5 in5 for Mind – Challenge Update – Running Injury Blues.

Unfortunately (as some of you will already be aware), I’ve had to postpone my #5in5formind marathon challenge, again!  This time it’s because of an injury to my achilles.

It’s been about a month now, and originally, I thought it was just my calf muscle, but as time went by it became evident that the problem was bigger than that.  This is the first week that I’ve been able to run properly, managing 14km on Wednesday; the good news is that the achilles seems to be holding up nicely, which it needs to, because I’m running the Milton Keynes marathon on Sunday 27th June! 

The whole injury experience had a huge effect on my mood, much more than I thought it would.  I knew that running was important to me because I’d struggled during lockdown, when there were restrictions on the number of times you could leave home.

This time the frustrations had a much bigger impact; I’ve spent most of the year running in the cold, battling the wind and the rain, longing for the summer to arrive, and when it finally did, I was laid up with a bum ankle!  It was really hard seeing others out running; I wanted to be out there enjoying the warmth and the sunshine.

It also meant that I didn’t achieve the goal of running 150 miles every month this year.  I managed 75 miles for May, but June is a right-off. 

I really struggle with what I perceive to be a failure, my life feels like I’m constantly on a high tightrope with a huge drop either side, and it doesn’t take much to push me off the line.  I know it sounds very over dramatic, but that’s how my mind works; with depression and anxiety you can be on a high one day and then rock bottom the next, it’s that fragile.

I can use logic to reason with myself, but the impact can go beyond reason.  I know I’m not invincible, and that things can crop up that derail even the best laid plans, but to another part of my brain it’s a catastrophic disaster.

Let’s try and see if there is a positive in the situation?

I’m a big believer in the body’s ability to say when it needs rest, and maybe that’s what has happened here; I’ve been pushing it, and up until now, I’ve had no injuries and maybe got a bit complacent?  Maybe my body has pulled on the handbrake?

I can still do the 5in5 challenge, just at another time, so it’s not quite the disaster that my brain perceives it to be.

I spend a lot of my time panicking about time, it’s my constant enemy.  I panic about not having enough time to do things, and I find changes in schedules difficult, especially when they’re sudden and out of my control.  Maybe this is my lesson in time management, allowing myself time to rest instead of heaping the pressure on myself; it’s a lesson that things can go wrong, and change happens, no matter how much I try to control it.

That’s enough of me moaning about my ankle; there is some other news to tell you about as well.

In my last update I mentioned I was working with Camilla Holland on nutrition and recovery, which has been really interesting.  Camilla asked me to do a food journal for three days, log my exercise routines (in particular my heart rate), and weigh myself before and after my runs.

It turns out that my diet wasn’t too bad, I just need to increase some things like carbs, protein and essential fatty acids.  She also recommended I take electrolytes which support hydration and help the body produce energy; apparently, they’re also responsible for stimulating muscle contractions.

I’ve also started taking a probiotic, to help support the gut, as well as eating some more fermented foods such as sauerkraut.

The weighing myself before and after my runs was to see how much water I was losing through sweating; I was shocked that after a 29km run I lost on average 1kg of weight!  That’s why it’s important to keep hydrated on runs, especially in the hot weather.

The advice Camilla gave me was specific to my current diet, exercise routine, and bonkers challenges; but it does show that the more exercise you do the more fuel your body needs.  Apparently, a colleague of Camilla’s has created a plan for me which includes cherry juice, for the week before the challenge, so I can’t wait to hear what that is.

It’s not really anything to do with my 5in5 challenge, but I’ve signed up for the Brighton Marathon in April 2020, which is one of my bucket list marathons to do, so I’m excited about that.

I almost forgot to say, the new start date for the 5in5 challenge will be Sunday 22nd August 2021, and it will commence with the Great Hertfordshire AONB Marathon.

Have you decided what challenge you’ll do? With all the delays, I’ve given you enough time to decide, so start getting ready.

That’s it for now, I’ll let you know how I get on at the Milton Keynes marathon next weekend, and keep you updated on progress for the 5in5 challenge.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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