I haven’t blogged about running since I completed the Edinburgh Marathon last year. However, I’ve blogged a LOT! But all about teaching. I guess I can only concentrate on one thing at a time, or something…
A year’s worth of running…
I did carry on running. I ran with friends…
I ran with family…
I did a (team) triathlon (and we won!) (I talked about it a bit here)
I did a few races…
I was training for the Manchester Marathon, and it was going okay. My strava had things like this on it:
But there seemed to be more downs than ups this time round. And then all my runs started to look a bit like this:
It turns out I was ill!
With hindsight, I’d been ill for a while. I won’t go into the details, but I ignored it thinking I was being a wuss/ hypochondriac, and it would go away.
I carried on working (it was such a busy time of year!), I carried on running and swimming (I was training for a marathon!)… and I only stopped cycling everywhere (despite almost vomiting with pain every time I got on a bike!) when I finally went to the doctor, and they admitted me to hospital.
When I told school I wouldn’t be there because I was going into hospital, I said to them that I’d be back at work in the afternoon to teach my Y13s. I just had no idea! I’ve called this section “In denial”, but actually that’s quite inaccurate. I wasn’t exactly in denial, I just had no idea about the implications of my “urgent procedure”.
I was off work for while. I found it incredibly difficult to accept this and switch off. In the end, I was politely but firmly told to stop contacting school all the time, and trying to control everything from home! Eventually, I accepted my fate and switched off. And rested. To be honest, I had no choice but to rest. I had no idea the effect that a General Anaesthetic can have on you, for a start.
General health and fitness
If you ever need motivation to remain fit, being admitted to hospital for an operation can provide it! I’m not the fittest person in the world, and I could (still) do with losing weight… but everything is much less complicated when you don’t smoke, you don’t drink a great deal, and you are relatively fit.
At one point after my operation, I got really upset and asked the doctor if I’d made things worse by carrying on running and cycling (I ran the Cambridge Half 2 days before being admitted to hospital, albeit slowly!…). The pained look of determination on my face here isn’t just because I’m running a Half Marathon!
The doctor said no: I had actually made everything easier because I was relatively fit when I was admitted to hospital, and that made me a much better patient.
This was tough. At first, I couldn’t do anything. I remember telling my mum that I’d just walk to the doctor the next day for my follow-up appointment. It was only a 20 minute walk…
I couldn’t walk for 20 minutes…. I couldn’t even walk for 5 minutes! My world shrank and my boundaries changed, and my amazing friends stepped in and did everything for me: drove me to places, cooked meals and dropped them off, helped out with childcare.
And I just sat on the sofa. Or slept.
But I did get better eventually.
Confidence and caution
Getting back to everything again has been a journey in itself. On the one hand, I knew I had to be cautious about everything. (Everyone told me to just “listen to my body”). On the other hand, I’m not used to doing this! (When you run, you’re actually used to ignoring your body screaming at you to stop!).
Aside from being cautious, I had to re-develop the mental resilience to get through a training session. And the confidence. When you know you have to be cautious, and you are worried about getting ill again, it is difficult to have the confidence to carry on sometimes.
I’ve been back swimming for a while now, but I’ve been taking it easy. However, this week, I did two whole full-on training sessions for the first time, and absolutely buzzed from it!
I also did my first run yesterday. Only 2 miles. And I was slow. But it’s a starting point.
I am getting there…