Thursday, November 01, 2007


My whole body aches today. All of it: shoulders, back, upper arms, feet. All, bizarrely, except my knees. Those knees that have been holding me back, somehow, for about five years now. More than the knees though - the creaking, the locking - has been my head. I've been using treadmills because I thought they would be better for me, yet I think they've been worse. Because I've fixated on the figures up and invariably tried to go too fast, and my knee has started locking at somewhere around two-and-a-half miles. I've been expecting to fail at a certain point and speed.

But I let myself listen to TOH and go slowly, without a watch (although, of course, I checked TOH's at the end), just going comfortably. We overtook some, got overtaken by many, and my flat-footed running style wasn't pretty (I really don't raise my knees at all). This was an exercise in both trusting someone else and trusting my body without the bleeping and LEDs.

So yesterday's near five-miler was a triumph. Without knowing time or distance I managed it. Not quickly - probably just under ten minutes per mile. Not without pain or difficulty - my knees creaked a lot early on, got better, but were, well, unhappy towards the end, but they got me through.

I have friends running marathons, qualifying for Boston (8:23s the whole way), doing triathlons and winning for their age groups, or even just managing to do the whole 26 and some miles. This is not heroic, or even that impressive. But it was exciting. And fulfilling. Let's hope it's not another five years before I run that far again.


wind-up-bird said...

I think that really is an accomplishment, though. Is is, as you say, about trusting your body, and respecting it enough to push it towards what's good for it. It was your own personal marathon.

I sound like a self-help book, but you know what I mean...

pumpkin said...

Sometimes self-help books... well, it's annoying that they've cornered the market in emotional and "personal growth" dialogue, that's all, which makes us all sound like Dr Fricking Phil.

But I appreciate it particularly coming from someone who has suffered more than her fair share of physical pain and understands it.