I’ve been reflecting on how rebuilding our new house has followed a very similar path to my own rebuilding and acted as a solid lesson in how to go forwards.
We love our new house and can’t wait to move into it. When we bought, it the survey came back really encouraging (the surveyor speaking about how solidly built it had been) and so when it came to renovating the house we were confident that it wouldn’t be too tricky and nothing too unpleasant would be uncovered. The truth is that the more we have done, the more we discovered and the more that we have needed to do – culminating in above, rebuilding half the upper wall, hopefully this will be the last big surprise that we have to face, but it may not be.
Where it really has mirrored my running and general fitness / wellness is in the need for patience, time and letting things appear, be uncovered, and be fixed. I realised this around 2 months ago. It struck me that in the previous 18 months I had managed no more than 8 weeks of unbroken running before something else cropped up. I kept managing to trick myself nothing was really wrong as I’d run something OK – or train well for a few weeks. The reality from the beginning of this year was like my house I kept uncovering new issues and bodging any sort of repair job (leading to something else breaking down). Mainly as I wanted to let race dates dictate my running and partly as I didn’t really engage with what was wrong.
When I stepped away from the need to let races dictate my return (around early June) I felt a sense of relief and a renewed sense of purpose. Like my house I could and should focus on letting whatever wasn’t working be fixed – notwithstanding some aches and pains – and slowly allow everything time to improve.
I’m a month in from this – my running feels good. I was pleased I had an aching tibialis posterior at the beginning of the month as it forced me to keep slow and not push. I’m really aware of the gentle throb in my right heel, the achilles insertion that was the straw that broke the camels back. It’s been reducing and reducing to barely a murmur now, but a murmur I’m grateful for as it reminds me that too much, too soon is going to end in tears. I’m well aware that I’ve had 4 weeks of improved running and want this to carry on past the end of August, and not end in breakdown so am carefully planning when and how I exercise. I’ve planned in strength that I’ve done – I can feel the benefit that this has had, alongside the work that I’ve done on the bike. I’m looking at the balance of bike work to running as I increase running.
All like my house, I’m rebuilding with care and consideration and hoping that I can reach my target of 6 months of injury free running between now and the end of December.
This means no Nepal 10 day race and no London marathon (well very doubtful and certainly not raced) but it does mean I’m a lot happier and at this point a lot more confident that I will reach 6 months of pain free running. I like the balance of certainty in the date and uncertainty in the month to month of will I get there.
Like my house (although not quite as old) I am older and have layers of training on top of imbalance and some poor movement patterns. Like my house I need time, care and patience. Like my house if I do the work well I will be in a fine place.