In my previous post, I talked about the fact I’m getting back into running again. I thought today I’d just go a little deeper and chat about what went wrong and where I’m hoping to go from here!
If you’ve followed my journey over the last few years, you’ll know I was a super keen runner! It was actually my saviour whilst recovering from an eating disorder, and it became a huge passion of mine. I loved everything about it, but I suppose what I came to love the most was being part of a community. It becomes part of your identity, being a runner. I love that you can be anywhere, pass another runner and get that knowing nod, smile or wave.
I joined the Stubbington Runners when I was up in Hampshire, who are a lovely bunch, and I immensely enjoyed going running with them. However, I was a little too keen, and not only was I going to club sessions, which substantially upped my regular weekly mileage, but I was also training for my second marathon! I know: idiot. Anywho, long story short I was on the verge of a stress fracture in my shin before long, and I had to stop running for a bit. That was the start of the downward running spiral!
After moving back to Devon, I was back running and decided to return to CrossFit too. I was CrossFitting and running most days. I know, again: idiot. One day, doing box jumps, I started feeling pain in my right heel. And that really was that. Plantar Fasciitis, not that it got diagnosed for a good few months, by which time it was in both feet, and almost unbearable to walk on.
I saw many a physio, desperate to get back to my beloved running, but it still took a good couple of years before anything worked. I ended up having extracorporeal shockwave therapy, which I believe did the trick, as even prolonged periods of time with no impact at all made no difference when I actually started running again.
This all got me really down, but at the same time, I kind of started to get used to not running. After two years of feeling pain with every step, the “natural” feeling I used to have when running definitely disappeared! Over the last year and a half or so, I’ve struggled to get back into it. It stopped feeling easy, like it had done in the past. Each time I ran, I seemed to pick up a new niggle, because I still thought I could just jump back in and run a 5k no problem.
Well, there aren’t many positives that have come from COVID, but one of them is that I’ve had the time to follow a solid couch to 5k plan. I’ve just done run 2 of week 4 and so far so good (touch wood!). To accompany the plan, I’ve got in the extremely good habit of also doing runner-specific exercises and stretching off straight after my run. I did pick up a bit of a shin niggle at the start of this week, so I pushed the program right a couple of days to give myself an extra day of low impact, and today’s run was pain free.
So, where from here? I’m absolutely loving running, and I’m back on Strava, so I am feeling slightly back in the running community, but once lockdown is over, I’m definitely going to join a club. There’s also a virtual club called Run Things that I am going to look into right after finishing this post, so that could be a good start!
I want to race again. I was never super fast, but I just loved the atmosphere, and the chance to get a time and try and get a PB the next time! And, I loved racing with other people in the club. I want to get back to a regular Parkrun too of course. Who doesn’t love Parkrun?! And then at some stage, do some races abroad, but that’s definitely way into the future!
Basically, I want running to become a big portion of my life again, because I love it. I have a career in health and it really goes hand in hand, so if I’m grateful for anything during this weird time, it’s the opportunity to get back to running again.
Running: Love it or hate it?
What’s your favourite race distance?