Whilst being out of action with a knee injury, feeling gloomy, sidelined and frustrated, my friend Jane suggested that I keep busy and write. So here it is, part 1 of my injured runner’s diary…
Sat 26 Dec 2015: Boxing Day, and Bedfont Lakes parkrun (my 107th). Right knee hurt the whole time, apart from my sprint finish when I guess adrenaline took over. I’ve foam rolled, applied frozen peas, worn a support band, cursed my joints and tolerated the twinges. I make an appointment with my local chiropractor.
Tues 29 Dec 2015: Chiropractor Dr Gina quickly diagnoses runner’s knee (hey does that mean I’m a real runner? woohoo). She does some kneeding and pulling whilst I make excuses for my un-pedicured feet and winter legs. She says I can’t run for three weeks. THREE WEEKS?! But, it’s New Year’s Day in three days and I was planning my first ever NYD run!
Heart says: I’m going to run anyway.
Head says: Don’t be silly, listen to the professionals.
I feel like crying. How unfit/fat am I going to get? I’ve been eating and drinking Christmas fare for days, banking on running to burn the calories 😦
Cycling is still allowed thankfully, so I pump up the tyres and plan my route.
Wed 30 Dec 2015: Feeling nostalgic, I cycle the half marathon route along the towpath from Walton to Hampton Court and back. It feels good to don my running gear including my new socks and jacket. It’s really muddy, my feet are like ice blocks and I have dirt on my face. I don’t care, this is great. Although my knee is protesting… I ignore it. 15 miles logged on Strava. I try and feel OK about everyone else on Strava who is running. Clean my bike and look forward to New Year’s Eve celebrations. I might as well drink, as I can’t bloody run.
Thurs 31 Dec 2015: Get suitably drunk with friends, and crash out listening to running tunes on iPod.
Fri 1 January 2016: Prepare for the social media frenzy of people I know (and people I don’t) updating their status with running feats and pics. Almost weep when I see my Bedfont Lakes parkrun crew descend upon Crane Park en masse. I should be there! We watch films with the kids instead, which is nice. I eat more rubbish and feel fat. Facebook community group ‘Did You Run Today?’ continues to taunt me with ‘my first run of 2016!’. Arggghhhhh. I write nice comments, trying to be a good sport.
Sat 2 January 2016: I volunteer at parkrun. It’s actually great – I am Backup Timekeeper and feel important 🙂
I love seeing all the different runners, and their relief upon crossing the finish line. I learn some new names and cheer on my pals. It almost feels like I’m taking part! I decide I’ve earned my post-run Costa coffee and go out with my friend Jo who has just run her second parkrun.
Sun 3 January 2016: I take my daughter Izzy to junior parkrun. I’m sure that running 8- minute-kilometres will be ok. It’s not. It’s cold, drizzly, muddy and painful. When she asks to walk for a bit, I am truly relived (I would gladly stop and go home frankly). Feel depressed, but then we receive the text that she got a PB! Now I feel proud 🙂
I write the Bedfont Lakes parkrun report. Realise my name will not be on the results page for at least three consecutive weeks. I don’t think this has happened before.
Mon 4 January 2016: I plan to go aqua jogging (in the pool) this week with a friend. Order an aqua belt from Amazon then realise it won’t arrive in time. I go spinning and my knee twinges. It hurts. It feels all wrong. Oh, FFS.
Tues 5 January 2016: Long-suffering husband orders me another aqua belt from Amazon Prime (guaranteed next day delivery).
I see Dr Gina again. She asks how ‘resting the knee’ is going. I say it hurt a bit during my towpath cycle and spin class. She asks how far I cycled….
She bans cycling.
Wed 6 January 2016: Two aqua belts arrive. At least I have a spare now!
Thurs 7 January 2016: I take to the pool at 6am. I don’t feel silly running in slow motion next to the speedy front crawlers because my friend Emma is with me. I hope everyone can see that the blue tape across my knee shows I have a sporting injury. We chat the whole time (and work hard) and I feel much better. Get home at 7.30am and realise I am shattered. Post a Facebook update and add to Strava to feel like I am running again. It’s a LONG day but at least I feel justified in eating.
Fri 8 January 2016: Feel like hugging Dr Gina as my knee is certainly feeling better. Apparently my hips are aligned and my legs are the same length again (?!). Still no cycling or running allowed, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Sat 9 January 2016: I volunteer at parkrun again, and this time I am Chief Timekeeper (official title is just Timekeeper, actually). It’s hard seeing my friends inc Shepperton runners taking part, but I wouldn’t want to miss seeing them all. It’s freezing, so I definitely deserve a Costa. Lots of people enquire about my injury and I’m feeling the love!
Sun 10 January 2016: My running group is off doing 11 miles around Richmond Park. This is killing me! I go for an aqua jog. I see another lady with the same blue float and we ‘connect’ across the water. We make passing comments then run together and talking about… running! Discover we even have mutual running buddies. I explain my last run was Boxing Day. She tells me her last run was JULY! I feel fortunate, and plan to run a marathon when I’m fit again (don’t hold me to this, I am in a weird place right now). An hour goes by really quickly and my knee only twinges a little. Post my activity to Strava, and see all my friends have been running…
Mon 11 January 2016: I forego my usual spinning class. I glance at the clock at 8.30pm and try to forget the others are currently in the gym sprinting to some happy hardcore and feeling euphoric. Stupid knee. I do my strength exercises.
Tues 12 January 2016: My jeans are definitely tighter – I need to run!! I admit to Dr Gina that my knee has been feeling a bit ‘wobbly’ (technical term). She suggests it’s now acclimatising to being in the correct position, as opposed to months of being skewiff. This is good news! Even better, she says I can go back to cycling if my next swim is pain-free. Then, if all’s ok, I can even jog for 1km!
Heart says: I’m sure I’ll be able to push through to 5km…
Head says: Just stick to 1k, kid.
And that’s where I’m at. Thanks to everyone who’s kept me going! Hopefully next post will be all about ‘my first run of 2016’ 🙂