Chapter 5: Let’s talk about knees, on a knee to know basis!

When you see someone effortlessly running at the side of the road, to the novice like myself, it’s easy to conclude their journey to that level of fitness was without pain and challenge. Looking retrospectively at my journey, I can honestly tell you this is probably not the case.

I have just one thing to say that I’m sure many others will sympathise with – knees! They hurt like hell. They creak and click and refuse to bend. Sometimes they are an absolute nightmare, well they are to me anyway. I’ll give you an example.

On my fifth outing, my sister called and asked if I wanted to go for a run to put my parents bin out. They were on holiday and we are dutiful children.

My parents live in the next village. I’ve high-5’d their village sign on a couple of occasions previously, but it’s a big village and they live at the other side of it at the top of a hill.

We set off with a couple of the children in tow. Their speed was fast and they took great delight in telling me I was not. Sis was doing her swift sheepdog manoeuvre, rounding me up to keep me going. The hills were steep and I have to admit to ‘jeffing’ up a couple of them and telling the others to run ahead.

It took us a while but we made the first half of the run. I grasped the opportunity to get my breath back by sitting in a garden chair whilst simultaneously making myself feel useful by directing sis with bin moving instructions.

We then embarked on the two mile journey home. Thank goodness it was all downhill!

I looked like a sunburnt tomato when I got home, absolutely shattered and sweating profusely. I collapsed on the sofa and checked the run. We’d done a slow 4miler, I was elated!

But here came the challenge. I wanted a shower so tried to head upstairs. How difficult could it be? Harder than anyone could imagine. The knees had gone on strike; worse still they’d packed their bags and gone to Spain, leaving me stranded at the bottom of the stairs. I was in agony and found myself being forced to embrace an upward slug movement to get up the stairs and across the landing just to get to the bathroom. After making some involuntary yelps of pain, I eventually made it to the shower and once in blasted the hottest possible water on the spot where my knees once were in the hopes the heat would encourage them home. It did absolutely nothing.

Good grief, what had I done to myself in the name of the looming charity 5k race? Was this pain really worth it? It’s a great feeling when you’ve finished a run but the before, during, and after are an absolute nightmare.

It took 3 days for the pain to start to subside, but the question is, would I put those old trainers back on and try again?

To be continued…..

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