With last week’s injury woes refusing to fade, working through the week proved to be another tough task.
With my marathon training plan scheduled to commence this week, I was keen to get back out onto the road and start collecting the miles once again. However, with the difficulties of last week in mind, a return to activity, even if gentle, would certainly be running risks.
I ensured I was prepared to combat injury. This week I inserted ‘double-strike’ insoles into my running shoes, designed to absorb further shock from the ground to prevent my ankle from taking any further stress. Alongside that, I’ve welcomed painkillers into my diet, had my running gait analysed, and finally visited an NHS doctor to try and get to the bottom of what has been wrong with my ankle.
While my daringly ginger jog on Tuesday caused slight discomfort, my efforts to recover this week have on the whole been quite positive. My drugged-up ankle is less sore, and my running gait analysis concluded I was ‘perfectly neutral’- so at least there are no form issues or collapsed arches to worry about (yet).
This has certainly been a frustrating experience. I have idly endured almost two weeks of sitting at my laptop furiously surfing the web for a miracle cure which does not exist. I feel however that time, (and a good load of painkillers) may be starting to signal a return to running. Tomorrow morning, I aim to complete a 50 minute easy run, supported by my super shock-absorbing shoes. Earlier in the week I was given a huge boost by my Rainbow Trust fundraising pack arriving in the post, complete with sponsorship forms and a nice vest to wear at Silverstone next month.
It’s incredible though- not just the physical restraints an injury presents, but the mental restraints, too. I have felt a huge slump this week. Not being able to run and experience the ‘runner’s high’ made me feel lazy, unmotivated, and unhealthy. Running increases your appetite after a while, but when you have to suddenly stop running, the increased appetite does not follow and disappear. So I approach the end of this week with a sour, and sugary taste, knowing that I have definitely overindulged. Injury, no matter how serious, sends you down a path of frustration and guilt. I still feel as if I’m grid-locked in an endless road to recovery, but should tomorrow morning go positively, I should be able to return to my training plan next week safely while it’s still in the early stages.
Aside from the dominant topic of injury, it has generally been a successful week of work. I am still up to date on my revision materials, even if it required more of a push than I had at the beginning of this term. I even managed to have an immensely enjoyable lunch with my two closest friends at SOAS, Emilio and Kibo, where our canteen lunches are becoming somewhat of a tradition now. It has been a packed week, a lot has happened.
I realised that last night when I met with my friend Kana and her mother for the first time in a year-two of the kindest and loveliest people I know, but boy was I shot to pieces.
I went to bed that night early, harbouring an inner disappointment that my ability to communicate in Japanese was considerably lacking. Upon reflection, there is so much more I can do to become more proficient in the language I have been self-studying for the past three years. I believe no disappointment or failure is necessarily bad as long as it stimulates you to achieve with even greater success when the next change comes. This was definitely a stimulating disappointment, and one that has pushed me into resuming a more intensive study plan.
And so this term has already revealed its pitfalls, where for the past few weeks, my injured self has been gradually climbing free. Moving forward is paramount, even if you cannot run, or even walk. Whatever occurs, no matter what setback we may face, until the day is done, we just have to keep crawling.