July 16, 2005

Things are looking up

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I posted; such is life, I guess.

The gout eventually went away and I went to the doctor and he took some blood and did an x-ray. I do have gout; he gave me indomethicin in case the gout should come back. He's also getting me on something to lower the urea levels in my blood and I'm supposed to see a nutrionist about my diet, try to eliminate anything heping cause the gout.

After the gout episode, I was able to get out...what, four runs ago?...and did 2 and a half miles without pain. Now THERE's a relief! I've taken to running in Central Park right after my physical therapy appointments. (If I had the motivation to get out of bed an hour earlier, I'd run BEFORE the appointments!) It's been very pleasant.

Picking up where my memory allows...

Last Monday, after allowing the requisite half-hour for my knees to thaw after PT, I did a pleasant run from 59th street to the top of Central Park. I found the day a trifle warm and a trifle too humid, but such is summer in NY. I believe I'll never quite get used to it...yet also believe at the same time that I AM getting used to the weather. Anyway, the distance was three miles and I ran it at a slow, steady marathon pace, not pushing it at all, because of the heat/humidity. When I made it to the top of the park and ran around to the pond's boathouse to see if the bathroom was open (it wasn't), I felt absolutely GREAT. I mean top-notch WONDERFUL. It wasn't so much physical as mental. After all these weeks of being unable to get a mile without pain...it was such a relief and an elation to knock out three miles. In fact, I felt as thrilled by that run as I did by my first six-mile run!

Wednesday was similar, though the run was delayed by rain. It found it ironic that the rain had held off all morning, throughout my PT, and the second I stepped foot in the park, the skies opened up. This was probably not a bad thing, as I had taken some of the indomethacin earlier that morning to stave off what I could feel was the gout coming back. The indomethicin kicked in during PT and really knocked me out. I was so drowsy I actually thought something was wrong and determined that if I couldn't clear my head or stay awake enough after the appointment to run, I'd call my doctor. But while waiting for my knees to thaw before my run (and before the rain), the drowsiness passed. I headed home. Later in the afternoon, I took a "long" run up to Prospect Park, but didn't do the loop. I went across the top of the park to where it turns and begins to descend, then turned around and retraced my route home. A good solid 3.3 - 3.5 mile run. I took HEED with me, but was still thirsty as hell when I got home.

Yesterday, I again ran after PT and this time slowly upped my pace from very slow jog to marathon to about a half-marathon pace. It was a triumphant run, complete with sweaty, smelly clothes and water-chugging on the subway ride home. I reflected at that time that it felt weird to be able to judge my slight changes in pace and give them race-length names like other runners do, but at this point, I feel my pace notes are pretty accurate.

This evening, perhaps about seven or eight if the temperature cooperates, I'll try to get in a full loop of Prospect Park.

I'm certainly not up to 10K pace yet (a 10:00 mile for me) and don't think I'll do that much this summer. I'm concentrating on rehab, not achievement, right now, but at least I'm back to a three- or four-day-a-week running schedule. I'm signed up for next Saturday's Central Park 4 miler and the following Saturday's Met's home run 5K thing, just to (I believe) finish my 9 qualifiers for the 2006 ING Marathon.

You see, I have goals and I realize that the long range goals may mean putting off short-term goals. I'm determined to run the New York marathon, no matter what it takes. At this point in time -- it takes PATIENCE.

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