I have been using the time saved by not having to commute in exploring the beautiful countryside around my home (my one bit of outdoor exercise a day) by running a number of different routes. The positive is that I have been really enjoying my running, the fresh air and beautiful scenery. The downside is that my running came to an abrupt halt as I managed to inflict multiple injuries far too quickly.
These injuries are two fold: Firstly my left foot has been a nuisance for quite some time now (we just don’t seem to be on the same wavelength). This is due to the way I run which means I am putting a lot more impact through my joints and in particular my left foot as this is my weaker side.
Secondly my falls: My gait and balance get worse the faster I move. This means that when running my feet don’t clear the ground as much as they do when walking so I am much more likely to trip (even over my own feet!) My legs just don’t seem to see the dodgy pothole, tree root or even minor undulation in the ground and the next thing I know, BAM! Wait how did I get here-now I can just see a very interesting looking ant clambering over that pebble. Up I get and off I go. Once I have finished my run and am back home, I have a chance to inspect the damage. For some reason I just don’t recognise that a cut or bruise is going to take a considerable time to heal. I somehow think I am The Hulk (who according to Google has the best healing powers-apparently his healing power increases with his strength so the angrier he becomes, the stronger he gets and the faster he heals, maybe I just need to have a shouting match at the end of my run to help my wounds sort themselves out!).
One particular example from the Easter weekend, I had almost finished my longest run ever and was 100 meters from home (so close and yet so far), it was a very bumpy, potholed and just generally dodgy road. The whole way down the road I had the same mantra in my head “Don’t fall, don’t fall you are so close and have made it so far staying upright”. Then of course the next thing I know, I have completely face-planted and am completely horizontal among the gravel. Excellent! Once I make it back, I have a quick inspection and find I have impressively managed to cut up both my hands and elbows, right hip and thigh and both my knees. I know its entirely my own fault for choosing the worst possible road to finish my run on when I am completely shattered, so bound to go flying but I wanted to make sure that I ran for the whole route to make it my furthest run to date. I may be useless at competing with any other runners as I am so slow but I am definitely my own fiercest competitor (or enemy I guess!) Really I think my left leg feels a bit left out, I like symmetry but maybe they are just waiting for next time. I was impressed that I managed to achieve these wounds without disrupting any previous healing scabs I had from my run the previous week so I guess that is a positive.
Over the coming weeks I have now had an ongoing fascination with how the cuts and bruises are healing and the different stages I am going through. I was particularly proud of the bruise on my thigh, some great colours were going on there. So we are now three weeks since that fateful day and my knees are still nicely scabbed (although my knees are permanently scarred so not too fussed there). The bruising on my thigh has finished much to my disappointment although there are still a few scars hanging around there.
So due to these two-fold injuries, I have had to find different ways to keep myself entertained. This has been a challenge as I get very frustrated when I cannot do the exercise that I want to. It frustrates me that others can run 10 km daily without any issues and the one time I manage it I am wiped out for weeks. I just haven’t quite managed to pace myself and recognise my limits but its a work in progress. I have had to make do with cycling and stretching but it doesn’t compare to those post-run endorphins! Last weekend I decided to paint and write cards for my friends and family to cheer them up during this crazy time. I felt like I had started my own personal post office but it was a very therapeutic way to spend a sunny weekend. I know they look like they were painted by a four year old and I am definitely no Picasso but it is the thought that counts right? So there you go, some positives to the current situation and a chance to give my body a break! I can hear my legs saying thank you!
I hope this shows that through this tricky time, the simple things such as sticking some paint on paper can bring a smile to your own and many others faces. Also take this as my personal warning to listen to your own body and don’t feel pressured to do a marathon run unless you want to end up with a quarry’s worth of gravel stuck in your right elbow! I think I need to adhere to my own advice here but I am working on it!