Confessions of a Recovering Runaholic: Shooting for a 10K race
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been running again. My hip didn’t cope with a 5km run early in the piece so I’ve been keeping to a maximum of 4km every second day. My plan to run a half marathon by October 12th, for the Melbourne Marathon, was officially dashed, and for a while it seemed like even the 10K was off the cards.
But this week, after cruising easily through my 2.5 min intervals, I did some calculations and decided that the 10K might actually be possible. 10K would be highly symbolic to me as this is the mileage I frequently ran prior to injuring my hip; being able to run a 10K easily would mean that I was back to where I started off, but with better biomechanics in my hip. (My physio seems to enjoy giving me new and harder exercises to do every time I see him; I am literally working my butt off!)
So yesterday I took off for a 5.5km run and it felt WONDERFUL. I sprinted like a little lamb while listening to a podcast of neuropsychologist Adele Diamond talking about how exercise benefits executive cognitive function. What a brilliant way to get me into flow – the state of complete engagement, when you lose all sense of time (in a good way). I woke up to a reasonably happy hip and am planning a 6km run tomorrow, then an 8km two days after that. If my hip holds out for the 8K, I’ll be at that 10K race start line on October 12th for sure.
Aiming for a concrete goal has boosted my mood significantly. I have to admit that I was finding the steady 4km plod boring. But with a goal in sight, I’m more energised, focussed and enthusiastic. I feel alive. But this time it’s tempered with a great deal of good sense. If my hip complains at the 7km mark, I won’t be pushing it on race day. I’m happy enough to be out there and running again. The eight-week quarantine I endured was enough to knock this sense into me.
But do me a favour. Don’t mention it to my physio until after race day, ok? ;)