After three months with no running due to a fractured foot, I finally got the go ahead from my specialist to start running again last week. Just in time to participate in the Step Up! Program that my husband and I are running in our business Empowered Health.
The Step Up! Health Empowerment program includes a six week running program from Empowered Running so it was perfect for me to get back into running in a group support and accountability environment.
I have to say when I first saw my program I was a bit disheartened. The very first “run” was a 20 minute session of run 1 minute, walk 1 minute, along with a 5 minute walk warm up and down.
Given that I have run long distance ultramarathons, the thought of going right back to the start was unappealing. In fact I remember my very first “couch to 5k” program back in 2004 and the first session of the first week was pretty much the same and I hadn’t run in 20 years!
But as I thought about it more it started to make sense – maybe a fresh start is exactly what I need…
The reality is that even though I call myself an ultramarathoner, and in the past I have raced distances up to 100 miles, I really haven’t had a race that I have been satisfied with my performance in since UTA100k in May 2015.
Yep, that’s almost 2.5 years!
I can’t believe it’s actually been that long! I had some iron deficiency issues which took a while to sort out, a bad case of flu, plus a few injuries (most of which were not running related!) with the last of them being a fractured 5th metatarsal from misplacing my foot on a step (no I wasn’t drunk!)
Every time I set my sights on another big race it seems something would happen. I would either go into the race injured or undertrained and not perform at my best, end up having to cut short on the course or I would pull out before the start because I didn’t feel able to compete.
And every occassion I just lost a little bit more confidence in my abilities and felt a bit less like the endurance athlete that everyone thought I was.
To the point now where I have to say I feel like a complete fraud, because let’s face it, I am no longer an endurance athlete!
At least not right now.
Doesn’t mean I won’t be again though. I’ve done it before and I know my body will remember what to do eventually. I just need to be patient and build back up slowly – which will be the hardest part of all of this.
I have already set my next goal race (or should I say races) at Buffalo Stampede in six months. Not content to do the 75k ultra as I have already been there done that, so I am going to do the Grand Slam – three races over three days.
It’s tempting for me to start panicking that I don’t have enough time, but I am lucky that my coach did the Slam this year so he knows exactly what I need to do to get through it.
I have my program to follow over the next six weeks, which whilst very basic will ensure that I don’t go overboard and end up with more foot issues. Gently does it!
So I really do feel like today I have drawn a line in the sand and said ENOUGH! It’s time for me to build back up, both my running and my confidence, and become the competitor that I have always wanted to be and that I know is in there somewhere.
I just have to find her.
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