THE ROAD BACK TO RUNNING: June saw the internal battle

This month has been a battle with myself and having to be honest with myself. Weirdly enough these battles have been fought out whilst riding my bike, once I have enjoyed the scenery, seen the cows and have complained about drivers or pedestrians I then think.

I have hit the famous 6-8 week no man’s land with my current rehabilitation and cross training plan. Normally at this period most people hit the ‘is this working?’ Or ‘I am bored’ part of their rehabilitation. This is because we can keep up the energy, still keep the excitement going and still have the drive for 4-6 weeks but after that we lose the drive. Just look at all the people that start their New Year’s resolutions in January and by Valentines Day it is all over.

This is why a good rehabilitation plan needs to constantly be changing, updating depending on how the athlete is progressing. Yet the big thing is to stop boredom and the dip in drive occurring and luckily my rehabilitation plan does regularly change.

I started to get itchy feet, my feet want to try a run when I am out walking, either round the block or to the gym. Either my feet think first or my brain does and suddenly all I want to do is run. My feet speak and say just try it, even for 30 seconds and you know you will love it, and with all my energy I have to tell my feet no no no no.

I also start to google races, just 5 km’s in the autumn just really see what is out there. I found a few relatively local 5 km’s that look appealing. However yes I do find myself reading about half marathons around the world and deciding which ones I fancy. I look forward to the day when I can see a race, decide to run it and enter it without thinking that I am tempting fate.

So the battle that I had on a couple of rides mid-month was about when to try a run, just talking half a mile to begin with. My knee has started to feel more stable and my quads definitely feel stronger and my left quad feels more equal to my right. I also feel that I have been cycling for months and months now (this is not the truth) and my gym work has been going well.   I know that my rehabilitation will become lifelong and part of my life but I am thinking that I could run a little now whilst I continue my cycling and strengthening exercises and both can run (sorry about the pun) side by side.

What has added to me hitting the no man’s land was my trip to Paris this month. I wanted to run in Paris even if it’s only a mile, I do not want to go to another country and not be able to run. Also when I came back from Miami I had found a 10 km in a park on the edge of Paris which was on whilst I was there which now I can’t do. After contemplating the issue I felt that I wanted to run this month.  So for the next couple of days i decided that I will run, yet on my next ride I change my decision.

On my next ride suddenly I was honest with myself plus a little bit of me being scared. I didn’t need to count the weeks in my diary to know that I had only been cycling for weeks not months, I put my therapist hat on and told myself that for any changes that my rehab is causing will take 3 months for it to start to become permanent changes. Those arguments were coming from me being honest with myself. The other points of the argument were coming from the part of me being scared of starting to run again and it ending in disaster again. If I start running now is it too soon? Am I risking failure again by running?, yes because I am desperate to run but also because I am fed up of waiting. I spent most of the cycle ride thinking about all the points in my head and it came down to one simple thing. I waited 6 weeks so far can I wait for another 6 weeks?  That way I have given my knee 12 weeks to get stable and for my left leg to become strong and also to address any other issues that might arise. So I decided to be patient, to wait and also to prove myself that I can wait out another 6 weeks and in some way this has become a bit of a challenge for me.

Once I had come to this decision I was instantly much calmer and I had crossed no man’s land and come out the other side unharmed. I had a new 6 week challenge and with that came renewed energy for getting out on my bike, going to the gym and doing my daily exercises.