“Always listen to your body”
It’s advice that I’ve both been given and seen others give on numerous occasions. And it makes sense. For all the stats, Strava kudos and Facebook likes in the world, if you’re not right in yourself, it’s not worth pushing it and risking injury.
Hindsight is a magical thing.
Last Saturday I took myself out for a quick 5k while my little boy had a nap. I’ve really struggled with my running pace since upping my distance, so wanted to prove to myself that I could still go relatively quickly.
I was happy to complete it in under 25 mins. My pace has been closer to 6km/h recently, so it felt good to get it down a little.
However, and there was always going to be a but in this feel-good tale, as I was approaching the end of the run, some inconsiderate twat opened their car door directly in front of me. I had to act quickly to get out of the way and avoid pancaking against their door, and in doing so, went over on my ankle slightly.
I’ve been lucky enough on the whole since starting running to only pick up a couple of injuries, so I do my best to try to not let them beat me.
I set off on a longish run on Monday morning – hoping to get maybe 22 or 24 miles under my belt before work. It was a big a ask – I’ve never gone further than 18 before – but I was happy to try.
Unfortunately, pretty much from the first 200 yards onward, I knew something wasn’t right. I felt as though I had tight bracelets around both ankles, and they hurt/badly ached each step I took.
Did I pack it in and go home? Did I realise and accept that a couple of days of rest would likely sort it out? Did I listen to my body as it screamed a little each and every time my feet hit the ground?
Nope. No I did not. Idiot.
Instead I dragged myself along for 30 miserable kilometres, wincing at the pain, limping in parts and feeling thoroughly fed up with myself.
In fact, everything started to feel okay about 12km in – I thought I’d cracked it and just run through the problem. Turned out, however, that wasn’t the case, and it only lasted for about 2km, then the problem came back, with a friend. Somehow my laces on my right shoe were now also digging into my foot, enough for it to cause genuine pain, for the first time since I’d had my shoes. Problem upon problem. Brilliant.
I didn’t listen to my body at all, instead I finished my run in the worst of moods, limped my way to work and felt throughly down about the whole situation. Not only that, but I also knackered up my schedule for the rest of the week while I waited to make sure my ankle was okay.
It’s really not all that long now until Manchester. I’m setting myself a target of five runs from Saturday to Friday this week – to get back into the swing of things and get more miles in my legs. I’m on 79 for the month, so expect to easily clear 100 for the first time.
I will, however, this time around, be wise enough to stop if my legs are telling me they aren’t up to the task.