For nearly three months, I've been out of action with an overuse injury. While I've remained active by working on a stationary bike, I've really missed running. I took a test run this morning. I didn't set any speed records, and I probably won't make the 2012 Olympic team. I ran 1.3 miles in 19 minutes. I didn't run the entire way. I alternated running and walking at 1 minute intervals. Overall, my leg didn't feel too bad. I began to feel a little twinge in my knee toward the end, which worries me a little. Still, to travel over a mile is a big improvement over not being able to last even a quarter mile.
Plan A assumes I am able to continue running. The plan is to go out three times a week and run one mile. I'll continue to workout long and hard on the stationary bike to keep up my fitness. If my leg feels okay, I'll VERY gradually add distance – probably a half mile at a time. I'll also use the run/walk approach. The macho side of me wants to gut it out and run the entire time. The practical side of me knows that a run/walk approach will allow me to travel longer distances, and it'll also allow me to continuing running longer as I get older. Also, I have it in my head that I would like to run an ultramarathon one day. Even the top ultra runners use a run/walk approach, so I may as well get used to it now.
If I'm unable to continue running, I'll reluctantly move to Plan B, where I'll stop running for a year, continue my long stationary bike workouts, and step up my strength training. Back in the day, I was very much into weight training and even had some manly muscles to show for it. I enjoy weight training, but I've been training lightly these days. If I'm unable to run, I'll very likely start hitting the weights a little harder. I have no plans to throw around a lot of weight like I did before. Instead, I would use light to medium weights and do a lot of circuit training.
So I have a plan, and I have a backup plan. If I have to, I'll switch to Plan B, but I love running, so I'm hoping I can stick with Plan A.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.