Training was going well.
Training has temporarily stopped.
The week started well, if modestly, with a 20 minute jog around the village where I live. I had waited until my husband returned from work at about 5 o’clock, and having bought myself a headtorch and luminous vest (I kid you not… there are no pavements or lights where I live) I set off, complete with iPod, with the plan of jogging or walking quickly to the top of the hill where my village begins. It wasn’t until I was about a quarter of the way up the hill and the cluster of houses ended that I realised exactly how dark it is where I live. As the inefficiency of my headtorch became clear, I immediately recalled every nightmare I have ever had (strangely the dream I had had the very night before was about a serial killer), every Crimewatch programme which my brother videotaped (bit weird eh?), and every episode of Miss Marple I have ever seen. I freaked myself out within seconds and had no choice but to turn round, convinced that pairs of eyes were watching me from every bush. I then spent the next 20 minutes looking like a bit of an oddball by running up and down the same stretches of roads in the village where there was a small amount of light from the houses.
Still, I enjoyed the run and felt good after it. The rest of the week I spent time each day on my stepper machine, which was bought for me by my husband for Christmas (on my request!) . I increased the time by a minute each day and am currently doing a comfortable 15 minutes. I also did my workout DVD on one day. So far so good.
Until Saturday. I decided to go for another jog, before dark this time, and increasing to 30 minutes. This time I made it half way up the hill before taking a turn to a nearby village. Again I enjoyed the jog and came home feeling good. However, I have a weak knee, which I have previously dislocated many times. It makes the most disgusting, creaking, decrepitus sound when I bend it. I had physiotherapy on it earlier this year and although my physio was confident I would be able to jog on it in time, until this point I haven’t tried. Needless to say I woke up on Sunday with a very painful, stiff and slightly swollen knee, which I have had to strap up all day. I am cross with myself… I just need to accept that I can’t run anymore, even though I enjoy it, as it is just too high impact. I am hoping that after a couple of days of rest I will be able to start using my stepper again and will gradually strengthen the muscles around the knee to ensure there are no further injuries. It’s a bit of a blow in my first week and I just hope that it feels better quickly.
I was reminded this week how good outdoor exercise is for my mood. It is a cliché and is very hard to remember when you’re out of the habit of exercising and when you’re feeling low anyway. I am very much in the ‘crawl under the blanket’ team, but I have been prompted to remember that peeling yourself away from the blanket and the cup of tea and forcing yourself outside for some deep breaths of fresh air really is a good tonic. Easier said than done, and it is certainly not as simplistic as providing a magic cure for depression… but it does help.
I watched a programme this week on BBC 4 about Scafell Pike. It gave me some inspiration – the setting is so stunning and the challenge of climbing it, as well as the rewards of the views from the top, is an exciting prospect. I watched the short interviews with people who had climbed to it’s top and I thought to myself – “well, THEY’VE all managed it, they don’t look super ultra fit and if they can do it then I can too.” However I then helpfully remembered that when I have got to the top of Scafell Pike, I will still have 3 more mountains to climb.
My fundraising total has increased this week to £1155 after my husband posted the link to my fundraising page on his band’s Facebook page and some generous people donated. The donations have definitely slowed down – not surprising in January – but I have some thoughts up my sleeve and have increased my target to £1500, which I feel is doable by May. The landlady of my local pub has kindly said I can put a collection tin on the bar which I will do.
So… next week’s theme will be gently does it, and not trying to run before I can walk… literally. My Mum and Dad are coming down on Thursday so I can do a decent walk with my Dad while Mum gets a bit of quality grandchild time.
Until next week…