Author: edwina-sutton


Finding The Rainbow

‘It happens to everyone.’ ‘Its how you handle it that makes the difference.’ Yeah yeah, I know all this I spout this all the time (well not all the time, but we have to face the fact that injury is the major downside to being an athlete, especially a long distance runner.) But I want to run, I NEED to run, I can hear myself whining, I can see my sulky face, my grumpiness and I cant stop myself.

So after my last race in July I had a bit of a sore foot, after I  fell during the race I did something funny to my foot, but carried on running. After the race and feeling brutally disappointed in my performance I wanted to get back to training straight away and enter every race I could find (classic behaviour). I did build back slowly into running, but the foot niggle was there, it was getting bad, but I carried on running. But it got to the point where I couldnt walk on it in the morning and after my last long mountain run it was so sore I couldnt walk barefoot. That is very sensible behaviour Eddie. But, you see, if you read this, you are proabably one too or understand these behaviours. I am a total addict. I live to run. I live to be outside. Just me. I need this in my life or I actually cant cope. Life is too tough, too consuming, too loud for me to be in it all day. I need time.

So I was warned in no polite words to stop running or I risked this becoming a long term injury. I was gutted. I was actually feeling really good in training and excited to be having a crack at 100 miles in October. But that wasnt to be.  Thats ok I told myself, few days off and Ill be back. For the first few days I actually loved not running, I was able to savour mornings in my pjs, drinking tea. But, of courses, after a few days I got grumpy, real grumpy.

The problem with being a running addict is when its taken away from you there is a huge hole in your life. My whole life revolves around running, my work, my friends, my family, even the dog is so used to running hours and hours every day she has gone spare pacing around the house after me with that – why aren’t we going outside face?!

Ive been here before. I know what to do, I need to hit the strength, to sit on the bike, to go swimming, but this time I feel truely bereft at the loss of my running time. I have had some serious chats to myself, I feel myself slipping into a depression which is so unlike me. I can nearly always find the sunshine in everyday. But this time its been tough. I took my running for granted, I was too greedy and now Im paying for it.

With Coach Jayson I have written and rewritten strength work and swam like I have not done in 6 years. I have not felt that motivated to train, so I have just ridden with that. Trying to listen to my body rather than fight it back into fitness. So many people I see cross train like mad things when injured and I do think you need to give your body some down time to let the inflammation die down and energy to heal without trying to desperately hold onto fitness.

 

I’ve tried to flow through the last few weeks. In weepy moments I’ve tried to maintain perspective, but also to let myself feel low. I think its important to allow yourself to feel a bit blue and not fight an injury, but allow a bit of wallowing, then when its time take a deep breath and dive back into life. Putting on a brave face outside the house is important to me and the kids. Their life goes on, as does my clients, so though inside a little bit of me is really sad, I must carry on. This is all good training I tell myself, when the going gets tough, cope with the adversity and keep moving on. Time is a great healer.

Finding the motivation to go the gym or pool has been tough at times, but Ive persisted as I know I would only regret that hugely once I can run again. I am a big believer in ‘movement’ helping the healing process as well of course as the release of those essential endorphins which I know will lift my mood.

The rainbow over the mountain has been missing for a few weeks for me. But I can feel the happiness creeping back in. An easy jog this morning with a great friend, relatively pain free, an offer of a mountain bike from other friends, a great performance by a client who himself has fought back from injury, little pockets of sunshine, light on the horizon. The whisper of winter over the mountains. The excitement of snow. Life holds so much joy here. The path I have followed this year, hasnt been the one I planned. But then when is it? Its still my path and Im proud of it.

I wanted to write this as I know so many fellow friends who suffer with injuries and how tough it is when you lose your everyday purpose. Try and cut yourself some slack, dont be afraid to wallow, but also find some perspective. Running is our gift, its not our right. Look after your bodies and mind. Talk to loved ones. Get a strength plan. Ride a bike. Take a swim. Take time to drink your tea. You’ll be back on the trails, stronger, wiser and a little more appreciative in no time. Patience is your best friend. Dont fight her, she will always win!

Heres to finding my patience, being brave and not being afraid to admit I’m finding life hard. Heres to the rainbow at the end of the storm, its there, its just up to me to look up and find it.

 

Recovery Rules!

I rather foolishly thought that I would be able to race again this weekend and won’t lie actually felt guilty at deciding to pull out. I was really keen to do it as its my local race, I know all the trails like the back of my hand and thought it would be great for ‘business’ if I could come out with a good result.

Running for my family – Lakeland 50 report

I definitely find the easiest part of ultra running is the actual training rather than the racing!  Though a lot of it is in my household is like Groundhog Day. Get up, feed kids, run, feed kids, run, strength work, feed kids, clean up after kids, run, laundry, be a taxi for the kids, – you get the gist.

Making The Excuses

In my ‘spare’ time I write coaching plans for athletes wishing to normally accomplish something that scares them. They all come to me for different reasons, but underneath the different backgrounds, running experience and life commitments is one shared goal. They want to achieve the best they can do on that day or over that series of races.

A New Life

We sleep with the window open, we can hear the river running, the cow bells, the occasional dog barking, a bat rustling in the eaves and that’s it. Silence. Silence for some can be frightening. Time to be with your thoughts, to face your fears. I love it. Days in our house our loud, voices shout over each other to be heard, the mountains take no notice, at night we are shrouded in peace.

Bringing home the bacon

I awoke early last Sunday for my lift to the Steyning Stinger marathon. All my kit was ready on the table, oats soaked, gels packed. On top of my bag was a Mother’s Day card, inside was written- “Bring Home the Bacon Mum” and three kisses from my three children. No pressure then.

Facing the Reality

So here we are 12 weeks down the line post the birth of our sweetest little girl. We wont go into the gory details, but the birth was, as is my forte, pretty horrendous (why do I keep doing this?!). The consultant sat by my bed after Evie had been safely delivered and made me promise not to have any more babies….though we didn’t plan to have anymore I am kind of sad that there is a finality of this new born stage, every day my little baby gets a bit bigger and thats it then, no more newborns in our house.

Pregnancy, running, the truth and all

Are you still running? Has been the question most people have asked me throughout this pregnancy. I have felt the pressure to keep fit and to stay in shape, mainly because I want to get back racing as soon as possible, but after pushing myself to run for 36 weeks I am looking back now wondering if it was my most sensible decision. We will see!

When The Going Gets Tough

Paul Navesey, Rick Ashton and I have something we laugh about called the 5km opt out…whatever race we are doing, the longer and the harder it is possibly the earlier the 5km opt out comes in. We run for about 3 miles then decide this is way too much effort and we convince ourselves that we will just ‘jog it in’ due to a sudden injury, leg falling off, nasty case of sudden ebola. Of course we don’t, but the doubts hit pretty early, even for super sonic runners like Rick and Paul.

Trail Outlaws Podcast

I recently spoke to Tim at www.trailoutlaws.com  about training and racing with kids and pregnancy. The link can be found here:

http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/0/1/e/01eb8fea811d44b5/topS01E07.mp3?c_id=8262011&expiration=1422463183&hwt=63b188935456c0c864bc047519e1e52f

Enjoy, its quite long, you may need a cup of tea (and a snack!)