Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Bridge

Way back when I first started having calf pain, one of the first things I did was stop running the bridge. Elizabeth and I had been running it about four days a week during half marathon training. I attributed that bridge to my increased paces and stronger endurance when I first started running, and it has always been my favorite means of speedwork.

It was a weekly staple for me, but I haven't run it since December 2016.

Monday afternoon, while deciding where to run, Elizabeth suggested it. And I decided to take the bull by the horns.
It took me all of 2 seconds to agree. I appreciated that she pushed me out of my comfort zone!
We chose to park closer than usual to take the normal route from four miles to three. It was cool and windy thanks to whatever bizarre weather pattern is going on right now, and we had the wind at our backs for most of the run. I felt fresh from four days of rest. The first 3/4 mile was a slightly too-hard warmup. Then came the bridge.

I was surprised. It was...easy. I was nervous going in, sure my calves wouldn't be ready, but my legs and lungs actually felt alright. Good, even.

We walked at the turn-around, about 1.4 miles in, to alleviate Elizabeth's side-stitch. Then we ran back up, this time into the wind. We took a brief walk at the top. My left calf felt...something. Not tight, but stretched. Like it was saying We have not done this in a long time wtf. I've been pushing my left calf much faster than I did my right (because I can, seeing as how they've both been operated on now), so some discomfort is expected, but it's a good reminder to take it slow.
We took more walk breaks than I wanted, but considering we haven't run any inclines in over a year, I think we did pretty well. Our running paces, even up the bridge, were in the 9s. I felt fantastic.

I know I will need to build bridge runs into my routine slowly, maybe once every two weeks for now, but another mental barrier - another post-injury fear - is getting ready to fall. Soon, maybe it will be like this past year never even happened.


  1. I'm so glad that you were able to conquer the bridge without any problems! I haven't added bridge running back in, but I have walked over the bridge here a couple times and have always been so pleasantly surprised at how easy it is without a ton of calf pressure weighing my legs down!

    I was thinking last night that my legs finally feel good. I mean ever since surgery they have felt 20X better than pre-surgery, but now the rust *really* feels like it's wearing off. I can run without my legs swelling up, I can loosen up any tightness within the first couple minutes of a run just by continuing to run ... it feels so freeing and normal! We made it!

    1. Yes, my legs are feeling so strong and almost normal every day now. I still have numbness and that weird discoloration, but now when I experience any soreness it's all very "normal". It's so amazing!!

  2. Look at you two powerful women! I am glad you are getting over the mental hurdle of the bridge. Tell me what bridge is this?

    1. It's not a famous bridge, or even very big. But it's near our houses and we used to run it constantly.