Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Crippled Cheetahs

Delhi HalfA couple of weeks ago I posted that I’d been out for my first run since a series of badly pulled muscles in my back wiped me out for several months. You’ll have noticed a lack of follow up posts. The day after, my back spasmed again, and I was back to square one.

In that spirit, I write warily that yesterday I was back out again. An early morning jog, for a couple of miles (a bit less actually – I have The Fear now), I could feel my back complaining for the rest of the day, especially in those weak areas that have pulled this year, but everything held together. Today, things have been fine.

I clearly need to build up some strength. The problem with being forced to rest for months is that the muscles wither. I was having to be so careful that it’s all weaker than it’s ever been. I figure the best way to build up strength is just to do stuff, but very carefully. Another jog tomorrow morning, then.

I hope to god it holds up, and I can get back into things. The difference yesterday’s run, brief though it was, made to my mood and outlook was just insane. If you were here for Friday’s Freelance Leap post, you’d have been mad not to sense that I was feeling more than a little overwhelmed. One run, and that’s gone. The mood has continued into today, though I’m already itchy to get out again. I’m a different person.

Basically, running keeps me sane. Take that away, and I slowly sink into what can only be described as depression. Frustration eats me up, and lethargy lets it. Everything feels like a struggle.

When I’m running, everything is possible again.

It’s increasingly difficult to believe that I ran a marathon six months ago. I’m not the only one suffering. Andy, Steph and I were chatting yesterday, about what we want to run this year. After Mumbai in January it all seemed pretty clear – we’d do the same again – the Delhi half at the end of this year, and a marathon (probably Mumbai, possibly Tokyo) at the start of next. Six months on, and what seemed like business as usual feels like a mountain to climb. Steph’s knee has never quite recovered from last year’s injury (a dislocated kneecap – she actually ran the marathon on it, and still beat me), while Andy has his own spinal issues that have flared up. Nat-the-boy tore his Achilles heel earlier this year, and when I last saw him a couple of weeks ago was still in a support boot. That’s more than half of the Chanakyapuri Cheetahs in one form of trouble or another. Nat-the-girl (no longer in India, but coming back for the Delhi half) appears to be in good shape, as is Chris. Tommy is more difficult to judge – his race training tactic is to do next to no training until the last minute, then deliver an ace time anyway, so it’s hard to judge.

We have tried to ignore the fact that four of seven marathoners now have injuries relating to the bits of their body needed to run for long distances, but it’s difficult to wholly disregard the stats. Running marathons may not be very good for you…

Rather than putting me off, this just makes things a bit more challenging.

That’s running for you.

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