2015 was supposed to my marathon year, the milestone to the lengthy chapter in my life all about running. It may be too premature to reflect on the year but I can tell you right now, in November, that I didn’t run the Bristol to Bath Marathon this year.. Instead I picked up on cycling as my new go-to exercise. Read more about the trials and tribulations of being a runner facing injury..
[custom_heading center=”true”]The first sign[/custom_heading]
The first sign was always my body telling me it wasn’t up for it, a run was no longer a powerful outlet of stress but the trigger of stress within my body; I felt tired all the time, my legs could just about pull it together throughout a run and then just ground to a halt on a hill and the aching feeling in between runs got all too much. It wasn’t long before I got over the well-known runners denial (I have just coined that phrase) and visited the physio. I got diagnosed with tendinopathy (a variation of tendonitis), triggered by a tiny tear within your tendon, if not treated then it begins to contract causing muscle pain. It was also confirmed that it was chronic tendonitis, basically because I’d ran two half marathons on it – good one Olivia!
[custom_heading center=”true”]Goodbye running, hello cycling[/custom_heading]
It took months to iron out the fact that I was no longer running, friends asking me out for a weekend run or less active friends seeking some runspiration and each time I was apologising and explaining the injury. In August I decided I wouldn’t participate in the Bristol to Bath Marathon, my physio Andy, even suggested I go for a run and test out my rehabilitated legs but I had this mental blockade that stopped me from truly wanting to put on my trainers. I don’t think it was just my physical condition which made me pull out of the marathon but my mental condition, I wasn’t ready for it and so I backed out.
I asked Andy if I could take up cycling instead, I had purchased a retro 1970s Specialized bike so I could cycle down to Glastonbury in June, although I’d started using to commute in and out of work, it wasn’t really seeing more usage than 10 minute rides at a time. I was happy to find out that cycling wouldn’t trigger the injury but infact, make it stronger. Sunday mornings suddenly became an opportune moment to get out into the sun and explore the Somerset countryside and best of all, I could cover so much more ground than if I’d ran! I became a fully fledged keener cyclist instead.
While my 1970s Specialized bike has served me well this Summer (it even returned from Glastonbury!), I decided to invest in a better, faster and lighter bike which led to the purchase of this badboy (above).
[custom_heading center=”true”]Mix it up[/custom_heading]
I read an article in Women’s Health the other day that basically said mixing up your routine will keep you feeling motivated and engaged with your workout for longer. Since cycling I’ve felt inspired to branch out in different directions with spin sessions, cycling in different locations. I decided not to just aspire to run further, I wanted to push my body’s limits in realms of fitness I’d never considered before, an endurance hike, a hilly bike ride, a swim in the sea, mountaineering in Wales, you name it.. I’d considered it.
A sprint triathlon always appealed to me but now with 2/3 of the sports under my belt, I felt like the dream was more achievable than ever before. I’ve mentally laid out next year in my head already to accommodate this crazy talk, me and my gym buddy Louise have already pin-pointed a sprint triathlon in March but first, re-learning to swim.
Follow me as I swim the lengths, push the pedals and lace up the trainers. All the while, hitting the gym relentlessly.. I’m mended and I’m sooo ready to get back on the challenge bandwagon again!
Are you training for something completely new and different? Let me know, comment below.