Sunday, 29 January 2017

Run Rabbit Run

As previously mentioned, I recently started running on a fairly regular basis. I'm not 110% committed to it yet, after all it's only been 4 weeks today since I started doing it properly. In that time I've done 5 runs. Before this I had been for a couple of runs, but I wasn't doing it regularly or with a plan.

I never thought running was something I would be able to do. I used to hate it as a kid, and this was probably down to the fact that it caused me quite a bit of pain and I fell over a lot as I lacked co-ordination In hindsight, these issues were obviously due to my hypermobility that was at the time undiagnosed. I used to twist my ankles regularly, hurt my knee, all sorts. 

As I continued to have problems with my joints throughout my teenage years and into my early twenties (I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact I am solidly in my mid-twenties now), I was always told and led to believe that I should not do high impact sport. I was forced to stop doing PE at school (I wasn't that bothered; actually, that's a lie - I was thrilled). I realised that I could no longer risk trampolining at friends' houses after more than one occasion when my knee decided to sublux mid-jump, causing me to land unsafely and/or nearly come off the trampoline completely. I felt I had been severely limited on what I could do in terms of exercise.

Over time, I've watched people go off running to de-stress or just to be out in the environment. It started to bother me, I wanted to be able to say "I'm stressed so I'm going for a run" rather than "I'm stressed, I'm going to get drunk". I wanted to be able to experience the wind in my hair, the satisfaction of hearing your feet pounding the pavement. But I was scared... 

I had been working hard at the gym for the first few months of last year. I realised my body was getting stronger, and it was reacting better in certain situations. If I has been sat on the kitchen counter, I could now jump off and not roll my ankle on hitting the ground. I didn't have to slide off awkwardly. I could walk faster. I discovered I could cope with using a skipping rope... I started to running down the garden when I had my trainers on, on my way to and/or from the gym. Just to see how it felt. It didn't hurt. I started jogging on the spot when I was doing other workouts at home. It didn't hurt.

So I decided to give it a go. I ran a quarter of a mile the first time, just home from my mother-in-laws. It hurt my chest but it didn't hurt my bones. I realised I could really do this... So I went for a run with a friend, and then a run on my own... This was all towards the end of  2016. Then it got colder and darker, and I got lazier. So I stopped. But we got to after Christmas and I saw how much weight I had gained over the Christmas period. That's when I decided that this year I am going to run regularly.

So, long story short, I got treated to a new pair of trainers for my birthday, and I am certainly putting them to good use. I've run/walked over 10 miles so far this year. My friend and I are currently using the Couch to 5k app to help give us some structure which involves a period of walking, a period of running and repeat, finishing with a walk. I can run for 3 minutes without stopping - something impressive for some one who couldn't run for 10 seconds before. I think in the next week, it takes us up to 5 minutes of running with a much shorter recovery time, so that'll be interesting.

I got a real good feeling about this though. 

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