I took the last week off from running because of the malingering problem with my right Achilles tendon. I decided that I needed to get the tendon fixed mainly because Sarah and I [finally] committed and made reservations for our June run(s). So for the past week I had been doing the rolling pin stretching exercise of the Soleus calf muscle and I’d also been talking an industrial grade anti-inflammatory drug. By day 2 I was able to actually walk without pain. By day 4 I felt like I was 90% of where I was before the injury. After 5 days I quit talking the anti-inflammatory. By day 6 I was somewhere around 95% or better.

But even so, I woke up this morning thinking about the run with great trepidation and worried about it right up until it started misbehaving in the first 15 minutes of my run.

It started tightening up on me and I knew that I was going to be right back to square one. But then I did a Marshall Ulrich and ‘divorced’ my tendon just like he did to his legs and pain in his epic 53 day run across the US in 2008.

I said to my tendon, ‘You are not part of me anymore. Screw you and screw your pain’.

And I thought, ‘I need to figure out a way to run through this because this is who I am and I am a running monster’. (Do you talk to yourself like that?)

So I kicked it up a notch. I said screw form; I am just going to run. So I upped my 10 minute pace to 8.5 minute pace and then I spoke to my feet and said, ‘Be feet, be free; I am going to quit thinking about you, so just do your job’.

I spent the next 2 hours joyfully driving myself at an 8 – 8.5 minute pace. I danced and I flew down the canal roads and I recovered my monster running self. As my stride opened and became more natural (and less protective) the tendon and the Soleus muscle responded by loosening up.

I finished at the bridge and barely had time to put my shirt on when the combi (bus) pulled up. It was 1:45 and the bus was crammed (try 17 people in a VW sized bus) with moms’ and their kids who had just got out of school. I had to sit on the floor but I was so happy that I didn’t care. I was suntanned wearing shorts and my running sandals and I thought sitting on that floor that life doesn’t get any better than this; ever.

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