It's been a little while since I popped in here, but as today is noteworthy (for me anyway) I thought I'd make the effort.
Sorry - it's turned into a long one
It was a year ago today that I laced on my first pair of trainers, bought specifically for running, and embarked on Week 1 Run 1. Half an hour(ish) later, struggling for breath and realising just how long a minute is when you're knackered I finished it and so began my C25K adventure.
It wasn't an easy journey, the first week went swimmingly, as did the second up until the last run of the week. Then I did my knee a mischief and spent 3 weeks on the injury couch under the care of a physiotherapist. After that though, I didn't look back and made it all of the way through to the end of week 9 and graduation on November 20th 2014.
Since then I've had ups and downs. I've continued to run at least 3 times a week pretty much every week since. I started attending my local parkrun earlier this year and this past weekend completed my 20th (have actually done 21 but one of them got abandoned when I stopped to help another runner who had had a funny turn). I completed my first parkrun in 38:10 and by June had gotten that down to 34:03.
Back in the spring I decided I wanted to try my hand at running 10K for an event in my home town. The first time I ran the 10K distance felt like such an achievement. Even more so when I did it again a week later and ran it over 3 minutes faster than the first time.
I completed the 10K event back in June and found myself with aspirations of attempting a half marathon - the Oxford Half - in October. I started on a training plan and made it successfully through the first couple of weeks.
Sadly then things started not going so well. I'd had a couple of issues in the build up to the 10K race. Most concerning was a couple of instances of heart palpitations whilst out running. They only lasted a couple of minutes at a time but were still a bit of a worry. Fortunately I got myself checked by the Doctor and have been told it's nothing to be overly concerned about.
The second issue I had was a pain in my right knee whenever it was bent, with weight on my forefoot - like when running up hill or walking up/down stairs. At first it was intermittent, some days it would hurt and others it would be perfectly fine. I decided to see how it went for a while and see if it settled down before seeking the help of my friendly neighbourhood physio.
The last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle. My knee didn't settle down, it of course got gradually worse, to the point where it hurt nearly all the time and negotiating stairs became really troublesome. So I've had to return to the physio and been diagnosed with patellar tendinitis. Fortunately I haven't had to stop running, just the opposite in fact. He has encouraged me to keep running to keep my knee moving, but I've had to avoid hills like the plague. I've also been following a program of single leg squats for the last few weeks to build up my quads and I've had to shelve the plans for the half marathon for now. It seems to be working, the pain in my knee is much less - even non-existent some days.
However just lately, the last few weeks or so, I've really struggled with my running. Despite knowing that I can (and have) run 10K, for some reason I am struggling to run for more than 15 minutes or so at a time. My breathing is fine, for the most part my knee and legs have been fine although there have been a few times when my calves have cramped up. I don't know what it is but after a couple of kilometres or so I can't seem to carry on running without stopping for a break.
It is most frustrating, especially considering how far I have come in the past 12 months. IT's also sapped some of the enjoyment out of running for me recently. Although I am looking forward to my anniversary run tomorrow morning (couldn't go today as it's a rest day). I might go back and try a speedier W1R1 for nostalgia sake.
For anyone just starting out on the C25K journey, have faith in the plan. It really does work. Despite my recent troubles, if I can go from where I was at the beginning to running 10K then anyone can.
Sorry for the long post everyone.