Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Gift of a Run

I was particularly nervous before running last Saturday afternoon. It wasn't the edgy 'fear of impending pain' nervousness that strikes me prior to racing in the D-grade 800 metres at Interclub. It was just the 'running could make my injury worse' kind of nervousness.

I thought my calf was on the mend. On Wednesday I ran 11.7k with Chris, pushing at times to keep up with his occasional 5:40 kilometres. The calf was fine during the run, but I was devastated to find myself walking around like John Cleese for the next two days. On Saturday there was still a little tenderness happening, so I debated with myself the merits of trying to run, or settling for a mountain bike ride. Finally, I laced up the Brooks and shuffled, Cliffy style, down the street, with the promise that I'd stop at the first sign of pain.

I made it to the edge of Theodore. This was looking good, I thought to myself. There was a lightness in my stride as my shuffle expanded to accommodate a few 5:20 kilometres. I continued along the banks of the 'Melrose River' (actually a stormwater drain into which it flows). A small brown snake slithered from my path towards the trickling stream. I was happy to be running without pain – just the normal stress of a neglected cardiovascular system.

After covering 6 kilometres in 33:46, I was back home, very happy in the knowledge I had given myself the gift of a run. It very nearly didn't happen.

22 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

Hey Ewen

I often hear people say "listen to your body" while it is good advice it's hard to know whether it is telling you to take a rest or if it's a run that it's after.

Looks like the run you had was just what your body was asking for.

9:04 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

That calf problem has been around so long, it seems to have turned into a cow of a thing.

Although runs like that may not be not high on "quality", obviously it gave you great satisfaction. Take care and and keep enjoying the recovery.

9:22 pm  
Blogger plu said...

It is just good to run hey.

Plu

9:51 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Woooow! I didn't know the juvenile eastern brown had that banded colouring; it is almost like a :
brown tree snake
;-)

But how about that run eh? You know what I reckon, seeing as how you have given me such good advice, is that what you need to do is not overdo it. By this I mean length of the run rather than frequency. In the old frequency, intensity, duration equation, does it not appear that duration is the thing that sets it off? 10 km too much, 6 km no problem? So just getting out there for the 5 nd 6 km jobbies on a regular basis, and going back to basics of increasing distance gradually, might be the way to go. FWIW.

10:01 pm  
Blogger Don Juan said...

What Robert said is no bull.

Well, what a happy ending to the story. I had my money on a tragi-comical ending which I could milk for a gag knowing you'd have no beef with that.

10:02 pm  
Blogger D said...

Nice run Ewen. Hopefully you can start stringing more runs together soon. Thanks for your very thoughtful comments, by the way!

5:44 am  
Blogger Susan said...

Well done Ewen. The runs will fall into place soon - and the world will be right again. Take care of yourself.

8:21 am  
Blogger Southy said...

I have to agree with Stephen , Ewen. Don't over do the length of the run. That causes more trouble for me than anything else. Although I would love to be able to go out and do a 20-25 km run , I know that my old body would break down very quickly unless I built up to it very gradually.

10:13 am  
Blogger Spark Driver said...

Nice run there Ewen. Good effort.

11:10 am  
Blogger 2P said...

Nice work Ewen - I ustilise the 5 minute rule - if an injury allows me to run but is uncomfortable at first I stick with it for 5mins - if it doesn't feel any better/looser etc by then I bail - I also bail immediately if it starts to hurt more.

Hmmm that pace is coming back too - I'll have to chip a bit more concrete off ;-)

Keep up the good work mate.

11:14 am  
Anonymous Steve said...

We often hear the phrase, 'listen to your body' and it seems like you were right to ignore it.

7:37 pm  
Blogger Don Juan said...

All the cows are coming home at the same time; see 2P's blog.

9:10 pm  
Blogger miners said...

like what robert song said - about tike you shook off this pesky thing mate!

Glad you were able to enjoy a decent run though :)

5:23 pm  
Blogger Eddie said...

Ahhhh!!! Nothing like a nice pain free run. I think I had one of those once....or was it a dream???

10:55 pm  
Blogger R2B said...

A gift it is Ewen.
Every run is a great run if you take it with a sense of gratitude.

12:59 am  
Blogger Tuggeranong Don said...

So far, so good Ewen with this thing. You've got a great approach to your running, especially when you are in recovery mode.

I was a bit concerned to read about that brown snake as I didn't think they existed down our part of the world. My eyes will be working overtime next time I go running near your place.

2:31 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Great to see you with LL at the track on Thursday. Sounds like you had a lovely run on Tuesday - glad that snake didn't come too near though!!

11:08 pm  
Blogger Hilda said...

How nice to hear you saying things like that. Running is a gift and we should not forget about it :)

2:18 pm  
Blogger Don Juan said...

The cream of the bloggers are all stampeding onto this bovine theme.

9:24 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Nice post Ewen :-)

How good is it to realise what joy there is in running. We tend to take it for granted until something like a stupid injury gets in the way.


PS Some of our fellow blogger's cow jokes are udderly rediculous.

5:12 pm  
Blogger PortRunr said...

I'm a bit behind, but sorry to hear about the continuing calf problem...hope it's healing up for you and you're back out there again soon.

9:43 pm  
Blogger Vicky said...

Thats one thing I'm grateful for not having to worry about when running over here - snakes!! Eeek!

Hope the calf continues to behave itself Ewen and you get plenty more of the pain-free runs in...

Cheers, MAR.

11:39 am  

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