I didn’t run at all last week.
I have been clocking up a steady 15-20 miles a week since the start of the year and now it’s stuttered to nought. The hated question every runner gets “isn’t it bad for your knees?” has finally come to pass and I am suffering, badly. I have what is called runner’s knee, I know right so cliché, or Patellofemoral pain syndrome for those more medically inclined. My knee cap is essentially irritated where it rests on the thighbone. It is a steady dull pain when walking and sitting, that moves to a delightful sharp and shooting pain when I run. Painfully enough to stop me running all together.
I feel like an addict, my body begging to be out there running in the cold sunny days England has been blessed with of late. I had to rest, everyone I spoke to told me the same; “better to not run now then not reach the start line”. Brain wins over body and the running ban has come into force.
But this immobility I’ve been shackled with has come with more than just a loss of mileage, it also came with doubt. I am two months into a year long challenge and yet my body has begun to crumble, have I taken on too much? This doubt became crippling and I found it hard to talk about the challenge for fear I wouldn’t be completing it. It even affected my buying habits. This week I bought my flights to San Francisco for the marathon there at the end of July, I had planned to stop off somewhere on route for cheaper flights and a bit of adventure but instead I booked direct, why? Fear of injury. I was scared that come race day I would get injured and a return flight with a change or stop over could be disastrous. I pictured myself hobbling as fast as my broken body could go, across a foreign airport, missing my connection.
I know that as soon as I am back running again these fears will fall away and that injury is just a part of taking on such a huge challenge, but it still eats away at my newly built confidence. I am running today with knee supports, a new running fuel, and a newly built playlist to celebrate being back. I just hope that the road and my knees get on a little better from now on.