Finally after nearly three weeks of patient cross training in the pool and on my bike I got the all clear from my physio to start running again after my shin-splint problem.
I was very excited to be running again and after a long and careful warm up I set off on a very gentle 3.5 mile run. Now here is where several threads of my recent running past come together. Quick recap – I bought new running shoes not understanding they had changed and were more minimal, got lots of calf pain, went back to old worn out shoes, experienced temporary relief followed by shin splints. Got it? So now I am on my 3.5 mile comeback run wearing brand new running shoes. Not ideal!
Remarkably everything was fine. There were a few aches and pains but nothing I wouldn’t expect after a run in new shoes. Being cautious I took a rest day before repeating the exercise. A careful warm up and another very easy 3.5 mile run – but this one was different. Almost straight away I felt a sharp pain shooting up my calf. Not wanting to take any risks, I stopped and walked home. But I was pretty fed up. I was bored with not running and I had looked forward to getting back on the road. I wanted another setback as much as I wanted a Tesco hamburger and I wasn’t great company when I got back to the house. In fact I was in a gloom for the rest of the day which was only lifted by a couple of export-strength Carlsberg’s in the evening.
The next day was Saturday and although I still felt grouchy I had promised myself that I would go out on a group bike ride with my triathlon club. As a club we are trying to get more people out cycling together and this was the first day of a new ride we were trying. I was keen to be a good club member and support it. It was a lovely dry sunny winter’s day and we got a great turnout. Twelve riders turned up.
We spent about two hours riding round the beautiful country lanes of Hampshire and over the border into Wiltshire (yes, it was an inter-county ride) all in the winter sunshine. There were lots of familiar faces on the ride but lots of new faces too which I always like. Cycling like this is quite a social activity and I spent time chatting with as many people as I could and made a point of introducing myself to as many of the new faces as possible. I remember how welcome I was made to feel when I joined. Well now it was my turn to be the welcoming face of the club.
Two hugely enjoyable hours and 25 miles flew by and suddenly we were back where we started. As I loaded my bike into the car I noticed something. I wasn’t in a grump anymore! My mood had been lifted by the wonderful morning I had spent taking exercise with a group of friends. As I drove home my minor niggling calf pain was forgotten as I relived my bike ride and thought about some of the new people I had met and go to know. Two hours of exercise, some great company, plenty of laughter all sprinkled with a few feel-good endorphins and suddenly all was good in the ‘hood!