Learning to run: part 4

running shoes

I started running a bit on holiday in summer 2019. Then that autumn I started couch to 5km, never finished it as I got a bit bored of the treadmill. In January, I ran every day except Sundays, finally making it to 5km. Then in February and March I managed 10km, surprising myself and discovering a determination that I didn’t know was there.

Getting into it

I accumulated lots of kit and developed ambitions for even more, despite himself’s scorn cast upon me – apparently I’m a running wanker!

By the end of March, I’d definitely got fully into the routine of running three times a week, anything between 3.5km and eventually managing 12km. I found myself planning routes at bedtime and running in any weather. I’d definitely got the bug.

Injury

That first and last long run of 12km, the first 2km shared with large boy, left me with something unhappy in my left knee. Either that or coupling the run with excessive gardening and moving patio furniture.

The first day I thought it was just stiff. Then I decided it just needed a bit of a rest. Three days later it still didn’t really want to bare weight for too long, though it was improving slowly with a tubigrip. The following week I bought a big massive strap that velcros on, that let me get out on family walks again at least.

By the three week point I lost patience and went for a run again, frustrated and missing the endorphins. Mistake. I’d planned a 2.5km loop and barely managed 1.5km. I limped home and regretted my impatience.

Recovery

Patience isn’t something I’m known for, but it seems that it’s a virtue I need to learn if I’m going to keep running.

I’m not usually very good a sticking at activities. I’ve joined yoga classes and started to run in the past, more times than I can count.

It would be easy enough for me to just stop, I’m really good at finding excuses for not carrying on with an activity. At first, it’s just a one off that I can’t make it, then I find excuses and before I know it, I’m not even thinking about that yoga class anymore. I know that about myself which is why I only ever go to pay as you go classes, so I don’t pay for a bunch of sessions I don’t use.

With running though, I seem to be sticking at it. The endorphin surge is strong enough to pull me back in even after weeks off. It seems I’ve found me thing.

Back on Form

It tool until mid-August, a full three and a half months, for me to recover from the injury. It wasn’t even fully recovered when we went on a two week jaunt to see family instead of our planned habitual trip to Eurocamp in France. Two weeks of regular runs, over fairly level ground, with lots of walks and activity in between (rather than sitting at a desk) had me feeling a lot better.

Finally, I attempted a 4km run by myself making a pace of 5.38 min/km. I was so pleased. Then the following day, I did not-ParkRun with my parents. Well sort of with them, I just went off at my own pace and managed the 5.12 km loop near their house in 32 minutes 7 seconds. Amazing, I was thrilled. Not my best time by any means, but great given my long recovery.

On top of the feeling of achievement, I was hugely relieved that I was able to make a decent distance again. Not because I want to go far or fast, but because being out running brings me the opportunity for some peace and quiet, some head space. It’ll be lovely to just head out by myself with Radio6Music blaring through my headphones and pound away for an hour without any particular focus, not thinking or planning or worrying about anything. Just music and the thump thump of the ground beneath my feet.

So part 4 of learning to run, for me at least, has been a lesson in patience, perseverance, some more patience and taking it slowly, with a bit of determination to be patient thrown in for good measure.

33 thoughts on “Learning to run: part 4

  1. Ha! Careful with those knees! Running is about the closest I come to meditation. I love getting out in the morning when everything’s quiet and running a few miles to start the day. Every now and then, even after all these years, I still get that runner’s high. It’s a great hobby, and great for the heart too. I hope you’re able to stick with it. Wonky knees aside (me too!), it’s one of the best forms of exercise out there.

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  2. This is really inspiring! I started it but then it was too high impact for a bad knee and hips so I stopped – definitely missing the treadmill. You’re making me want to get out and run again now. I’m glad you’re knee is better and you’re able to get back out there. Good luck keeping it up.

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  3. This sounds exactly like my experience with running! I too injured my left knee a couple of months ago and had to learn the hard way that i needed to give it time to recover. I’m really hoping I can get myself back into the swing of it like you have, as I seem to have lost my motivation to get going!

    http://www.samsnacks.com

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    1. It’s taken me 20 years to find the dedication and the right activity. I never get on with classes really and definitely not online ones. Good luck finding your thing x

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  4. Wow good for you!! I am not a runner and have never really been. It intimidates me but I’d love to feel confident enough to go out there and give it my best.

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    1. I was exactly the same, didn’t think I’d manage more than 10 minutes and then have to shamefully limp home red faced and barely breathing. C25K really helped and the endorphine hit is the best. Now I’ve got into it I seem to have lost my embarrassment bumping into random people I slightly know when all sweaty and disgusting. Besides, I’m a lot faster than my husband sat on the sofa 😁

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  5. Running wanker! I’d give my chap a proper dig for that one!!

    Well done to you for starting in the first place but mainly for listening to your bodies need to rest. I bet you’re so happy to be back at it again x

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