That's me at the moment. Bumping along in the current of life. I'm enjoying certain aspects of being able to put some focus on things other than running--family, brewing, lazy afternoons--but it is certainly different not having that driving pull of the next run hanging over the head. No sooner one hard session under the belt than looking to the next one by avoiding late nights, sleeping in, over-indulgence, and overtime. None of that any more.
Last Sunday night I "celebrated" my first entire week with no run in, well, I don't know how long. It would have to be measured in years rather than months. A far cry from last September when I ran every day in the month.
I nearly made it a second consecutive week, but late this afternoon, with a sense of some improvement in the Achilles (and a DVD that needed returning--I am Legend--don't bother if you haven't see it), I headed out for a "jog". Yes, it really was a jog. About 5:30/km pace most of the time...at least the times when I wasn't standing at lights or handing in the DVD or, and this shows how slow I was going, being stopped by a funny little old lady who insisted on giving me two nodoame (throat lollies) because she likes to, "minna ni shitsetsu shimasu" (be kind to everybody--she was a cracker, in every sense of the word).
I clocked exactly 6 km (according to the footpod) in 34:13...average pace 5:42/km. See? It was a slow jog. There was even a couple of minutes when I was tearing along at 5:00/km, so I guess the "5:30/km most of the time" that I mentioned above was a bit optimistic.
Anyway, no point dwelling on the stats. There is no joy to be had there. The point of the run was just to see how my Achilles is going. And the goodish news is that it was not as sore as it was two and a half weeks ago when I last ran. On a pain scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no pain (and the target I am aiming at) and 10 is sharp, shooting agony, I guess I moved from 6 to 5. Waaay hooo! Such progress!
But really, I am encouraged. Encouraged enough to know that very little to zero running is the right course. And to keep up with the tedious heel drop exercises.
Apart from this, I have been along to the gym sort of semi-regularly (twice a week if I'm lucky). Managing about 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer-like thing (actually called "Arc Trainer": picture; discussion) and 20 minutes on a bike followed by an upper body strength workout from "Run Strong" (edited by Kevin Beck). The main point of all the weights is to get a body like Harvey Keitel in "The Piano", you know, a few muscles to go with the gut ;-)
Gym sessions are best endured by borrowing Mr 15-year-old's MP3 player and listening to his collection of Offspring, RHCP, Nirvana, Sum41, etc. and, his latest, Hadouken!