Thursday 21 August 2008

harder, better, faster, stronger....

After a month's enforced layoff, I finally got the go-ahead to resume running early on Monday evening. About an hour later, and about 5 minutes after I had arrived back home from the hospital, I was in my kit and back out through the door for a relatively gentle 40 minute jog.

It hurt.

In an effort to avoid being completely inactive as my eyes recovered (I won't pretend that I understand the science here, but apparently exercise raises the pressure inside your eyes, and when your eyes have stitches in them and are trying to heal, raised pressure is a bad thing),I'd done a fair bit of walking. I'm sure the layoff from running did my body no harm at all. Walking is nice enough, I suppose and the weather was pretty good... but I tell you what, it takes BLOODY FOREVER. Whereas normally I could nip out for a quick 30 minute run, a walk over exactly the same route would take nearly three times that long. It's as if you're moving more slowly or something. Yeah, I could drag my wife along and actually talk to her for a change, or I could plug in my iPod and renew my relationship of mutual respect and understanding with the Canada Geese and Swans that live alongside the rivers and canals of Nottingham.... but 90 minutes is a hell of a lot of time to find in your day, and it only got more difficult to find that time once I'd gone back to work. I stuck at it, though, nipping out every evening for at least a short walk and was hopeful that I'd managed to retain a reasonable level of fitness.

You know what? Walking? COMPLETELY DIFFERENT to running. It's like you're using a completely different set of muscles.'s like you're using a completely different set of legs. I was okay for a bit, but after a couple of miles, once I'd crossed the toll bridge over to the other side of the Embankment, my legs began to feel a bit weird. Then, a bit further down the road, they started to feel wobbly. Before I reached Trent Bridge, they just plain hurt. Obviously, I gritted my teeth and finished the run without stopping, but when I woke up the next morning, my legs weren't just stiff, they were actually painful.


I had Tuesday off, but decided that a gentle run on Wednesday night could be just what I needed to ease of the lingering stiffness in my legs. Perhaps it was, but if I did initially work it all out of my muscles, before long, all the run was doing was storing up a whole new world of pain to my legs when I woke up on Thursday morning. Only now, because I had resumed the exercises I do to in an effort to stop the muscles in my upper body wasting away (another happy side-effect of the WTs), my shoulders, arms and stomach were hurting now as well.


You know what though? I'm going to try to sneak out of the office for a run tomorrow lunchtime, and I'm definitely going to get out on my normal Saturday morning run too. In preparation, this evening I've even treated myself to a new pair of running shoes (you're supposed to change them every 500 miles, but I've probably done at least 2000 in my old pair and I doubt there's much support left in them.... which can't be helping my aching muscles much, eh?)

Running bloody hurts, but it's good to be back.

Pain is temporary, right? Although I suppose that degenerative knee problems, tendinitis, osteoporosis, back problems and shin splints are probably forever....

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