Following my 50 mile ride, I was worried I had strained my right knee. After spending weeks getting my left knee back into operation the prospect of the same with my right was disheartening to say the least.
Thankfully it only needed a little rest. I ran 4 miles on the treadmill Tuesday, sans incline and 4.5 miles on the Riverview loop last evening. It has been almost two months since the marathon and I finally feel ready to begin a new base and run regularly. Looking forward, I signed up for the Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon in October, which gives me plenty of time to prepare. I have decided to hold off on a second full marathon until Pittsburgh and use this time to build my strength and stamina. Risking injury or significant recovery time does not seem like a wise idea.
Yesterday's run in Riverview was my first successful hill run since the marathon. The Atlanta Marathon was chock full of hills, which even to this Pittsburgher were not to be taken lightly. It occurred to me, as I trudged up the grade, that this is the work that builds strength. It is difficult and at times I find myself slowing down, gasping for air or just wondering if there will ever be a downhill. During races, I have walked hills even when I promised myself I would not walk. Sometimes you just have to surrender. Difficulties or hard times are similar -- sometimes you have to give in to how hard things are, lay down for a while, give yourself permission to take things slowly. Hill have their value, even if they are not something to tackle everyday, and each time around makes things a little bit easier.