I’m a runner.
This is something that I rediscovered when I was 34. I did quite a lot of running as a boy, right up until the time I left school. Actually, I slacked off at the beginning of year twelve, but that’s another story. I became fairly sedentary in my early 20s and my weight gradually ballooned, even when I became a commuter cyclist in the mid-1990s.
In mid-2002, I began walking at lunchtime with friends around the Tan. I saw quite a few runners and, after a while, decided I would join them. The first time, I got about 100m before thinking I was going to collapse and die of a heart attack or exhaustion. Mind you, I was about 140kg at that stage. I thought: “it’s OK, it’ll just get easier each time”, so I tried again a few days later and got about 50m. But after that, it did get better.
But in February this year, I stubbed by left little toe as I walked past a door. It really hurt, as it does, but a few hours after the pain of the stubbed toe had subsided, the whole outer side of my foot felt like it had been given half a dozen good whacks with a cricket bat. Walking was painful for a few weeks, and running was completely out of the question. I waited about 6 weeks, and tried running again, but the pain was still very much there. So, in May, I went to see a Podiatrist at the Olympic Park Sports Medicine Clinic. It was time to put the feet in for a service. I cannot recommend those folks highly enough. My Podiatrist confirmed what I had long suspected: my feet were flat as pancakes and if I wanted to keep running, I needed orthotics. She also suggested I rest the toe a bit longer and took an x-ray just in case, which came back negative. So I got the orthotics and rested the foot. Took my medicine.
The good (no, great!) news is that I’m back running again. I’ve run 3 times in the past two weeks (10min, 20min, 25min), and while I’m pleasantly surprised that I haven’t lost all my fitness after several months without running, it’s pretty tough when I get to the 20-minute mark or so.
It’s such an incredibly good feeling to be running again. When you are something and you can’t do it, it’s so frustrating, even depressing. But when you get back to doing it again, well, there aren’t too many things that feel so good!