10 months ago, I was finishing every run in pain, finishing every run upset, and dreading going into the next. My love for running was being tested as I was persistently fighting against myself in an ever-losing battle. I was told nothing was wrong, I was told to keep running through it, I was told this would make it better. But sometimes, what you are told is not correct. I should’ve trusted my instincts and stopped when I knew something was wrong. However, this is in the past, and 10 months down the line I have finally got back racing!
Whilst I will never be thankful for having had to have 10 months out of racing, including 7 months without running at all, I think there are definitely positives that have come out of my time out. Looking back on my injury, and no matter how well running was going prior to it, I think the time I had out was a blessing in disguise. Pre-injury, I was forever wanting to do more, forever preoccupied by my weekly mileage, and forever wanting to run double days. No doubt, if I didn’t get injured at the beginning of the year, I would have eventually ran into trouble.
Now I am back running and have been back doing 3 sessions a week for a month. My sessions are still reduced, but I am on my way back, and feeling stronger than ever. I have now realised that in my case, less may well be more, and, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, cross training has been my saviour. I have switched a lot of my wasted miles for cross training, in order to avoid causing my body any unnecessary damage, which can be avoided by doing other forms of activity. I have also added cross training sessions in to my days instead of extra runs, and I think it is having a positive effect. Whilst my running will still increase, it will remain conservative, topping it up with alternative forms of training.
The most exciting piece of news …*drumroll please*… is, I was finally able to race on Saturday, in the first cross country league of the year. I went in to the race with no expectations, and no pressure on myself. I wanted to enjoy it and see where I was at. Looking back on the race I have definitely learnt a lot. I have learnt that what I am doing is right, it may not be for everybody, but it is for me. I felt stronger than ever and ran my best race in the Surrey league yet. Due to the lack of training behind me I did not have that extra level in my legs, but I feel reassured I will have it back for the next race.
Not only did I feel physically strong, but also mentally. I went into the race confident and in control. After the first 200m I made the brave decision of taking the race on myself. I was not willing to sit behind, gliding at a comfortable pace, I wanted to race, and I wanted it to be harder. I may have led the entire race, only to have been pipped by the two girls on my shoulder in the last 50 metres, but I loved it. I was able to get a proper race out of it. I loved knowing that the training I am doing is going well, and that I had the ability to compete with some top runners. Not doing any name dropping, but I even found out the lady just in front of me is an Olympic triathlete!!
Now, it’s back to training with the hope of getting some more strength and power in my legs before the next cross-country race, and before I head back to the roads. Whilst I may be back running, aqua jogging has not shifted from my schedule, if anything it may stay there forever! Oh, and one last update, after 10 months, I am finally finishing no run in pain, I am finishing no run upset, and I never ever dread going into the next one.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!