It’s been a good week in terms of my injury, recovery and getting back to running.
Although most of the swelling and pain had resolved in my leg and ankle, I went for an MRI last week, as Tessa, my physio, wanted to rule out a stress fracture before I started running again and did any permanent damage. Luckily, the MRI report came through this week "all clear" – a little residual swelling in the tendons in my ankle, but nothing to worry about, and no stress fracture, and so along with a prescription for lots of strength work and stretching, Tessa sent me away from our appointment on Wednesday with her blessing to gradually start running again. I was over the moon.
So far I have run twice, 3 miles each time.
Each run was VERY hard, much harder than I thought it would be. I knew I’d be slow, but I felt like I was running through treacle and it felt incredibly unnatural. Despite that, though, I can’t quite describe how brilliant it was to be able to run again…I could feel my mental health improving as I laced up my trainers to go out!! I really have missed being a runner for this last month (yep, it was 30 days of not running…not that I was counting!) and I think Francis is also relieved that running as he could tell how stir-crazy I was getting!
So, now that I’ve got over the initial euphoria of actually being able to run again, I have to come to terms with the effects of taking a month off.
I have lost a lot of cardio fitness, and I’ve put on a lot of weight, both through lack of exercise and massively over-eating. I’m feeling like it’s going to take me a long time to get back to where I was fitness-wise, to get my eating under control again, and then to lose some weight.
I’ve just been looking through and editing my training plan, and think I have to accept that not only am I going to have to pull out of the three races (a marathon and a 30 miler on one day, and a 52.4miler on another) that I had booked for July, I doubt I’m going to be in a position to run the 100km race that I have scheduled for September. Realistically, I think my first marathon distance might be Berlin. That is a very bitter pill to take – but I don’t want to be injured again and trying to come back too soon will just lead to DNFs which I really want to avoid. I’ll still be a part of the events, and go along to cheer for everyone like I did at the Kent Roadrunner this year (which was an awesome experience) and maybe marshal at the 100km, but I don’t think I can run them.
So there we go. Now to start getting back. The training plan is written – I’ve got a four mile run scheduled for tonight and a five mile run on Sunday – but it looks very different to the plans I’m used to - the runs are all so much shorter than they’ve been for the last year or so, but that’s what I need. The other thing I have to do is sort out my nutrition and my weight. I’ve been trying to control myself and resolve my over-eating for the last month but have failed miserably. I need some level of accountability because at the moment, my weight is rising on a daily basis, and it’s just going to make getting back to full fitness so much harder if I don’t get this under control.