Stop - Start Again

30 July 2014, 11:37

Even though I’ve been training again properly since the end of May, I feel like the last 6-8 weeks have been really stop/start, mostly for health reasons. You see, in amongst my training, I’ve had three separate instances where I’d had to take a full week off with no running at all, so I don’t feel like I’ve really been in a proper training routine.

The first interruption was somewhat planned, and entirely by my choosing – I got laser eye surgery! I’ve worn glasses since the age of 10 and contact lenses since the age of 15, and frankly, I’d been sick of the hassle, expense, inconvenience, and tired eyes and wanting this for a long time. So when my redundancy money finally came through from my old job, I booked a consultation the very next day!

The end result was totally worth it – I went from being 20/200 with astigmatism to being “better than 20/20” (I can read two lines smaller than the 20/20 line) literally overnight, and I still can’t quite get over how effortlessly perfect my vision is now, with no achey tired eyes by 9pm.

The process did, however, require that I not wear my lenses for a week beforehand, and no running whatsoever for the week after (to prevent sweat getting in my eyes). The last run I did before the surgery in early June was a long run, and in absolutely torrential downpours. It was quite possibly the worst run ever to do in glasses that steamed & were almost opaque with rain drops, but since it was the last I’d ever have to wear them, I didn’t mind it too much.

Raindropped glasses

If you’re interested in all the details of laser eye surgery, read Becca’s account – I went to the same place as her and my experience was very similar.

The second interruption came the day after the Hackney Half, when I had to have some minor lady surgery, but one that also came with a strict “no exercise for one week afterwards” clause. Just like with my eyes, I felt absolutely fine by the next day, so it was frustrating to still have to sit out all my normal runs.

I finally got to have a month or so of proper training after that, though, where I started to focus more on speed in preparation for the British Transplant Games, where I’ll be running (deep breath…) the 3km “mini marathon”, 1500m, 800m, 400m, 200m, and the mixed relay. After a year of endurance training, the speed is hurting, and despite running with the RDC Elites every week now, I still feel sluggish and slow.

So cue the third interruption, which occurred last week when I finally succumb to the cold that all of London had already had (including my husband). I thought I’d escaped it, actually not getting it off him, only to catch it from some random instead. So there went another week without being able to run, drowning under waves of tissues on a sea of Netflix. As an aside, I did manage to watch Town of Runners while I was ill, so that was a high point!

I was listing all the above to my friend Claire at RDC last night, though, and she pointed out that it without all my health problems, I wouldn’t be competing in the British Transplant Games at all, so surely everyone else there is in the same situation? Sometimes it takes a friend to point out the obvious, and that comment put all my training issues into perspective and made me feel a bit less nervous about the Games next weekend.

It also didn’t hurt that I then went out to run ~3:30min/km with the Elites last night, after thinking for weeks that I couldn’t sustain 4min/km! So maybe I’m fitter than I thought…

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