Although I have been unable to run each day this week, I am still really proud to have reached the end of week 2 of RED January by doing a variety of activities. This week I have completed: 7 km running, over 12.5 km walking, 2 km swimming, two water based exercise classes, and did some archery. A rather good effort I think.
Monday started well with my first run of the week and my first attempt at week 4 of the C25K programme. Week 4 ramps up the running part quite significantly with intervals of 3 and 5 minutes running interspersed with 1.5 and 2.5 minutes walking. Despite feeling a bit sore from my exuberant efforts at the weekend, I battled through the pain (awesome running ninja-mum that I am!), limping more and more with each step, and completed the run! Yay! Go me! Week 4 run 1 done!
My excitement was short lived however, as when I stopped running for the cool down walk back home, I found that I physically could not walk, the pain in my glutes was indescribable, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. I hobbled home, wincing with each shuffled step, crawled up the stairs and ran myself a steaming hot bath. Feeling somewhat revived from the bath and medicated with ibuprofen I was at least mobile for the rest of the day.
I realised that I was going to have to take a break from running before I caused myself any lasting damage, and so for the next five days of the challenge I switched to walking and water based activities, ending week 2 with a gentle attempt at running today.
I think there are many lessons resulting from my experience that I need to pay attention to…
- Listen to your body – if something is hurting don’t push on regardless. Pain is a warning, it’s your body is telling you to slow down, rest, take a break.
- Follow the programme – when starting a new sport, build up gradually, follow the programme. If learning to run and the programme says take rest days then do it… your body will not be used to the stresses and strains of using these different muscles and will need time to adjust and recover.
- Tame your inner crazy – that’s the voice in your head that tells you to go at something full pelt until you break (or is this just me?). It’s great that you’re learning a new sport, fantastic that you’re enjoying yourself and absolutely bloody marvellous that you are succeeding! BUT, calm down, slow down, enjoy your achievements and by all means keep going but think Tortoise, slow and steady wins.
I now approach week 3 with a spring in my step, a healthy dose of caution, and a desire to achieve within the limits imposed by my body.