Remember the feeling of renewal that came with back-to-school shopping when you were a kid? Every new shirt (or every pair of Z. Cavaricci pants–I grew up in the ’80s, after all) carried the possibility of a new teacher, new classroom, new opportunities.
I was reminded of that feeling last week, when I started running again after six weeks of basically no cardio whatsoever while I recovered from wrist surgery. My first 20-minute run back was exhausting but exhilarating. The next day, I hopped on the stationary bike for 45 minutes. The day after, it was running again, this time for 30 minutes. I’ve alternated between the two ever since, and I think I’m finally getting over the initial shock of how sore my legs were after so little activity.
What I haven’t gotten over: The sense that I am starting anew. Sure, it stinks feeling exhausted after 20 minutes of easy running when, just months before, exhaustion came after running 20 miles. My endurance feels pretty much gone. But you know what else is gone? The hip pain that had hampered me pre-wrist-break. This week, I’m finding motivation in the fact that I’m getting a fresh start, and from the “back to school” goodies helping to celebrate that novelty:
* Ron at Punk Rock Tri Guy sent me this awesome hat, which is made of sweat-wicking material and is emblazoned with a logo that’s sure to help me channel my inner punk rocker before races or speed workouts:
* A brand-new training log, courtesy of Ken (a.k.a., @boulderrunner). After a brief stint on dailymile.com, I realized I really prefer to log my daily workouts in an actual training log. He had an extra one and sent it my way. Scrawling my first week worth of workouts in it gave me such a sense of accomplishment!
* A “new to me” toy: the Garmin Forerunner 305 I received for Christmas, but barely got to enjoy before I broke my wrist. I brought it on my easy 30-minute jog on Saturday to get an idea of my baseline fitness level, preparing to be horrified at my lack of speed. The verdict: 3.22 miles at 9:18-minute-mile pace. As I finished the run, my glee upon seeing these not-so-bad stats was compounded by my iPod skipping to the perfect song for my current situation, “Get Right Back” by Army Navy. The cover song, which is peppy and fun even without the message, left me feeling like getting right back to where I started from wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
What’s motivating you this week?