Monday, 28 May 2012

I'm Not Built for Long Distance Running

In the few years before my injury London had opened up to me in a new way thanks to my use of a bike. It had become such a large part of my transport portfolio that it was rare for me to use anything else. The injury and more specifically the operation curtailed this and so today was a big day.

For the first time since the operation I cycled all the way to the hospital and back. It's a total distance of 15.04 kilometres. The sun was out, the traffic was calm and life seemed to have returned to some level of normalcy. I loved it.

At ACL club I came across an old friend, Spanish Bun. He had his operation on the same day as me, just before me. At the first trip back to see Mr Knee he was told off in no uncertain terms for not following instructions and seeing him at ACL club I was slightly sad to realise that he had not heeded the warnings. He was limping, he was unable to do most of the exercises and appeared to be about 2 months behind me in his recovery. This added to my sadness at hearing the news that someone else from ACL club, who had been attending pre-operatively, had still not got an op date and had been told to stop coming to the circuit training as it was making her injury worse. I'd bumped into her on the way in, as she was on the way out. She'd injured herself ski-ing and had just received that news that she was unlikely to be on the slopes before 2014. She was distraught.

As usual on seeing other folk worse off than myself I took a moment to count my blessings.

Moment over I had a word with Clodagh about my fitness regime. I wanted to know if my running should be focused on speed, distance or time. The answer was not the one I wanted; time. It was all about increasing endurance, building up general fitness, before going on to speed.

I don't like running, never have. I do it only to reach the ball. In fact, I don't like walking that much. Katie often brings a tennis ball when we go for walks and throws it for me to chase while she looks at the scenery, or whatever else it is that people do who like walking in the country.

Since being given the go ahead to start running I have run a total of 18.08 kms over 10 sessions and a running time of 150 minutes. I know this because I have a detailed spreadsheet to monitor my progress. I need to up this and I'm not looking forward to it but at least I've had the op, I'm at a point that Clodagh is happy with and my target of November 10th to play football is still a possibility. I'm counting my blessings, and will continue to do so as I count off the miles.

One final thing of note from ACL club was the arrival of Rodger. He's 37, teaches gymnastics, had his operation three weeks ago and is already looking fitter than I ever have. They were having to hold him back from doing level 5 exercises which I still haven't got to. His shockingly quick recovery time nearly made me fall off my stationary bicycle until I heard that this is the third time his cruciate has gone. Ouch. Counting my blessings.

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