Nearly eleven weeks ago I started to run. I like to set goals and one of my goals at the beginning of this year was to run a 10 kilometre race. Now I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that, that doesn’t sound like such a big deal right? I guess in a way you would be right in thinking that. I mean people start running all the time these days and compared to a marathon which is 42.195 kms, me running 10 Kms isn’t that far really, is it? However my path to just to start to run again has been a long painful process, and me running 10 kms was at times like a marathon.
You see I love to run, it helps me stay relaxed. Running releases a lot of stress and tension for me and of course it keeps me trimmer. Running helps me clear my mind. It always has, if I had an issue I would just go for a run and the problem often worked its way out.
In January 2005 while on holidays I torn a cartilage in my left knee. Since then I have been on and off the physio table ( 4 different ones ) more often than I care to remember. I have been to two different podiatrists, twice each in that time as well. Even hundreds of sports massages have been used over the years to get my body to a working state. Since that moment in 2005 I have had injuries all over my body going from both calves( several times), lower back ( several times) , tennis elbow in both elbows , frozen shoulder, numerous neck issues, and my right wrist and shoulder strains. All which have hindered my ability to go for long runs. My latest ‘ new ‘ injury was as I was attempting to get back into tennis in March this year. I got plantar fasciitis in my left foot, which is an interesting injury if you want to research it. Oh yes there was one more and probably the most significant injury and that was my right knee. It was operated on for cartilage damage on the eighth of the eighth of the eighth . 08/08/08 is a date I will never forget as it stopped me being able to be the sportsman I wanted to be. At the age of 39 I realised with both knees having been operated on my tennis coaching career was over! If you have lost track or confused, here is a timeline
- January 2005 catalogue , left knee . lots of ongoing issues
- 2006 tennis elbow in right arm
- Wrist injury in right wrist
- Calf and hamstring issues in left leg , though nothing to serious
- Right shoulder strain in early 2007
- Tennis elbow in mid 2007 left arm
- March 2008 right knee cartilage damage , operation in August . No proper sport for 5 years
- Tennis elbow right elbow in 2009 from working at a computer.
- Slipped disc in lower back august 2013 warming up for a game of tennis
- left calf tear in March 2014
- In July 2014 left calf tear again
- August 2014 bolging disc in lower back
- November 2014 calf injury flared up again
- Lower back and side strains in early 2015
- Frozen left shoulder August 2015
- In March 2016 plantar fasciitis
- In August 2016 calf injury right leg
So even 9 days before the https://racebest.com/races/wetherby-10k I had calf issues again! Not being deterred I started to do lots of walking training in all sorts of tough terrain .
So I did 35km of bush walking in 4 days around the Lands End area. I had to rest from running but it didn’t mean I couldn’t keep my fitness up in other ways. I couldn’t just wait, hoping it would be ok, I had to try everything. I also brought some compression socks, got some physio on it. I also put my old inner soles in as I knew they shortened my calves a bit and may take the pressure off. The main thing I did through this whole experience was just keep saying there must be a way. I am running this event , there must be a way to make it happen!
The Day of the race
I hadn’t been able to run for about a week and a half, so I was very nervous about my chances of actually finishing the event. We walked 3 kms to the event to make sure I was warmed up sufficiently. I wore my compression sock and deep heat for this also. I was standing on the start line not knowing if I would even be able to run at all, let alone run 10km. However through all of this process with the calf injury I kept saying I was going to run the event and I would find a way to do it. That’s the attitude I had in the race as well.
The race started and I gingerly took off . My training partner Nick Hague said he would run with me. I was running so slow, I was fully focused on my calf and any feelings of stress or strain. Every time I thought I felt something I changed my foot position and slowed down. I was running so slow loads and loads of people kept running past me. I so wanted to compete and run how I normally do and pass them all back. However I just stayed focus on running any way I could to get to the finishline. Nick at times was actually walking to try and be slow enough to be next to me, I was going that slow.
At the 5km mark I noticed our time was 33.43 which was 5 minutes slower than I would normally run a 5 km flat course. So I decided to start to run just a bit quicker and focus on passing people. So one by one we would pass runners. Each Kilometre marker I would increase the pace just a little bit, while still being mindful of my calf. We got to around the 7.5km marker and I knew I would finish even if I tore my calf again. So I said to Nick ‘ I’m going to make it mate, lets run at our normal pace and see how many people we can pass’. Well the answer was 51 people we passed with one person passing us back. We clicked into gear and in the last 2kms we did in 10 minutes and 18 seconds which is the fastest either of us had ever run 2kms. Our total time as you can see was 1 hour 3 minutes and 54 seconds.
I had no doubt in my mind I was going to do this. Even though many people told me I couldn’t do it. A few people told me I shouldn’t do it. Through it all I kept saying to myself that there must be a way, I know I can do this. It is quite incredible how powerful our minds are and when put in conjunction with our heart the passion inspires us.When this happens, nothing can stop us achieving what we want. A few times last week when I tried to run i did have a few negative thought and I thought about cancelling the event and not running. I mean I’m not a professional runner, no one would know. Well yes someone would know , and that person is ME! So I just kept thinking positive again.
What is it your passionate about? Is there something you really want to do? If there is make your mind up and go for it !
You have the power within you to overcome the odds