Before I got married and had kids, I used to love running. I always wanted to try and run a Marathon. I loved the cold, the headspace, the freedom. I loved it. However, after doing a half-marathon back over 10 years ago now, I soon realised I would never do it again or run further than that! I suffered a lot with my IT bands and used to get the classic “runner’s knee”. This was pain at the sides of my knees and would be relieved by stopping and stretching but would always come back again when I overdid it. With that and a meniscal tear back in 2012 on my honeymoon and surgery, I kind of thought my running days were over. Surgery isn’t necessarily an end to running though. I know there are plenty of women that jog with breast implants or after having c-sections, so I wanted to see what I was capable of.
I could still run for short periods of time in the gym and during classes I would be fine but long-distance I just never really tried again. Until the second lockdown in early 2021. I’m not sure what made me start again. The gyms were closed but during the first lockdown, I had never ran. Sometimes I wonder if it was the colder weather and I’m not a fan of running in the heat.
So I ran again. I ran with a gym friend in the park until the gyms opened and then on and off again alone. Then towards the back end of last summer, I roped my best mate in to start getting fit again and helped her start the couch to 5km. Then I met another school Mum who loved to run and started going with her once a week or so. Now I feel I run more than I gym but it’s definitely different to 10 years ago!
This is what I have learnt since getting back into running:
Things I Have Learnt Since Getting Back Into Running
– I actually don’t like going alone as much which is bizarre now as I always ran alone. It’s great having the music and headspace but I find I can’t get my pace right. I end up being more tired and always stop after 5km. I much prefer to go with my friends now (mainly as I can talk) but their motivation makes me go and run further.
– My hips are lower back ache (and the knees now and then). The joys of getting older and having 3 children and I have certainly suffered more since having the little man. If I run too many days in a row or too far, I ache a lot. I know I need to start stretching more and I’m hoping to start building in a stretching routine each day (she says).
– My max is definitely a 10km. I’ve done a couple of 10ks since getting back into running and I know body-wise it is my limit, even though fitness wise I think I could go further. My runners-knees start playing up and I know I do need to stop. It is what it is and I’m just grateful to be running again.
– My pelvic floor is not what it used to be (oops). Some days I am fine, others dire. I think it depends on the time of the month, so I’ve invested in some Tena thins and they are great!
– I can’t run with ear buds. I want to but I just can’t. They are cool and they are current but they move in my ears and made a funny sound as I run. I’ll be sticking with my cables for running and my buds for the weights in the gym!
– You can’t use the same running trainers you have had for 5 years. Yes you read right. My old running trainers are smelly, old and I am dying to get another gait analysis and get another decent pair. It is on the list of jobs to do.
– I’m scared of the ice. I used to go out in all weathers and not care at all but I’m like some old woman tip toeing across the road in the icy days, in case I slip and break a bone. I guess I’m pushing 40 now!
– I have to run so early. 6am was probably some mystical time in the middle of the night before kids but now I can be out the door at 5.45am to run 2-3k before my mate joins me. My past self is probably thinking I’m insane but it’s the perfect time! Quiet, cold and all done by 6.30am usually!
– I need it. Before I didn’t. It was something I just did but now since having kids and waaaay less time, I need it. I’m moody without going during the week. I like to escape, see my friends and just run. I miss it a lot when ill or when I had Covid. I don’t have to run even 5km or go really fast. I just like to get out.
– I need to keep doing leg strengthening exercises. I’ve found I definitely need to keep up with the leg exercises in the gym. Squats, deadlifts and lunges. This can help to support my hips and knees as strengthens the muscles. When I ran before I used to regularly go to Body Pump classes so was often doing that. Now I need to make some time.
I’m really hoping to keep running a firm part of my exercise regime. It’s fun, it’s social and it really keeps me fit.
If you are thinking about running, definitely give it a go!