36 Days Of Rest

Hi everybody it has been 36 days since my last run.

During that time I have gone from feeling deflated, angry, hopeful, accepting, calm, excited, surprised, self-pitying, stubborn and a whole host of other emotions that quite frankly have made this period of non running extremely challenging in ways that make me feel like I am battling some sort of addiction.

OK..so addict is strong word and I cannot compare what the last 5 weeks have been like to someone who faces real "life" issues. It's funny though because as the weeks have gone by the mental need to run is not burning strong, it feels almost dormant, like a volcano that is asleep. Despite the desire to to run bubbling underneath the surface the actual act is not forthcoming. Also of note is that actual running is going to be tough and a little scary due to the fitness lost with each passing day.

Some people have said why have I not done any cross training to maintain that fitness and to be frank but I haven't wanted too which is not like me to be honest. The desire is just not there full stop. Perhaps though it's just simply I do not find enjoyment in cross training despite the benefits it may have. So perhaps due to this I have used this period of downtime as "recharging the body" if want for a better phrase.

Don't get me wrong I love running and exercise but sometimes we get so caught up in our training and racing experiences that we forget to re-balance things. No matter who you are everyone needs rest. This is all relative to the individual but I see this time I have had as nothing more than a lesson to remember that no runner is invincible. Whether you are a elite, hobbyist, run streaker etc everyone must find time to rest (whatever that phrase means to you) before you get to thinking you are invincible because the second you do then you are addicted and you ignore the signs and other stresses around you telling you loudly that your are not listening. Rest before your body let's you know that you didn't listen i.e. INJURY!!!!

This week has been a good week and with the strength work I have done it's probably fair to say that I am reaching the end of this chapter once I visit the physio on Tuesday. So tomorrow I am getting back in the gym to start on some body strength work over the winter and with the potential to start running some time this week once again there is optimism that this Volcano will wake up!

End In Sight

Well it was follow up appointment today with the physio and I was actually looking forward to this as my calf has come on leaps and bounds during the past week.

The overall pain levels have come down quite a lot and I am walking OK but I know we are not out of the woods yet. I was advised by the physio not to stretch the calf this past week so that it would have time to heal. Apart from going for a handful of nice walks over the past week I have done zero cross training as well which I know is not a good thing but I am just damn right lazy when it comes to that stuff.

So as I lay there on the physio bench (think it's called that) trying not to relax too much as I wanted to know every detail the physio echoed my view that a lot of the scar tissue I had the previous week had been successfully dealt with and I had far more mobility my ankle and leg in general terms.

After finding a handful of pinch points in my calf which were probably about 4-5 out of 10 on the pain scale the physio (Dan's his name by the way) said that we can start introducing some stretching this week to help the mobility of my ankle and calf as all the scar tissue should be now dealt with.

Following this he then casually mentioned that next week will most likely be the last session and that we will introduce some strengthening and running!

Did I just hear that right? "Yes you must be itching to run and if all being well try a short very easy jog at the end of the week with some walking mixed in should be something to explore if it feels right". Strangely enough I felt calm and relaxed upon hearing that news or was it the fact my leg had been worked on a fair bit and the blood flow to my brain was restricted ? Either way a win win.

Now of course I still have to be patient with things but I am coming to the end of learning am important lesson and one that Arthur Lydiard a legendary coach who's methods I have been learning and adapting to for the past 12 months uses to approach each run

“How you run should be governed by how you feel on the day and by the simple catch-phrase I invented years ago, “train, don’t strain” -- Arthur Lydiard

I don't regret the hard run I did that triggered the injury but not to ignore the warning signs that the body is flirting with injury when you approach a peak. I had signs but I ignored them and the basic strength and flexibility routines that facilitate and help support a healthy / strong body.

We live and learn eh.