Chapter 6: Where is your happy running place?

I remember saying after my last run (the one to put the bins out) that I could easily never put my trainers on again. Although my knees had returned home after enjoying a 3 day beach party in Ibiza, they had then sulked with the holiday blues for a further week making the day to day unbearable.

Stairs had been quite a challenge over that time. The upward slug movement had changed to more of a caterpillar slide, and at one stage I’d been climbing and descending stairs at such a slow pace that even a sloth would have given me a run for my money.

For a while I had contemplated on never running again, remembering the severe pain I’d been in. However I’d come so far on this journey in such a short space of time that the devil on my right shoulder wouldn’t let me stop, not yet anyway. I relented and after 2 weeks of serious naval gazing I gingerly put my old trainers on again thinking I’d give it another last gentle go.

Now up until then I’d been running up and down the same B-road between two villages, hiding underneath my cap in the hopes of not being recognised, but this particular weekend we were at our getaway at the coast. It was a nice warm weekend and in this particular coastal town there is a lovely seafront promenade. I thought to myself that if I was going to give this running lark another go, today was the day and this was the place.

So I set off at a gentle pace. My average speed that day was a respectable 11.5minutes per mile and I managed to record a jog/walk of 2.6 miles on #strava which I can honestly say I was really pleased with.

Nothing unusual happened either which was a novelty for me and although it was a hard run especially when I hit a mental running block around the local village hall, it was that day that I discovered my love for running at the coast. For me there is nothing quite like the feeling of freedom you get running along the promenade with the sound of the waves crashing and the seagulls screeching above you. The resting gulls sit peacefully on the sea breakers guiding you on as you plod alongside an almost empty beach.

That day I can honestly say I found my happy running place. This particular run spurred me on to keep trying, at least for a little while longer. I knew my knees would always be a challenge after any run so I dropped a couple of ibuprofen and got on with life. People live daily with much worse pain than this so I wasn’t going to let it stop me yet. The charity 5k race was also now just 2 weeks away and although I’d not yet managed to run that far without stopping, there was no way I was going to let myself and my sponsors down.

If you’re reading my Reluctant Runner blog, I suspect you may be, or may have been, of a similar mindset to myself. You may have already found your happy running place and if so I’d love to hear where it is and what makes it special. But if you haven’t yet, I hope this blog spurs you on to finding it soon.

To be continued…..

Why not visit our Facebook chit chat group? It’s a great community for Reluctant Runners, plodders, jeffers, and elite athletes (although we’ve not got many of those!).

Whichever category you fall into, come and say hello.

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