Or not, as the case may be.
I’m not known for my patience (hello, always skipping to the end of a book), but when it involves not doing the one thing that keeps me sane-ish and prevents me from starting training for a marathon that I’ve only just signed up for, it straight up deserts me.
There’s the usual stuff that is pissing me off; worrying about losing fitness, the boredom that comes from not running, the lack of Garmin/leg/trainer photos to post to Instagram, the worrying that I’m eating too much now that I’m hardly doing any cardio (this worry is despite the fact that I’m trying to gain weight. But that’s a post for another day), and the irrational fear that I’ll never run again – a fear which threatens to overwhelm me with panic at any given moment. I’m also premenstrual whilst I write this, which throws most of my scant-at-best rationality out of the window, so yeah, not the best of weeks.
I think it’s the loss of identity I’ve found hardest. I mean, I’m a runner. Not the best, or the fastest, or the most experienced, but it’s the word I would use first if asked to describe myself. Running is also one of the biggest constants in my life; whatever else is going on I can always run. It’s something that, until now, I’ve always been in control of. I can control when and where I run, what my training looks like, what my goals are, how hard I push myself; but for now at least, I’m not in control of that. I’m at the mercy of my body.
Having written the above melodramatic paragraphs a couple of days ago (thanks, hormones), I sit writing this on Sunday in a MUCH more positive frame of mind. Mostly because, having only completed a couple of 2k runs this week, yesterday I ran parkrun, and every runner knows that it isn’t possible to be miserable when you’ve been to parkrun.
Alright, when I say ‘ran’, I mean I lightly jogged and walked in parts, finishing in something like 37 minutes, but I made it through the entire thing with no pain and I’m still pain-free this morning. I’m so happy I could cry.
Alright, I did cry.
I was only really able to stay disciplined enough to run slowly because I was buddying a work colleague for his first ever parkrun, and first run in many years. It was actually pretty special to experience parkrun from a different perspective; I chatted to so many lovely people at the start of their running journey, and actually got the time to chat to a couple of the marshalls rather than offering them my usual breathless thanks as I run past.
I was also convinced by my friend Kev, to join a local running club, so once I’m fully fit again I will be joining up with the Shenley Striders and hoping to make the most of their Sunday long runs as my marathon training gets into full swing.
I then swung by my local Up & Running store – who I was very impressed by – and got an up-to-date gait analysis (verdict: I have ‘weird’ feet, a bunion, and run with knock-knees. I’m also a size SEVEN. I swear this is why I’m single) as well as a pair of Brooks Adrenalines to replace my not-supportive-enough Nike Lunarglides. Oh alright, and a flipbelt. Okay, and a new running top. Half price, innit. Hopefully, along with a slow rebuilding process, these will help protect my shins a little and I’ll be able to run injury-free.
So onto next week, which has a few short runs planned as well as my usual 4-5 strength training sessions and a yoga class, and I feel like I may finally be getting my identity back…
As you’ll probably know, I’m running Brighton Marathon next April in aid of the RSPCA and all of the wonderful work that they do. Any donation to help me reach my target will be immensely appreciated. And I promise to run wearing cat whiskers.
The RSPCA do also have a few charity places left in the Brighton Marathon (with a very reasonable joining fee and fundraising target), so if you’re interested, you can find out more below!
P.s. I bought a bike this week, and it was established during the helmet fitting process that I have a MASSIVE head. Seriously, if anybody has a head circumference larger than 59cm I need to know about it, because I’m getting quite the complex about it.