Sunday, 8 February 2015

Why I Need Running

I'm going insane.  A few weeks ago, I went out on a 12 mile run. All good bar a slightly achy lower calf, but I persevered.  The longer the distances I cover, the more soreness I experience, and it comes and goes as I plod along.  Sometimes I find it entertaining to guess where the ache is going to move next as I'm running.  I assume it's my body's way of keeping me amused.  All part and parcel of the experience.  Trouble is, my slightly achy calf never went away and subsequently spread to my ankle and under my heel, and the soreness has been plaguing me ever since. 

What's driving me nuts is the fact that it's screwing with my head by playing hide and seek with me.  No soreness at all as I go about my business.  Didn't even hurt when the nice physio lady stuck her knuckles into my leg and gross bare feet to see where the pain was coming from.  Whatever Ouch Demon is inhabiting my right leg only comes out if I run or walk for longer than half an hour or so.  Then it has me limping until I watch at least three episodes of Parks and Recreation on Netflix.  Yes, it is very important to the Ouch Demon that I appease it with Netflix.  Only Netflix will do.

I'm now about a week and a bit into the Physio-Lady-prescribed fortnight of inactivity, and I am a few head spins short of going full Exorcist on my own ass.  I didn't realise how much I've come to rely on running since I took up the activity just under two years ago.  Without exercise, the term "emotionally unstable" doesn't quite cut it.  Think Batman's Joker, but with PMS and an insatiable sweet tooth. 

The silver lining of being able to do sod all for two weeks is that I've developed a deeper appreciation for physical activity, regardless of my lack of speed and natural prowess.  And I've had PLENTY of time to think about it (translate: "wallow in self pity over fried food").  Here is a short, non extensive summary of why I need running in my life.  I don't know how helpful it is to anyone reading this, but I intend to refer back to it whenever I'm umming and ahhing over leaving the house just because it's "yucky" out.  Here goes:

1.  It's a reset button for the days where I wake up in dustbin mode and am not satisfied until I've eaten every processed, plasticky, cavity-inducing bits of "food" I can get my mitts on.

2.  It makes me a nicer person to be around.  Without running, I have too little patience to deal with my own shit, let alone other peoples'.

3.  Instead of gaining an hour or two a day during which I'd normally be plonking one foot in front of the other, I've been losing time by regularly falling into tiny comas called "naps".  I've always been a sporadic napper, but this week is just getting ridiculous.  All I have to be is "not stood up" to fall into a deep trance. The less I move, the more tired I feel.  The fuck, body?!

4.  Emotionally and logically, without the opportunity to sweat out my stress, I am like a volcano that only needs a feather to land on it for it to erupt.  I am far more likely this week to weep openly at a discarded sock on the floor, where normally, I'd be happily burrowed away under a pile of un-ironed laundry, documenting my miles on my Garmin instead.

5.  Sitting down for too long at a time makes my butt hurt.

Bottom line is, at rest, I am a crazy person.  Running is the only way to burn off the excess.  Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go shave my eyebrows off and draw on the walls in crayon until I'm allowed to wear my trainers and feel human again.

Do an extra mile for me, friends! Sniffle.