Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A testing time

Following two weeks of pain-free walking and one week of pain-free cardio at the gym, I decided that last Thursday would be the day for my test run.  Thursday came, and Thursday went.  So did Friday and Saturday.  I had to admit to myself that I was terrified of running again.  Thoughts of re-injury,  potential new injuries, and recollections of not-nearly-far-enough-in-the-past pain kept my feet firmly tucked under me on the sofa.

Something had to be done.  Cathy has her Aviemore Half Marathon training schedule, including several test HMs along the way, already organised and, while I am not competitive (I'll pause here for the laughter to die down), I could see myself being left behind literally and figuratively if I didn't get myself moving soon.  I turned to Mr Google for support.  Typing in 'afraid to start running after injury' led me to the advice that Julie the Physio gave me after my calf injury last year (as well as to more horror stories about stress fractures, which I read with great apprehension).  Before you run, you need to be able to fully weight bear on the injured leg.  So Saturday found me doing a series of double- and single-legged jumps and hops in the garden.  No pain, none at all.  And since the only way to find out if you're ready to run again is to actually run, I FINALLY did my test run on Sunday.
My hops weren't quite this enthusiastic.

I left the Garmin at home and ran at a pace that felt easy.  The sun was shining, the roads were quiet, and I felt happy.  I was conscious that my hip flexor was a bit stiff and it did twinge several times, but a very brief walk each time this happened quickly sorted it out.  It didn't feel any different than I would have expected to feel after 6 weeks of not running.  I did 3 miles and happily could have gone further.

Good thing that I didn't.  I spent the rest of the day with increasingly sore hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves.  Limp limp limp.  Ouch ouch ouch.  Panic panic panic.

I had an appointment with Adam on Monday and shared my fears that I had done myself irreparable damage.  He was again the VOICE OF SENSIBILITY and reassured me (without snickering too much at my over-reaction) that this was normal soreness and, yes, maybe I should have done a run/walk instead of only walking when I twinged but no damage was done.  And I got a lecture about treating shorter runs as seriously as I treat longer runs (i.e. have a cold bath, use the arnica cream, wear the compression leggings, keep doing my stretches).  But, basically,  I am FINE. 

So the plan is to keep on running.  Stick to 3 mile runs for this week and run/walk them.  Next week can be 3, 4, and 5 miles.  And then I can decide whether I want to stick at those distances for a couple of weeks so that I can work on my speed or stay slow and steady while I keep increasing the distance.

I'm not sure when the next test run will be - maybe not until Friday due to work commitments.  I'm already looking forward to it.


  1. Hurrah! Cake and champagne and confetti!! :-)
    You're back!

  2. If I indulge in any more cakely acknowledgements of my mood (happy, sad, and all points in between), I'll have to roll around the HM course. Still, one more mini-celebration can't possibly hurt and Bassman knows someone who makes bite-sized cupcakes...it'll be full-sized champagne though! x