I love running; it would be safe to say I’m addicted.
I love being out in the fresh air, hammering the pavement, staring down anyone within eyeshot whom I think I have a chance of beating. My eyes burning a hole in the back of their head, me holding an unrealistic pace I surely can’t maintain until I feel like I’m going to spew.
Then increasing that pace until I nearly do spew so I keep my place. If they do get back in front it only motivates me to continue training harder, to improve my fitness level, because there will always be someone faster than you…
It’s all about the challenge and that’s why I love it!
My Injury Setback
How quickly things can change. 5 months ago, training for my first 50km trail run with 6 weeks to go I was informed that I had a bulging disc with annular tears (this isn’t good) and my recovery would be ‘as long as my body needed.’ My first, second and third question was, “and how long will that be?”
It was during these times of frustration and despair my trusty sports doctor would remind me I could barely walk or bend over to tie my shoes, so any running was definitely out.
I spent the following 3 months dedicated to my recovery, working hard on strengthening my core so it never happens again (I’ll share the fundamentals of what I learnt in following posts – get your roller and your resistance band primed).
I was forced to take time out and in the process I found a new appreciation for this machine we call the human body (yep, we’re pretty amazing). I had been constantly hammering myself, not fuelling my body correctly, and came to the naïve conclusion it was over exercise that made me so tired and not my diet or how I treated myself overall.
What a humbling experience my first run back was….
Pulling on my shorts I half walked/half ran out the front door ready to charge anyone down anyone in my path… I was ready to go, but was my body ready?
Evidently not! 5 minutes in and I was feeling itchy, 6 minutes in I had a stitch, and 15 minutes later I was puffing hard and the negative voices started to unleash. “Why are you even doing this, no-one sane enjoys this, if it feels like this it can’t be good for you.”
But somewhere deep down my positive inner voice remembered all of those enjoyable endorphin filled moments I’d had in the past and spoke up. “Yes I absolutely do (enjoy this), I love this!! I’ve been waiting for this for the last 3 months.” Your mind & body are great at remembering what they enjoy and I’d spent the last decade of my life feeling amazing from running!
It was hard, but I managed to get through my first 30 minute run. The second run back I reached 45 minutes and there was some definite enjoyment had. A couple more runs in and I was loving it again. I even managed to get back on the trails, not the 50kms I had originally been training for, but things change – you have to re-assess and work with what you’ve got.
I’m hoping to attempt the 50km early next year.
What I’ve Learnt from this Experience
So why am I sharing this? Looking back I’m reminded of how hard it was for me starting out. How quickly I had forgotten that only 10 years ago I was a 20 something year old who loved a cigarette and a glass of wine and who couldn’t run to save my life.
I actually took up running to stop smoking – and it worked!! I would run for 1 minute then walk for 1 minute, over a very brief 20 minute period that felt like 2 hours, and it would burn!
It was this recent injury experience that reminded me how much running has helped me grow as a person and literally changed my life, further fuelling my belief that it can do the same for everyone, including YOU!
It definitely isn’t easy starting out (as I’ve just been brutally reminded) but anything that’s worth doing isn’t easy. You just need to take that initial leap of faith and then build on it, one step at a time (no pun intended). If I can do it you can too.
Benefits I’ve gained from Running
Apart from the obvious fitness benefits, running has made me more confident in myself, both physically and mentally. It has motivated me to continuously improve my health & eating habits. Add to this the feeling of accomplishment you get when reaching goals you set along the way and running can make you feel unstoppable!
There’s been a lot of research conducted regarding the benefits of exercise on the brain and the results are honestly amazing. Exercise produces positive chemicals in your body that flood your brain, making you HAPPY, so really you’d be crazy not to do it.
I may be biased but I believe EVERYONE needs to be active and try running. There is no doubting the evidence that it will positively impact your life. I’m just one of the millions of people out there that are living proof of this!
So the next time you’re thinking about making a positive change to your lifestyle, go for a run, you won’t ever regret it!
Do you have your own running story that you’d like to share with our readers? Leave a comment below or get in touch with us so we can share your story and inspire more people get fit and take up Running.