise! I’m not ready to go all the way back to the Urbanski Feeding Schedule Diet but something along those lines is on its way back. We have been walking more and coupled with increased running and core workouts, this weight is on its way out. Even if it’s only 5 to 10 lbs, it feels gross and uncomfortable, and I don’t want to hit that slippery slope with too much momentum because it seems like a tough climb back. So here we go, back to work!

And we have a seriously awesome racing schedule coming up that I don’t want to miss. On a walk yesterday, Julie brought up the possibility of me not running Prague next week and I didn’t even want to hear it; didn’t want to even consider the possibility because it sounded so horrible to hear. I am proud and excited for all of these upcoming races throughout Europe and the Western US, from the marathon through the 100 mile race, and like Aerosmith, “I don’t want to miss a thing”.

I also want the feeling of being fast and in shape back again. Plus, I have friends I owe a good race to. Eric and Josh would be disappointed if I wasn’t giving it my all to beat them on race day. And right now, the injury bug has bitten at least two of the other four that are chasing the Leadville belt buckle with me so I need to seize this opportunity, get healthy, and increase my odds of being top man for the big race in August.

So the doer is back. Training schedules and weekly training reports are coming back. Tony and P90x workouts are my friends again, and it’s time to get this running ship righted. Today was a great start for getting the rust off because for crying out loud, enough is enough!

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