"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, 27 January 2013

It. Is. On!

This post has been a long while in writing, but now I feel I am able to knit together the story in order to give a proper update about my running. For the last week to 10 days I have been telling porkies somewhat to my friends and family about running… Here’s something I wrote 10 days ago:

“It’s 17th January… A Thursday afternoon. Yesterday morning I went to see the NHS physiotherapist. It’s more than safe to say I wasn’t expecting much other than a one off 40 minute appointment with an outcome of ‘we can’t see a problem’, or ‘do these strengthening exercises and you’ll be fine’…

I should have had more faith in the physio who I was due to see; Amanda, from South Africa (who is by my reckoning, a star!)

As soon as I went in for my appointment Amanda was upbeat and confident about being able to treat my problem, she expected me to be back on the streets pounding away in the not too distant future.

I wasn’t optimistic.

She examined both legs comparing the strength and flexibility in my muscles and ligaments from left leg (‘we will call this your normal leg’) to right leg. It turns out the 4 main muscles of my right leg are weaker than those of my left, and are not as flexible.

She sent me packing to a lower limb service at my local hospital, but not before telling me that I should go for a run, until I feel pain. As soon as I feel pain, I am to stop, and walk home”

Back to present day… Well I went for that run, 5 minutes in, I was expecting pain, there wasn’t any.
10 minutes in, I was expecting pain, there wasn’t any.
15 minutes in, I was expecting pain, there wasn’t any. I decided at this point to stop; I didn’t want to overdo it.
The day after I had DOMS, and it felt good! Of course I had had to walk like John Wayne, of course I made sex noises every time I lowered myself onto a chair, but my knee was ok – not perfect, but ok.

Since the original physio appointment I have been for 5 runs; one of which was at the lower limb service at hospital where I was told to get on the treadmill and hammer it. They wanted to see my body’s reaction to putting my knee under stress. By the end of the 10 minutes I was breathing out the proverbial orifice, but again, my knee was fine.

My orders have since been: stretch, strengthen, run – but only if it doesn’t hurt. So I have duly obliged and I have been following orders strictly (I fully expect to be able to perform a one legged squat with an elephant on my back before February!). This morning I went for my longest run of the year: a meagre, but brilliant, 2.65 miles

Hot, sweaty, but feeling like a runner again :D

Fingers crossed I can now start looking onwards and upwards. There is still a long way to go, and I’m taking nothing for granted, but I will continue to work with, and without, the physio to get back to where I want to be.


  1. Awesome! Join the club of brilliant patient comebacks! Don't let it beat you, work like hell on all the strength aspects they give you, and if you have to walk back from a run walk with a smile!

  2. Good stuff! Hope the recovery continues. :-)