The lovely story of a Born Again Runner

Before I share with you this lovely, happy come-back post, I owe our guest blogger, the lovely Kathakoli Dasgupta, a HUGE apology.

Katha sent me this from-the-heart account of returning to running from injury more than a week ago.  And I just sat on it.

Inexcusable.

Sorry, my dear, but the delay does not in any way reduce the impact of your blog for us.

So, apologies proffered, let’s listen to British-based Katha’s story 🙂

I did my first 10k/race today since I broke my foot in May.

But I had probably lost my love of running before that.

I thought the 4 month’s break from running (while I recovered from the fractures) would help. So I expected a runner’s high when I did my first post fracture run in Spain. I didn’t then. But I found my mojo back two weeks ago I went out without my Garmin expecting to do a short run before an abs session. Instead I ran and ran and ran. I finally got into that ‘mental running zone’ and boy it felt good—just like before. Since then I have enjoyed every run I have done, a couple of times with my triathlon group, but mostly on my own, mostly Garmin free.

I ran without a Garmin today too, because I just wanted to enjoy the run. And I did—every minute of it.

And seeing my support, my husband at the finish line (having finished his race probably 20 minutes prior) encourage me, I managed my usual sprint finish too.

These are the lessons I have learnt over the years, especially after the fractures. They have helped me rediscover the joys of running after what has been a year of false starts.

Don’t skip strength training. All those squats and lunges definitely help to power up those muscles you need to run. These, together with core training have helped me to keep the post run soreness at bay, which was putting me off running.

Dynamic stretches to warm up before a session and cool down stretches after also help with recovery.  I have learnt the hard way to stop skipping these.

Cross training helps too. I ran every day for 200 days (a feat I completed in 2015). While it helped then to discipline me into exercising daily, by the end of it, I knew the pitfall was boredom. Challenging myself with doing a triathlon and learning to play tennis help to break up the training for me.

Find the right shoe(s). I used to be kitted out by Nike. Besides when I took up running there weren’t too many running shoe brands most of us had access too. I remained a Nike loyal until a few weeks ago when my husband’s cousin suggested OnCloud (OC) to help cushion my feet. I have never felt happier running in any shoe like I do in these. In fact, I may just owe getting my running mojo back to these. There is probably a perfect match for your feet on a shelf somewhere, go find them.

Don’t be foolish. Don’t run if you don’t feel ready or if the conditions are treacherous. Even though I had set myself the Wesham 10k goal in order to get back to running, I had also told myself I wouldn’t run if the conditions were icy—like last year. I would have done a 10k sometime today, but not the race itself.

But saying that, also accept the crazy. Runners are a loony bunch.

So keep the streak of madness alive to enjoy your run in every condition. We were pelted by hailstones 10 minutes after the start of the race and then again half way. I found myself breaking into a laugh—even as I watched my feet.

Just got the results: 60 mins 36 seconds. Thrilled to bits. I really wasn’t expecting it. I thought I probably did it in 63 mins and would have been extremely happy with it. Dave did it in 43:36, just 36 seconds more than his PB.

(Above) This was around 8K when I got quite emotional.

Just to give you an idea of the conditions, below:

Katha, that is SUCH a lovely post, and well done on such a great time, after months of injury.

And, despite being English – you can keep that weather!!  Ugh!

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