It has been a couple weeks since my pneumonia / blood infection fiasco that – annoyingly – kept me from running my first ultra. I’ve spent that time doing very little, trying to allow my body time to rest and properly recover. I gradually introduced some breathing exercises, some walking, a short hike, and finally a bit of easy cycling.
Then I went for my first run.
I went for an easy 6.4k. My legs felt like dead weights, but I suppose that’s to be expected after sitting on my arse for so long? I was pleased that my breathing and heart felt normal, so I took some confidence from it. Rather than the physical, the mental side of things is more of a challenge.
Since leaving hospital, I’ve been hyper-aware of my throat, lungs, and personal health stuff generally. It all started with this innocuous scratchy throat which felt like any other mild cold-like symptom before it all went quickly downhill. So before my run, all these irrational “what ifs” started ping-ponging around my mind… like, what if my last run was what triggered everything? and so on. The running, of course, was not the cause of the infection. The doctor said so. The doctor also credited my quick recovery to the fact that I had been doing so much running in the first place.
Though once I started running, the irrational negativity quickly dissipated. Running has a way of doing that. I loved the feeling of the fresh air on my face. The birdsong. How my normal route was comfortably familiar yet all different with the fresh riotous greens of spring. All the friendly dog walkers and cyclists along the John Muir Way.
So back at it! I only stopped running for two weeks, but it’s become such a part of my routine that running again made me realise how much I missed it. On the other hand, not running for a couple weeks has helped me remember that running is undeniably brilliant, but it’s not the only thing I enjoy. Slowing down was good. I did a lot of reading. Walked. Took photographs. All good stuff. Ultramarathon training gave me tunnel vision at times, running and the upcoming race was everything.
I set a date for running an ultramarathon. 20 May will be my ‘Great Solo Skidaddle’ because I missed the Great Tartan Skidaddle. Felt like I had to do it, one way or another!