Baby (running) steps

“How was your run?” 

It’s the same question KK asks me every time I return from my run. I’m so busy sync’ing my Garmin to my Strava that I often reply with, “Great!”. But this time, it was different. My run was fantastic and I could not get the smile off my face. Looking at my watch, I was asking, “What? A PB?” I had just run my fastest time on a regular 4km route from home. I was thrilled!


Strava details comparing my runs on the same route

It’s my last month taking blood thinners since my pulmonary embolism scare in December. Six months of rehabilitation and slowly getting back into running. It’s not the only excuse reason I have scaled back on my running. With KK’s femur stress fracture, we’ve both been living life in the slow lane this year.

But I haven’t been sitting idle…

  • I’ve been training regularly with a personal trainer (and friend) Super Stacey. The focus of my training programme has been on strength exercises, and especially targeting areas such as glutes and hamstrings.
  • I’ve also returned to following a more balanced eating plan *whispers: LCHF/banting*. More veggies, less meat. Cutting out dairy for the first time in my life. What an eye opener! Lots and lots of water. It’s made a huge difference to how I feel. (and yes, I keep promising to update you in a follow up blog on my diet.)
  • Shorter runs. I love heading out for a 4km run before the sun sets in the evening. My route is out, up, down and back in. Mentally, it’s easier to handle after a tough day at work. I keep the longer run for weekends. And when I say longer, I mean no more than 7kms.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 9.47.16 PMI’m unable to say what has made the difference to my progress specifically, but I’m guessing it’s all of the above. It’s a factor of quality over quantity in my running distances, proper eating, focused strength training all wrapped up in one, and time… in my case, 6 months.

You can’t just run. You need to strengthen and fuel your entire body. And sometimes, you need to stop thinking about half marathons and be pleasantly surprised by the joy and relaxation of a simple 4km run.

In other news, KK is ready to start running again. Baby steps….

…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!