So I've started running again.
If my mother reads this, she will probably freak out. (NOT AGAIN! Didn't you learn your lesson all those other times you tried?!?)
I come from a family of bad knees, caused by ill fitting patellas. I've had runners knee on and off over the years. More seriously, I tore the meniscus in my right knee about 4 years ago- just as I was about to start training to become a Pilates teacher. I travelled to Birmingham for my first weekend of practical training and I could barely walk. I spent almost all my time in my hostel room bed, reading. I took a taxi to the training centre and hobbled about... I felt like such a joke. Fortunately, Pilates can be modified for every injury... it's true! So I was still able to participate the in training that weekend. :-)
But I keep coming back to running. I started when I was in my mid-twenties, off and on until 4 years ago when I truly stopped.
Here's the 2 main reasons why I love running:
I prefer to run outdoors, in a beautiful place. A nice day is even better, but even rain is ok. I've been fortunate to live near beautiful trails and rivers with paths, so I almost always run there. It feels so free in my head when I am jogging outside- I am simply looking at the world, and smelling the scents, and feeling the air on my skin. This picture is from my running route in Norwich, beside the river. So beautiful there. :-)
2. Measured cardio endurance.
I am not a fast runner. Seriously, I am super slow. My crowning achievement was running 5km in 28 minutes. Anyone who runs seriously would laugh at how slow that is! But I measure my time- from my first run wearing old track pants and a t-shirt, armed with a digital watch, I timed how long I could jog without stopping. That first time, I ran 1 minute and walked 1 minute. But the most amazing thing happens when you run and time yourself- you can run for longer EVERY TIME you go out. There's something so satisfying about running for 28 minutes straight when you worked up from 1 minute 6 weeks ago. (Incidentally, I'm only up to 5 minutes right now!)
I am taking it real easy this time around. No pushing too fast and too far without testing out the knee first with short runs. I've been pleased to note that I have no aches in my knee either during or afterwards. I credit this to my recent post-rehab protocols training with Body Harmonics. I took away so much from their hip and knee course, and I created a series of exercises specifically for my knee. Every time I do Pilates, I include about 8 minutes of specific exercises for my knees. So it's ok Mom, this time, I know what I'm doing! Maybe experience and knowledge can conquer all?
Do you love to run? Please share in the comments why you love it! Happy running to you :-)
Diane Archer, Pilates Instructor from the UK now living back in Canada. Blog of tips, thoughts, home challenges.