There has been a number of posts where people ask about niggles and injuries and I have certain qualifications on that front that some may find useful. If bored with nothing to do, you may as well read my long-ish post. Enjoy!
1. Why initial lifestyle change?
On the outset all looked fine. I never had issues with any excess weight, always exercised albeit only at home with weights, watched my diet, life was fun.......except l enjoyed it a bit too much. Let's just explain it with appropriate lifestyle l led at the time. Music & very late nights. For decades.
A single visit to A&E in the back of a speeding ambulance, Doc asking questions, tubes attached, lights blinking, consciousness leaving, beep machines beeping, fear of dying creeping in, and the tests which weren't complimentary, prompted an imminent change. Blood pressure was up a lot, stroke history in the family and l was medicated. The Fun Left The Building. Or so l thought....
2. What did the Doc advise?
Soo. I had to take up proper cardio exercise. Cancers sticks, booze and l sadly went separate ways on that lovely afternoon while having a doctor probing me and pointing light to my scared face.
a) Cycling? What? In London? You're kidding me, mate. I said l wanted to live!
b) Swimming? Yeah, maybe. My kid does that in a serious way but l enjoy open sea swim only and, again, l live in London... Pool? Nah. Don't like crowds and lanes. Boring.
c) Gym? Whaaa? No, no and nope! No gym, no Sky news, no aircon and no 'that' music.
d) Well, how about running then? Running? Hmm. I did run before, l was alright at school. Tall, slim kid, good at 1500m and 3000m, before l discovered rockin' bands and fun. Alright then, l last ran in 1982 so let's give it a shot.
3. Why didn't I ask for any advice?
Well, l ran before, didn't l. I 'knew' things. I went to a shop and asked for cheap black shoes to complement my all black gear. Image, innit. Looking cool.
What about gait analysis? You what? Ain't paying for that, mate.
Why didn't you ask two of your marathon running friends for tips? 'cause they run marathons. I only want to jog around Dulwich Park. With squirrels and funny looking dogs. And rats.
And what about this Forum? Ah, too many words, and, as l said, l only want to jog.
And jog l did. Discomfort in my spine, hips, thighs, knees, calves and ankles was immediate. Teething problems. Into the second week l ditched the program, l knew better, and was soon running 30min 5K. Discomfort increased. I then, check this out, decided to skip the rest day. That was it. The left knee gave in mid run. Could hardly drive home. Fast forward to the following morning, the knee ballooned, searing pain that ignored pain killers, sheer agony.
A GP gave me a referral to see a physio but 'could take months'. Cue googling for a physio or an osteopath in my area. To cut it short, l found both, they fixed me, it took a while, months, at times two visits per week, £40 each pop, and yes, they also take American Express. Madness.
5. Second attempt
Months later, healed, l was ready for the second go. This time l will follow the C25K book and won't stray. Errrm, to an extent, I won't. Gait analysis and proper shoes? Nope, too expensive, and l only got injured because l pushed it too hard. Riiight......
6. Graduation injury
Discomfort immediately resurfaced but not as bad as before because l took it easy. Discomfort persisted and got worse. I carried on. Discomfort became occasional pain. Still, I went on.
5 January 2017, The Graduation Run. Beads of sweat on my forehead but not because l was running 5k below 30min but because of pain in my ankle. Got home and my wife immediately spotted that my right ankle was the size of a newborn child.
Repeat. Credit cards, physio, firm, narrow treatment table and paying for Trudy's new car deposit. And we weren't even lovers. I seriously considered changing careers and becoming a physio, there's some wicked money in that game.
Oh, and l was out, off running, for three months.
And then she asked me if I'd seen a sports specialist who would also recommend the shoes. Gait analysis. I then remembered IannodaTruffe posts and advise. ''There is a very good one, here's the number, he's not cheap but knows his stuff. Former pro runner''.
Did l feel stupid? Did my arrogance evaporate? Did humility kick in? What do you think?
7. Gait analysis, great shoes
The session took an hour. The guy knew his chops. I did a hamster run on his treadmill and around the lab, and the man showed me the results. I was an unmitigated rack. Body utterly unaligned, feet were s mess, l was a sorry sight. A marionette in a harlequin's outfit. If l were a horse they would have had me shot there and then, in the yard behind the clinic.
8. Third attempt
New shoes. New exercises in place. Proper regime. Hydration. Sleep. Everything proper. Fear of another injury.
The first run was sensational. For the first time there was no pain, no strain, great comfort. You know when an arrogant idiot feels stupid? That's how l felt.
Every subsequent run was revelation. No pain. No discomfort. I finally got it.
Arrogance and stubbornness, not listening, ignoring logic and common sense helped me discover patience, open mindedness and humility. The hard way. I discovered running and better life. I value what others say more than ever. And l ain't even religious!
Anyone can get injured but at least you can try and be as careful as possible. I had a minor Achilles strain recently as l was working my way up from 10K to 21K but this time l knew what to do. Trudy gave me more advise and exercises and l was fine in no time. I also went back to the lab and got myself a pair of walking trainers with great support, just in case. I walk a lot anyway.
Respect yourself and listen to your body. Don't ignore warning signs and do read what experienced guys say on this forum and beyond. Don't push yourself silly, you're not a trained, Olympic, 21 year old athlete. You are here to enjoy yourself, get fit and healthy and stay that way & injury free.
And for God's sake, don't follow a 53 year old idiot's path to injuries that he so carelessly designed.
All the best & stay well!
nb: Oh, and my physio referral, requested by the GP came through 7 (seven) months later. Lol. Would have been quicker to amputate the leg.