Alas the fickle fortunes of the runner! It’s a roller coaster to one minute feel on top of the world with a hard earned sub 2 hour half marathon and then spend 2 weeks in the running doldrums with the athletic form of a three legged hippo in a mud run.
In the last fortnight after my race I guess I’ve finally experienced the dangers of that lowered immune system that I’ve read about so often once you’ve pushed yourself hard. My defences were breached the week after the half when our Managing Director decided to sit on the empty desk next to me with a monumental case of man flu. Lovely though it is to keep in with the hirers and firers of the world and we do get on well, guess what, with a shared love of running!! I could have done without the high velocity sneezing and coughing. In fact that week there were more snotty heads in the office than I’ve seen for a while (the seasons must be changing)
Now you don’t know me but, trust me, I don’t do ill, I’m never ill, I’m a terrible patient and I don’t really have sympathy or patience for the ill. Of course I don’t mean the genuinely seriously ill, I mean the constant snivellers (the oh I’ve got a bit of cold today, the oh think I’ve got a chill I went out with wet hair, ha, ha tell that to the all weather runner!) blah, blah. I dread ever being seriously ill, I would be a complete bitch, I can’t bear people fussing. I refuse to even use the word ‘ill’. I told the guys at work I wasn’t ill, just ‘sub optimal’ or ‘below acceptable standards of normal health’ is my other favourite. The rule in the house is that my mother and mother in law can never be told. My mother lectures, usually along the lines of running with wet hair, running in the dark, running in the cold, doing too much, working too hard, wearing a vest etc etc and my Italian mother in law takes dutiful concern to a whole new level. Even a cold merits a phone call every day to see if you are well, been to the doctor, eating properly, eating broth…….for a bad patient such concern is horrific…..its a cold, leave me alone !!
Monday morning in the office went from arriving in good spirits (well as good as Monday morning ever allows), to amusing levels of comedy sneezing in the morning, pinching someone’s tissues in the afternoon as my nose let loose to driving home with my jaw hurting like I’d been punched ,to the ultimate declaration of illness, a call to Ellie to CANCEL A RUN. That’s it, flag in the ground ILL. Me, the invincible one, she of steel, ill with the common ‘I laugh in the face of you’ cold. I haven’t had a cold for about 3 years.
And so followed three days of much moping, onsie wearing and tea drinking, all around going to work of course. Getting from start to finish of a working day was enough as we’re full on right now. In desperation I hauled on the old trainers on the Thursday for my ‘round the block’ 5km. God it was horrific, everything hurt, hips, knees, toes probably! I felt too old to run; slow, flabby, knackered…..you’re probably getting the picture. Maybe running in the onesie would have been more comforting?
It got better Saturday when I ran to the gym which is just 2.5 miles but starting with a long steady climb. It was great, I felt on the case, speed coming back. I ran with Ellie on Sunday morning too across Sharphill Woods before they become a housing estate. Sad to think I’ve lived near the woods for 13 years and never walked through them, let alone run. It was blissful.
So Monday, off I went to the gym again to give my legs a good workout. Lately it’s been all running ready for the half and I’ve neglected my strength work, back to ‘operation buns of steel’ I’ll need them for London. I clean and pressed with the ViPR and swung a kettle bell about with gay abandon, squatting and swinging like a demon.
Big mistake ……. inability to walk, move, sit on Tuesday and Wednesday much to the huge amusement of my work colleagues. My back was sore from the kettle bell swinging, clearly I need to watch that in my technique and my inner thighs and glutes were like alien parts of me. Thank god my office chair has arms,I had to throw my hands back onto the arms to lower the rest of me down slowly. And yes, I did use the disabled toilet cubicle. How blissful, it’s a bit higher than the other loos and the grab rails were invaluable. I wasn’t exactly a good advert for running and fitness.
By Thursday, still in agony, I thought I’d ‘run it off’. It didn’t really work, I started in pain and just ended up warmed up and in pain! The worst of it was my backside. When your glute muscles hurt that much, the pain is magnified when they move. So the bum jiggle of running was agonising every time those poor glutes hit the downward bounce. It felt like I was bouncing them off the pavement, it does nothing for any feelings of being self conscious about what’s bouncing around. It was dark, which was a saving grace.
It’s got to get better from here, the cold is gone, the old buttocks have eased off and my inner thighs are my own again. Anyway, must go, got a big curry planned for later so I’m feeling the need to go and bang my buttocks on the pavement again for 30 minutes!