Over the course of lockdown, with the increased running I have found time to do, I have learned several lessons with regards to my running:
- Go slower-the only person I am running for is myself and this period has given me a chance to increase the length of my runs. As a result, I am not so bothered by how long it takes me as long as I make it round. I just keep plodding on like Terry the Tortoise. I let all the Henry and Hermione Hare’s race past me as for all I know they could just be going to the end of the road and back. I have also had to adopt this more relaxed pace for the sake of my knees. As soon as I speed up, my gait worsens so I am way more likely to go flying. There is an ominous relationship between my speed and number of cuts and bruises so to ensure I do have some sort of knee left I have had to slow down.
2. Change your route-In the beginning my route finished along a particularly evil stretch of road that we will call the Hellish Highway. To give you the heads up this is most definitely not a highway, but I need the creative licence for the alliteration. So, the HH is a 200 metre stretch of road covered in mammoth potholes, gravel, tree roots and down-right booby traps set up at night by the Hellish Highway Hermits (HHH). Personally, I think the HHH were out to get me making the nature of this stretch worse by the day. Now we know my running gait is pretty dodgy at the best of times so you can imagine that by the end of my run you would need a microscope to see the space between my feet and the road, I just cannot get my legs high enough. Therefore, the HH is a death trap as even a wrongly placed grain of sand would be enough to send me flying. It got to a point where my poor knees and elbows were just getting no respite (see my previous post Isolation Injuries for more insight here) so drastic action needed to be taken-my Dad issued an ultimatum. If he saw me running down the HH I would be banned from running.
Therefore, I had three options:
- Run at 3 am when he was fast asleep and wouldn’t ever know I had broken this law of the land
- Walk down this final stretch of my run
- Change my route.
There are issues with each of these:
- I don’t think running at 3 am down the HH would do me or my knees any favours. I would have the additional obstacle of avoiding the HHH completing their nightly destruction work, so that option was quickly wiped off the table
- This just goes against my whole psyche of finally accepting I would slow my pace. If I am not going to run for the whole route, then there is no point me trying to reduce the speed. When I run, I run (even if I look like Terry the Tortoise moving through Treacle). There was no way I was going to stop running until I got all the way home.
- This looks like my only option. My new route is longer and goes down a pretty steep hill so I feel like I have a lot further to fall if disaster strikes but IT IS TARMACKED the whole way so feels like a Yellow Brick Road paved in gold with no HHH plotting against me. It also means I get the satisfaction of covering a longer distance.
I am pleased to confirm that after a week of running this new route I have not fallen once (I know shock horror). AND my old injuries have healed enough to have no scabs left (don’t stress gang I still have some pretty intense scars hanging around).
3. What was the point in Spotify Premium- I bit the bullet and decided to pay for Spotify Premium so that I could crack out some good playlists whilst running without decimating my mobile data (also why not as I am hardly spending my money on anything else during lock down). However, I am now too scared to run with my phone in case I fall and smash it into smithereens. I have considered running with it in a running belt on my waist or arm, but I am nervous as I just never know which way my fall is going to take me. Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed. Instead I have stuck with my ancient iPod Nano which I am much happier to sacrifice and have had to put up with Scouting for Girls as my running playlist (I know absolutely ridiculous but I don’t want to go spending endless sums on iTunes for music when I am already paying for premium-it’s a tricky situation).
4. Don’t waste your money on fancy gym clothes-I know you may find it hard to believe based on my previous photos, but I do have some nice active wear which are lovely and matching and make me feel like a ninja wearing them. However, previously I had saved these outfits for the gym where I know I am at no risk of falling. Out here in the wild land of lock down, the holey leggings are just getting worse as I cannot bear the thought of destroying my pretty kit. The only option is to keep wearing the dodgy stuff and put yet another hole in those disgraceful leggings, so I look like I am wearing a cheese grater. The worst part is that these leggings are not even that old (Decathlon’s finest by the way as I know you are all reading this for my fashion advice). I had a fit when I put a hole in them on the first day of wearing them. So much so that Mum went out and bought me an identical pair so that I had one pair that were intact. Now both pairs are covered in multiple holes and I have now abandoned even trying to sew them up to repair them as my efforts are futile. It doesn’t help that my sewing is also atrocious so was doing nothing to help anyway-maybe something else for me to work on during lock down.
4. I think I need new trainers-this one is painful. My current pair have only lasted 7 months and yes, I know runners should be changing their trainers more often, but I cannot believe I have already got through these ones. What makes it even worse is that the area under the heels look brand new and don’t even look like they have been worn (because my heels don’t touch the ground when I run-they have such an easy time). In contrast the area under the toes is just so sad like Dad’s bald patch. Ah well I guess it will have to happen soon otherwise what would be the point in me wearing shoes if I have destroyed all the cushioning.
So, there you go, a snippet of the factors I have accepted and lessons I have learned during lock down so that I can keep running. I hope this shows that although you may face obstacles and challenges in life, you can keep going you may just need to find your own way. Don’t let Hermione or Harry stop you from doing what you want to do.