|1000 frozen parkrunners|
I've been resting for the past four-or-so-weeks, in the running sense, giving my knee time to recover from the exertions of the latter half of the year (six half marathons, a handful of 10 and 12 mile races, a clutch of 10ks and more 5k parkruns than I can count, as well as all the normal fun/ training runs in between). During that time I've been diligently doing daily stretches and strengthening exercises and getting used to a pair of shiny new, custom-made orthoses. I've also swapped from walking the fields in wellies to walking boots, and from being at home in slippers to trainers. Yesterday, I completed the final piece of the jigsaw and got my knee checked by the doc, who, after thorough questioning, prodding, bending, poking and pushing declared himself satisfied there was nothing wrong with it and agreed with the diagnosis of the physio and podiatrist.
On Monday I went out for a ginger and very slow 0.8 mile run, on the flat, on the tarmac. I can't tell you how good it felt to be back out there! Even over a tiny distance: it was bliss. I was hungry afterwards for the first time in a month!
This morning I helped out at parkrun, which I've been doing a lot these past weeks while resting my knee. I've made lots of new friends that way so it's been a bit of a blessing in disguise. Good grief it was cold. I was quite glad I wasn't running. Instead (snug inside my thick coat with hat, gloves and scarf and extra-thick socks), I caught up with my running buddies at the start, cheered them on as they swept past half-way round, then congratulated them at the end where I was helping to give out the finish tokens. We nearly had a course record, clocking 1066 runners. Phew!
This afternoon, I donned warm running kit and went out for my third run of the week, aiming to do closer to 2.5 miles this time, so I can get back to parkrun (which is 3 miles) next weekend. 2.5 miles is approx three times up and down our lane. The first time, I passed my neighbour who was walking her dog and we called a quick hello, the second time she looked quizzical so I explained why I was running ever so slowly backwards and forwards along the lane. The third time she asked how my knee was holding out and I was delighted to be able to say it was perfectly fine.
I got home having bagged 2.6 miles in a very slow 26 minutes with no ache in the knee and immediately texted my buddy John (who has been coaching me on how to manage this injury since December with a brilliantly simple philosophy which I shall follow from now on: if it's an ache, run on it, if it's a pain, don't) and received back a Well done! But don't be tempted to race at parkrun at the weekend! I am now, officially, Mrs Tortoise, but I'm back running! So who cares!
Hope you're all having a nice weekend, and if you're in the NE of the States, hope you're keeping safe and warm especially.