Rick’s Month in Running – May ’23
Looking at where you were a year ago is something you probably do with other aspects of life, not just running. Of course, it’s not always positive. But most of the time when we look back it’s because there is somewhere we want to go, or we are pleased with somewhere we arrived.
One year ago I’d just had a high-tibial Osteotomy. It’s the type of surgery you’d look away from when watching The Good Doctor. There’s a lot of sawing. After eight months on crutches, I finally did a first run with Sarah at Christmas, now I’m back running weekly, competing with myself and silently others, on a Saturday morning. With a push, I’ll race again in September. It’s been steady progress. I do three strength sessions in the gym a week, with six exercises at a time. I don’t do long gym sessions. The short, sharp variable exercises keep it interesting. I used to hate the gym in the way I disliked rubbery green beans, but now I love the gym like I admire triple cheeseburgers. I’ve started getting a post-gym glow like the post-run glow, albeit with a slightly less pink face.
Of course, I know now that my gym sessions keep my body together. They are like a constant MOT check that fixes and corrects my leg muscles as they weaken and tear as my new leg shapes with all its metal. In the last month, it has now gone from rehab to conditioning; just recently – after 18 months – I was discharged from my physio. It was bittersweet, I am on the next stage of my journey. I’m nowhere near as fast as I was pre-osteotomy, I don’t know if I will ever hit the top numbers in races again. But I know I’ve got somewhere in this long recovery I could not see one year ago. I could only see the end of my bed and hopefully a life of walking with reduced or little pain. A year on, most days are completely pain-free and I run a little, hopefully more. So I’m cock-a-hoop.
Of course, when people think of a quadruple set of single leg presses or 20 prone leg curls it’s understandable that whacking on a pair of trainers and heading out the door for a run is the easy option, yet strength work will change your running. There are no figures on how many runners do it, one study from Boston suggests maybe 12%, but it’s not just the repetitive “it will reduce your risk of injury” chat. It actually helps your running speed and changes your core. I get fewer back issues than I did a couple of years ago too. It all means I ran a post-injury PB at Birkenhead Parkrun last week. What a parkrun that course is – my god the turns – you need to be a ballet dancer to pirouette around those bins.
It was so good to meet so many of you at our pop-up shop at the Marathon in London last month. So many good vibes and tunes in that place. The highlight had to be when a new finisher came in and we gave them a big cheer at the door. Thanks for all the kind words about the TRC podcast. It’s so much fun to make. We definitely want to do more live shows so we’ll see if we can make that happen.
Now, go do some calf raises in the shower.