Not that long ago I was delivered the news “you won’t be running for a little while”. I am sure that many people have heard this from a kindly medical professional, but if and when it comes to you it can hit quite hard. There is going to be varying degrees of this news, maybe you just need a short break, maybe you need to take a long break, but can alternate with other exercise, or maybe you aren’t going to be able to exercise at all.
I was hugely disappointed when my physio told me this news at the beginning of the year. And even more frustrated that I had just begun setting some goals for myself for 2014. I had plans to focus on my fitness, improving my time and distance for running. I didn’t cry, but I really wanted to. I wasn’t going to be running for up to three months, possibly longer.
In hindsight I should have seen it coming. I was an accomplished 5 km runner (if that is really a category), but while I was running regularly, I began to get frustrated as my times were getting slower and slower. One morning I went on a short run with a few hills added in for good measure. By the next morning could barely put my foot on the ground and had shooting pains up my leg. Off to the physio the next day and in non technical terms I had badly buggered my Achilles. The physio was rather surprised that I hadn’t snapped the tendon altogether.
For me it’s been really hard not being able to run. I enjoy getting out there and I find it such a quick and efficient way to get some exercise in a busy day. I am lucky that there are plenty of other things I can still do. I can swim, row and ride a bike as well as plenty of weights. Just this week I have been given the okay to hit the cross trainer, which made me very happy.
It’s been a lesson for me to about listening to your body. While I wasn’t in pain, I wasn’t making much progress, I was forever hobbling around stiff and sore, and I was focused on the running itself, barely doing any stretching etc. I might have been time poor, but am paying for it now with not being able to run and needing to make time for physio appointments and rehab exercises.
I look forward to the day when I can do up my shoes and take off for a run again. I’ve also made plans to get someone to help me with my style (or severe lack of as is probably the case) when I can run again in the hope of not ending up on the bench again. I will also continue to mix things up a bit. Doing other exercises that are a bit less taxing on the body, but are good for your overall fitness like swimming will be playing a much more prominent role in my training plan.
This is what’s good for me – it’s a great time to think about what’s best for you.