Friday, 30 November 2012

A downside of (not) running

Briefly, after 2 months off due to injury, I started back running at the start of march 2012. I built up slowly, but was soon running quite big mileages. By the time I sustained a calf injury on 18 November 2012, I had run every day for 266 days covering 1702 miles. The last few months I was averaging 8 miles + per day. Then I stopped. Bang !
I realised that I had to let the injury heal and thought the enforced rest would be good for me generally. My legs were not in great shape, despite bi-weekly massages, and I was tired. And indeed the rest has helped my legs without doubt.
What I hadn't bargained for were the side effects of suddenly stopping running. All was fine for the first week, although I did have a couple of disrupted sleeps. Then I thought I'd contracted a stomach bug. I had the weird mixture of a bit of constipation combined with diarrhoea. This has now changed to constipation and all its associated nasties, such as bloating, wind etc.
I am tired pretty much most of the time. Two nights ago, I came in from work, ate a little soup and went to bed at 6pm. I made myself get up from 8 till 10 so that I might sleep most of the night. Last night I slept from 9pm till 3am, was awake from 3 till 4.30, and then slept again till 7.30. By 10.30 this morning, I was shattered and work was hard going.
I have just run 4 miles and fingers crossed my injury will be OK. I finished the run feeling sick, bloated and lethargic.
I'm not sure there is a lesson to be learned here. If there is one, it's perhaps that I need to get all my eggs out of the one basket.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The death of a runstreak

This is the tale of the death of my runstreak. Before its death, we should start at its birth. On the 27th of February this year (2012) I ran 1 mile. Sure it was only 1 mile, but in retrospect it was an important mile. I dont remember where it was or what it was like, but that doesnt matter. It was the first one of 1702 miles and 266 days that have been run in this runstreak.
Back to the start. I gave myself a stress fracture of a toe at the end of 2011. Why? How? No idea, but that's history, but that resulted in no running in January or February (until the 27th).
That first, tentative mile on the 27th February was the start of a journey I couldn't have nor wouldn't have dreamt of. Where it has taken me has delighted me and, to be honest, amazed me.
My initial wish was to be able to run again. I'd had great support from the running community on Twitter and it was with their encouragement that I started to build on it. I followed people on Twitter who were practising the runstreak (in real terms, running every day). I thought, in my naivety, that this might be a good vehicle to get me back.
Well, little did I know where it would take me. Slowly, mile by mile, I regained my confidence. I stopped thinking my foot would break on each step I took. I got boosted by the great people of Twitter who congratulated my 50 day runstreak, then my 100 day etc. I was amazed how quickly the days ticked by and how addictive this became. Very quickly the thought process changes from "shall I run today" to "when will I run today". I have joked that I was a prisoner to the runstreak. I knew that when I was saying that, that it was true. I was a prisoner, but I did love it !
Prior to this year, I have run 10ks, HMs etc. I was happy with that but not pushing my boundaries. The runstreak led me to try other things. I started going for much longer hill runs. Learning that walk was not a swear word.
To summarise 2012: I started off broken. I ran my first (and second) marathons off road, my first (and to date only) ultra off road. I broke my 10k PB and my HM PB (albeit in training as I didn't run one in race). I decided to try for 2012 running miles in 2012 in early October. Having missed January and February, this was always going to be a tall order. I was on course until yesterday.
Time to accept that I am injured, need to give my injury (and probably lots more of my body) time to heal.
I could go out now for a very slow, very sore mile as a streaksaver. But, lets be honest, that would be pointless.
I hereby lay this runstreak to rest, you have been awesome, I have hated you at times, but I love you more.