It’s been exactly 53 days since I last ran.
After I finished the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon, part of my back started to go numb off and on. Two visits to the doctor later (and a forthcoming MRI), I decided I needed to just run. So I did.
I normally don’t wake up particularly early. I don’t have to be in the office until 8:30, so I generally roll out of bed around 7:15. Sometimes 7:30. Okay, sometimes 7:45.
Last night, I set my phone’s alarm for 6:45, placed all my running gear next to my bed and went to sleep. The marimba ringtone gently rousing me from slumber, I lay in bed for a minute harassed by the thought of just doing this tomorrow. I’ve missed running, but somewhere in this hiatus I grew afraid I would have to start from scratch all over again. I remembered the early January runs that were so difficult at the time. The ones where I thought covering five miles was just too ridiculous a thought to even entertain.
But back in the present, there were my clothes, mocking my fears like a fat kid who mocks other fat kids who don’t have cake. And I have a marathon for which I need to begin training. So I slipped out of bed, dressed and headed outdoors.
I decided to run my old two-mile loop for these first few runs back. This morning was a cool 69 degrees, which, while not perfect, is far from the 100-degree weather we’re going to have for the next five days. I started up my RunKeeper app and took off.
My pace seemed to be fine. My stride was even. And my back didn’t tighten into spasms. So far, so good. I turned into a neighborhood and felt great.
Until she started talking.
I love the RunKeeper app. I’ve tried a few others, but I keep coming back to RunKeeper because it seems to be the most accurate. The one thing I don’t like about the app is the incessant droning on of the robot lady voice. I know you can change the settings through the desktop version of the tool, but I’ve never gotten around to it. So I usually just mute my phone and carry on. But this morning I was curious. I wanted to see what my pace was compared to where I left off, so I let her keep me company.
Well. She’s a lousy running partner.
A half-mile in, condescending robot lady said I was running at an 11-minute mile. I thought for sure I had already passed my half-mile point, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I’d run the mini at a 10-minute mile, but had I really lost a full minute off my pace?
She told me I was still on track for an 11-minute mile at the 1-mile point (which wasn’t where it usually is), so I picked up the pace. Finally, I grew so tired of her taunting that I shut her off.
When I finished my run, I took a look at the app. I’d covered the loop in 20:17. However, it had calculated my distance as 1.86 miles.
I’ve run this loop a million times. It’s always been 2 miles. This glitch would explain how checkpoints were in the wrong locations and why my pace was so off.
Pleased with the run, I then spent the rest of the day wondering how my back would react. As I write this, I haven’t noticed anything different. The MRI is scheduled for Tuesday, so I’ll know for sure if this is something that will require rehabilitation or if I just need a massage and some acupuncture.
Which is good. Because marathon training starts Saturday.
So, I’m back. Let’s do this.
Keep running, friends.
(Profiles in Running will return in all its glory next week. I dropped the ball this week.)