Back in the Game

Today marks the end of two weeks of a ‘no-exercise’ enforcement by my doctor as part of the treatment for my ongoing knee problems.

I started running a little over a year ago and had no real problems until I started upping my milage to about 6 miles. Then I got niggling knee pain. And then over the summer it seemed to be getting better. Then I did a couple of runs and it got really bad. So bad it took me 37 minutes to run 5k. My absolute slowest time before this was under 36 minutes. A couple of weeks before setting my ‘worst time’ record, I was running 30 minute 5ks.

To the unexperienced with running, that seven minutes may not seem like much. You can’t imagine even running for seven minutes. I know that’s what I was like. But now I know that you can cover an enormous distance in seven minutes. And for me to be limping home seven minutes slower than usual was a real mark of how much I was struggling.

So, I went to the doctor and was prescribed ibuprofen, heat treatment and rest for two weeks.

A little over a year ago me would not have thought it possible to hate this treatment so much. And hate it I have.

Running has honestly changed my life. I’m healthier, I’m fitter, I get to spend time with various running relatives regularly. I enjoy ParkRuns on a Saturday morning (a little over a year ago me would NEVER have got up early on a Saturday to go running) and club runs of an evening.

Running has helped me control my weight. More importantly, it’s empowered me to manage my occasional depression better. Exercise endorphins. They are incredible little things.

I’ve really suffered with itchy feet these past two weeks. Knowing that it was for my benefit in the long run wasn’t helping.

Today, I went to the gym at work and did a very steady ten minutes on the cross trainer (low impact exercise – good for recovering from injuries) and then ten minutes gradually increasing pace on a treadmill, eventually ending with two minutes of actual running. With stretches before, after and in between.

I’m aching now. Not a painful ache. The slow, gentle ache of muscles worked. It wasn’t a hard workout – I barely pushed myself in terms of cardio, and it was definitely on the cautious side with my knee. But! Slow and steady wins the race back to full health.

I’m still waiting on physio appointments, but I’m hoping with more gentle exercise, I’ll be back running before too long. I have a 5k Race for Life on the 19th that I’d really like to be able to run, even if it takes me 40 minutes.

Maybe I’ll run it, maybe I’ll have to walk parts. Either way, it will be good to be properly back in the game.

The Race For Life is sponsored by Aqua Pura

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