Purgatory, the time since my arthroscopic surgery, which was performed on my knee in order to remove a torn meniscus on November 10, will end in less than a week.
During my stay in Purgatory, we experienced the warmest November on record, and my running logbook (I've kept a written running logbook since 1976) has been filled with goose-eggs.
I've gained eight pounds. I'm allowed to tell you but not my wife, who has threatened me with bodily harm if I bring up the issue of my weight again. Periods of running depression have overcome me at times, but through it all I have heeded the recommendations of my orthopedic surgeon. I have walked, and walked, spent way too much time on the elliptical, lifted to strengthen the leg, and have otherwise tried to maintain my fitness level as well as my sanity.
Next Tuesday will be exactly four weeks since the surgery, and will be the day I am officially cleared to run.
Believe me, a few years ago, indeed, two years ago, when I suffered a hamstring tear, I would have cheated and begun running a week or so earlier.
Not this time.
I'm playing by the book and following the rules.
The reason is simply.
My goal is to run pain-free and to run well again.
Therefore, my return to running will be gradual and, hopefully, smart.
When I design training programs for runners on my website, www.muldowneyrunning.net, or on Fiverr, https://www.fiverr.com/s2/bd1a006ea9, I emphasize quality miles.
One simply cannot turn in quality miles when injured.
So, it's time I practice what I preach.
Next Tuesday I will go to my local track and run a modest half mile. I'll keep running a half mile until I reach the quality level I desire. Only then will I bump up my distance.
The process will be slow, but I vow to be patient.
It's the only way I'll escape from my running Purgatory.