Today was to be my first long run/walk in the OBX Half Marathon training and I was geared up for 3 miles. But for some reason, in the earliest hours of this day, I had the strong need to walk — left foot first — into a bureau and then a door jamb on the way to the bathroom.
By the time I’d consumed my third cup of coffee, I was leaning strongly toward calling it a rest day and giving my knee (right leg) and very bruised fourth toe (left foot) some time off. On second and third thoughts I realized I needed to be outside, even for a walk around the block. I set a 30-minute mental minimum, bid MDR and the Lovely Daughter a fond adieu and headed out.
Phone in hand, you know, in case that deer found me again.
I learn something new every single time I head out with my legs in charge and the rest of me going along for the ride. Today’s lesson was that when I speed up my walk, I tend to lock my knees to try to go faster. And then my knee hurts more.
“Hmmm” I thought. “Let’s slow this down a little and keep the knees flexed when I put my foot on the ground.” It felt better. Then I thought it might serve me well to keep the lower abs drawn in and let the movement come from my core.
It felt even better. So I kept on. Every time I got lost in my thoughts or became aware of how much time was passing, the knee would lock in an effort to speed up and my core would slide down. And every time I made the adjustments back into thoughtful movement staying in the moment and putting no limit on how far I walked, I felt no pain.
And that’s kind of how this writing goes. Think too long and too hard about word counts and I lock up, the flow disappears. But if I adjust my thinking, stay open to what comes to mind and only focus on just getting the words on the screen instead of judging each one’s merit (editing can come later, a wise writer once said) it flows.
I ended up walking over four miles, came home to stretch and use the foam roller on my legs and you know what? The right knee feels better than it did when I started out. And a blog post came to mind.
No deer on this outing, but I did see this distance marker which prompted this thought:
Today it was just far enough.