I was given the all clear to run again. My lungs were still a bit noisy, but my doctor was happy with my progress and told me I could restart running. That was a week ago and the past week has been overcoming the fear of running. All those what ifs that creep up in my mind: What if I have an asthma attack? What if I fall? What if I hurt myself again? What if I'm not supposed to be a runner after all?
I started by leaving my running gear in the bathroom Saturday night. But Sunday morning I overslept a little. Monday I went to NYC and Tuesday I was just going to watch the news for a little bit before I got in my gear. This morning I woke up at 5:30 and enough was enough. I put on my gear and came downstairs to watch the news long enough to get the current weather. 60* on December 7th? Really? Well, it was a sign to put on my shoes and get out on the road.
What if I have an astma attack? I followed my doctor's instructions to use my inhaler 20 minutes before I went out to run (which is why I waited for the weather instead of using the widget built into the TV set). My lungs crackled a little at first and then settled right down. Check.
What if I fall? Add my run this morning to the rash of tripping over the curb and going down that seem to be happening with my running buddies. I swore, got up and motored on knowing I need a new pair of running tights. Check.
What if I hurt myself again? Running with a skinned knee is doable. Check.
What if I'm not supposed to be a runner after all? That's the real question. After tripping over the curb, I decided to just run on the high school track. The plan became my 5 minute warm up walk (an unplanned trip) 2 minutes running, 2 minutes walking (repeat until reaching track) walk a lap, run a lap. Could I run a 1/4 mile? The answer was yes... repeatedly. Walk a lap, run a lap, repeat and repeat again. I averaged a 14 minute mile that way.
Not my greatest run, but I did it. I beat back the bed magnet, I beat back the what ifs and I found my body, in spite of pneumonia, didn't betray me fully.
It feels good. It feels like progress and it feels like I'm ready to set goals and get moving again.