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July 22, 2014

I'm calling it a come back.

The last two weekends, I've run 6 and 7 miles respectively.

My 6 miler was run on a Sunday afternoon when it was 94 degrees with 80% humidity. Other than taking it slow (on purpose), I felt great. It was the first time in over a year that I've gone out for a run and felt confident that my knee would hold up. It was the first time that I've felt strong through a run.

I went to PT two days later, and we decided that I would take two weeks off from PT in order to build up some mileage before coming back for one (hopefully!) last appointment.

This weekend, I ran 7 miles. I was unmotivated and nervous about it, but I think that was more an issue of the distance than anything having to do with my knee. After all, the last time I've run that far was during the Alexandria Half...which I dropped out of at Mile 8 after my knee gave out at Mile 7.

I felt awesome this weekend. I felt strong. I had such a great run. I started out a little too quickly, slowed it down, and then each mile was the same pace or just a little bit quicker than the last. It was amazing. I don't remember the last time I had a run like that. Half way into the run, my quads were aching from that morning's 5 mile hike, but I loved it. It felt the way my legs usually feel in the later miles of a marathon. Do you know how long I've been craving that feeling? The feeling that you're working hard, and it's starting to hurt just a little bit, but you know you have so much more in you.

That feeling. It's back.

This weekend, I'll run 8 miles. I'm transitioning from running three times per week to four. So I'll have two weeks of 4x/week running and long runs up to 8 miles the next time I'm at PT, and barring any issues, I'll be cleared.

I'm holding off on setting any goals, but know this: I have every intention of slowly, steadily ramping up the miles. As my PT said, "Now, you're looking like an athlete when you run." My form is dramatically different than it was just two months ago, and it's made a world of difference in my running. PT has full confidence that I can run a fall marathon. Whether I have that confidence is a different story, but I'm going to add one mile to every long run moving forward (adding in some necessary step backs) and just take it from there.

I'm back. I'm finally back. 

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