…and he’s out.

KKIt’s been 4 weeks since KK injured himself. His injury came at the worst time possible – key training weeks before Two Oceans and Comrades.

As a typical runner, he’s been through all the emotions. It started with denial of the injury, thinking it would go away. Then came acceptance and regular visits to the physio, followed by daily rehabilitation exercises trying to strengthen the area.

But it’s this last phase that has been the worst. Acceptance that he is not going to be able to run Two Oceans and realisation that there isn’t much time to train before Comrades.

I keep telling him to rest, to take it easy and not worry about the races. But as any runner knows, that’s easier said than done. Especially since his Comrades would see him getting a back to back medal for his second consecutive race. There’s still time, I tell him. But he’s frustrated.

I’ve realised how easily we take for granted that we’re fit to run. I’ve realised that our bodies don’t give us much warning when we’re about to get injured. It just happens.

But the greatest lesson an injury teaches us is patience. Runners are the worst when it comes to being patient. Hang in there KK!

It’ll happen. Just calm down…

I do not have any patience. Fact!

After starting my eating plan (diet is a dirty word!) at the end of July, I expected to see the weight dropping off, especially since I had stuck to the rules, denied myself chips and chuckles and ensured I kept my daily salads exciting and fresh. 

At my last appointment with Melanie, my dietitian, I complained bitterly. It’s really disheartening to see others around me losing 1kg a week and making it look so easy. I’m not even able to lose 1kg a month! 

I am busting myself at gym with my personal trainer, I’ve added in a spinning class. I have also tried to keep up the running training. But it’s starting to get to me. 

She listened and then methodically went through my daily eating schedule and made one or two adjustments. Then she sat back and smiled and said, “Bron, a watched scale doesn’t drop. Stop stressing…”.

I think if anything, sticking to a strict eating plan is teaching me more about patience than anything else. I’m okay with the discipline. I’m good with my portion sizes. In fact, I even enjoy the gym and watching how hard I can push myself. 

But once again, it’s never about the physical, it’s always what’s going on in my head and keeping that in check. It’s about calming down and keeping at it. It’s constantly reminding myself that I will lose weight and that I am doing everything right. 

I know this! If anything, my running training has always taught me this. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s the hard work that pays off. Eventually. 

Patience Bron.

I didn’t listen. I thought I knew better. But I don’t.

One of the first instructions my running coach gave me was that I should not run any races until he tells me to. But as any runner will know, this is torture, especially when everyone around you is entering all of their favourite races.

So instead of listening to him, I entered and ran the Dischem 5km race in Bedfordview on Sunday morning. I thought, hey, it’s just a quick fun run. Surely it’s okay?

I expected to do brilliantly. I expected to shave minutes off my previous time. But I didn’t. In fact, as we drove home, I was hit by immense disappointment and irritation with myself. I had managed to run without stopping once. This was great. But I was slow and still running at 8 mins/km.So I phoned my coach, sheepishly apologising that I had “skelmpies” run a race behind his back, but also begging him for answers as to why I was not yet running faster. After he gave me a firm lecture, I finally understood exactly why he had given that instruction.

You see, running by myself on a quiet Sunday morning around my neighbourhood is a very different experience to running a race. Even if I try fool myself in to believing that it’s a “fun” run, it isn’t. And it wasn’t on Sunday.

In fact, I was pumped. I was nervous. My adrenaline was flowing. I was tense, anxious and excited. As the race started, I was already thinking I was going to do brilliantly. Thanks to a great new friend (Craig aka @biggestbossfan) who ensured I did not walk once, I landed up completing the race in 40 mins. Yip, 8 minutes per km!

I was gutted! All I could think of was what about all my speed work? What about all the extra effort of 3 weeks of training? I felt miserable and disappointed. I took my eye off the end goal and landed up feeling highly demotivated.

My coach was right. It’s a massive psychological knock which I took and doesn’t help my training much. All I could focus on after the race is that my training wasn’t helping and that I was always going to be a slow runner jogger and yet, this is so not true.

I guess the biggest lesson I’m learning from my coach is patience. I’m realising that the end goal is not Two Oceans (a race with so much hype it stresses me out tremendously).

The end goal is in fact listening to my body. Believing in my abilities and having the patience to believe that it will happen. Eventually. Because it will.

So I have my 2012 ASA number ready to be sewn on to my running kit and while I wait patiently for my first official run of the year, I will carry on training. I suspect that compared to last year, running in 2012 is going to be filled with many challenges and unexpected surprises of its own.