After getting clearance last Friday that I could begin running again, I went out immediately after work that day. I decided on something easy, a loop or two around Sugarhouse Park, which is part of my standard beater run. You know, your goto route when you're pressed for time-but you've just got to get out-run. Really I could go the rest of my life without ever running around that park and be perfectly happy. But last Friday it provided somewhere soft for my tentative stride to get some turnover without any risk. Halfway around I had a grin from ear to ear and struggled to keep a lid on my slower than usual pace. By the time the I was ready for my second loop I couldn't help myself any longer and sped up to sub 7 pace. I was breathing harder than normal but it didn't matter, I felt as though I was flying. After a few more minutes I began to feel some pain. Then the smile came back, the pain wasn't in my knee, it was my muscles straining to keep up the pace. I blocked out the muscular pain and tuned in to my knee for the rest of the loop. Nothing.
The end of the loop came too soon and even though I wanted to do another I stopped. Better to be left wanting more than come limping back after aggravating something. That was when I realized how much I truly love to run. Here I was on cloud nine after a short 4 mile run on the beater loop.
I remained tentative for the next two days doing some easy runs, took a day off, then met up with Greg for trip around Red Butte and up Van Cott. Coming off the long descent on Van Cott I felt some pain again. This time it was my quads taking a beating and it felt great. In the days following I completed another 3 runs with some vertical. The knee is still happy and so am I. Now I just need to work on the fitness part to complete the package.