Back after a 7 year hiatus!

After a 7 year hiatus my blog is back!  Shortly after my last blog post I pretty much gave up running altogether and led a fair sedentary lifestyle.  Bit by bit I was putting on weight and over the course of the last few years I had put on around 26 pounds.  Hardly earth shattering but it was a slippery slope that was only going to get worse.

In 2012 I joined a gym and my fitness gradually improved although any running I did was on a treadmill but it is no substitute to ‘proper’ outdoors running.  This I found to my cost at the end of 2012 when I decided to run the Wheaton Aston 10k.  In the gym I could do 10k in around 40mins (bearing in mind my PB in 2008 was 34.30 outdoors), but in the actual race I thought I might be able to do around 38 mins.  In reality it was a painful slog after only a few km with people passing me all over the place and ended up finishing in 40.50 – my slowest ever 10km by some margin, including when I began to take up running for the first time in 2006 when I did 38.00.  It clearly showed how much residual fitness I had lost.  I then didn’t renew at the gym and my lack of fitness continued.

In 2013 I moved house and in December that year I decided to start running again.  After only a few short runs something went in the ball of my left foot resulting in excruciating pain.  This pain existed for the next few months and has pretty much continued to exist ever since even in normal daily life.  I eventually went to the doctor who referred me to a physio and I had a MRI scan.  It would appear I have acute sesamoiditus but also interesting I have two bones on one side where I should have one.  The solution proposed to me was an insole to try and take the weight off the affected area a little.  To be honest it hasn’t worked and I haven’t been back to the clinic since.

As a result on my injury I continued with my sedentary lifestyle up to March of this year when for some reason I decided to stop the slippery slope and start running again.  I suppose one of the reasons why I have found it hard to restart running is because I knew I’d never get to the same level again and partly because of knowing how much of a hard slog it is to get fit.  That said my motivations have changed somewhat compared to 2008 as I now just want to get fit and lose some weight.

My first run I remember well.  I was blowing after only 200 metres and couldn’t believe how unfit I had become.  I knew it was going to be bad but this bad?!  I think I struggled round and managed to do a couple of miles.  Since March things have gradually improved – my foot problem continues to remain in the background though.  Over the last 6 months my weight has dropped back down to where it was more or less as it was in 2008 although my pace is considerably slower now.   It is difficult to say what level I’m at but I reckon it is at or around 39 min pace for 10k.  I’m only running 4 times a week at the moment, a 5.9km, two 8.8km and a longer 11.3km route.  By historic levels 39 min pace is still slower than my first ‘benchmark’ race I did after starting running in 2006 but at least I had some residual pace back then!

For a while I’ve been wanting to do my first ‘proper’ race and what better than one that is local to me – the Tamworth 10km that is this weekend.  I hope for 38 mins, expect 39 and a disaster will be 40+ mins. It will be very interesting to see how I do!

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